Youth group is on the right wavelength

5 Jan 2022 04:23
Published by: Scott Callan

A STOCKPORT based youth group is celebrating after being awarded £240,000 from the National Lottery to support its work.

Rising Stars North-West delivers workshops in media, music and creative disciplines to young people across Greater Manchester.

The organisation, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in December, received the cash from the lottery's community fund. It will be used to support its latest project called Reskill & Rise.

The project aims to work with young people to teach them new skills around media, music and the creative industry.

Through the workshops the young people will be given the opportunity to gain work experience, supporting them on their paths into employment.

As well as workshops the group organises and hosts live events for young people aged 11-25.

It even has its own radio station called Pie Radio, Manchester's biggest youth-led radio station and the only one that is black owned.

Working with deprived communities in the area, the organisation hopes to improve the aspirations for young people by giving them access to things such as media equipment and a state-of-the-art studio to record or produce music.

Rap star Aitch is one of many local talents able to hone their skills thanks in part to having access to the group's facilities.

Through its work on community projects like Pie Radio, the group engages with thousands of young people across Greater Manchester and provides them with a chance to work at the station, further highlighting its hands on approach to young empowerment.

Solomon Onalapo, who is director and founder of Rising Stars North-West, said: "Pie Radio started out five years ago as a taster project and that's grown to be massive.

"A lot of young people are coming through and are learning how to be radio presenters, music producers, video editors, so we're able to give people a real-life project to work on which helps in the work environment.

"Thank you to all National Lottery players - without you doing what you do we wouldn't be able to do what we're doing right now.

"All the money that we've received from The National Lottery Community Fund to fund this project allows us to support young people and enables us to change lives."

He added: "Who knows, from our project we might get the next huge artist, director or music producer. We really appreciate the support."

Gillian Halliwell, head of funding for the North-West at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: "Thanks to National Lottery players, this vital funding will have a huge impact on young people's lives across Greater Manchester.

"This last year has been incredibly challenging for communities and we applaud community projects such as this that have been a lifeline to so many.

"Rising Stars North-West is a shining example of how local groups can use National Lottery funding to further support their communities to prosper and thrive."

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