The Source: We are helping town’s young think creatively about careers in the arts


Can’t sing, don’t dance, but would love a career in the world of arts, culture and entertainment?

No problem – meet Naomi, Niamh, Lisa, Phoebe, Armani, Aisha and Mya, trainee youth leaders on a mission to help Rotherham’s youth discover career opportunities in the industry.

They are part of the Sense of Place Project being run by The Source Skills Academy, one of eight organisations getting 55 young people upskilled so they can lead the way as the town becomes the UK’s first Children’s Capital of Culture in 2025.

In 2025 cultural events will celebrate the town’s identity. But town leaders also want to open young residents’ eyes to the vast range of jobs in the arts and culture sector and help them gain key skills.

The Source’s director of quality, curriculum and innovation, Natalie Doherty, was a professional dancer before moving on to teach performance and therapy arts.

She said: “We are passionate about education and training and very proud to help raise Rotherham’s profile and guide its young people into arts sector jobs.

“It’s not all about being a performer. The industry couldn’t function without people qualified in business, management, administration and finance.”

The Source’s Sense of Place, funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund, is led by youth worker and former American footballer Dannielle Nixon, who had to change her life after breaking her back aged 22.

She went to study sports development at Sheffield Hallam University.

Danielle is training her team of seven to become youth project workers who will enthuse young people to feel part of the Children’s Capital of Culture.

She said: “We are already starting to build people-power and local pride through our project.

“Initially when we ask young people what they think of Rotherham, they talk about what they feel it lacks. Then they acknowledge that its strong community, and the support and the people they have here, make it a good place to live.”

Sense Of Place features three projects.

At career planning sessions running in schools until June, pupils can gain information on apprenticeship and training qualifications which can lead to arts sector jobs.

An art competition has also been thrown open to schools and community groups.

Entrants have a £200 budget alongside the help of The Source’s seven trainees, and the prize is £500 plus a day in the arts industry.

In addition, information and guidance sessions are being staged in Rotherham libraries until May to raise awareness of the Children’s Capital of Culture project and help with mental health awareness, stress management, problem-solving and building resilience.

Attendees can also learn interview skills and how to create CVs.

Contact us here to find out more.

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