New Mills charity receives national award

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A New Mills charity has received national recognition for its work with young people.

High Peak Community Arts has been presented with a Hear by Right award from the National Youth Agency.

The centre, based in High Lee Hall, on St Mary’s Road, is one of only four across the country to have ever received the accolade at a silver level.

The certificate, which volunteers applied for in summer, lasts three years and honours organisations that put young people’s voices at the heart of service delivery and development.

Dawn Bryan, chair of the arts group, said: “We are delighted that our work with young people has received national recognition. It is vital that we listen to and act upon their ideas, so that they are empowered in all walks of life.

“The team at High Peak Community Arts have challenged themselves to find roles for young people in all areas of the organisation, from working in the office on work experience placements, to evening meetings where they decide on the direction of projects, and even active fund raising to keep projects going.

“They think it’s important for a young person to be able to take part in whatever way works for them, whether it’s a one off experience at a community event, weekly participation on a project or even developing leadership skills and helping their peers.”

Year nine pupil Billy Lancaster, a member of the outreach organisation’s Shout Action, a young filmmakers group, said: “It is interesting to see how decisions are made, and sometimes it’s good to get your views across on things that you think are working or not working.””

Fiona Blacke, National Youth Agency chief executive, said: “Embedding youth participation into the development of services is not only best practice, but vital to ensuring provision is relevant to local needs.

“Many congratulations on achieving our silver Hear by Right award, which really demonstrates your commitment to young people’s active involvement within your organisation.”