Lancaster theatre wins award for supporting youth

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The Dukes has won a prestigious award for supporting young people who want to work in creative industries.

The Lancaster theatre scooped the 2018 Creative Careers Champion Award at the North West Cultural Education Awards ceremony in Preston

The award recognised The Dukes’ creative and vibrant approach to supporting young people aiming for a career in the arts.

Initiatives include Young Creatives which provides work experience, volunteering and internship opportunities for those aged 18 plus who can also benefit from the Bespoke Artist Support and Exchange(BASE), a new network for directors, actors, designers, dancers and artists in Lancaster district.

Also popular is the Young Ambassadors scheme where young people plan projects and events for other young people such as The Dukes Youth Arts Festival.

The award also acknowledged The Dukes’ cultural partnership with Lancaster University and its MAKE projects which inspire and support communities often viewed as hard to reach.

Projects supporting young people into both formal and informal education and training have included a peer led education project with the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities; a mental health programme with Heysham High School, Lancashire Youth Offending Team, Lancashire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and young people in care; a comic literacy project with pupil referral units and a Schools Festival.

With the university, The Dukes delivers undergraduate modules in theatre studies and creative writing too.

The award recognised The Dukes’ regular support and advice to young people aiming for Arts Awards as well as the career days, workshops and resources that the theatre provides.

The Cultural Education Awards are run by Curious Minds dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people in the north west by connecting them with the very best arts, culture and creative learning opportunities.

Last year, The Dukes won the Arts Partnership Award for its work with Lancaster University to develop arts, education and learning in Lancaster and to invest in, enrich and sustain the city’s cultural life.

The Dukes Outreach and Learning Manager Vicky Fletcher said: “We have been thrilled to see young people progress through the many Dukes programmes we offer and are delighted that this has been recognised at a regional level.”

Leanne Bates, Lancaster University’s Assistant Head of UK Student Recruitment & Outreach, said: “Our Cultural Partnership with The Dukes provides a wide range of people with the opportunity to participate in education and learning in a new and creative way. We are very pleased to see the work of the MAKE project recognised with this award.”