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Featuring: AFROBASE Afro-Carribbean festival; OPEN MINDS BUT SILENT SOUNDS' supporting young people's mental health; CONSOLE CODE coding programme
and REEL IT IN a community fishing project

Afrobase – Awa Jobe & Chelsea Osayawah (age 17)

Afrobase Festival aspires to promote diversity and overrule the stereotypical ideals within Moston and Harpurhey. Dance, music, food and fashion are only some of the ways we aim to create cohesion and open the minds of our broad audience, offering a window into the unique African culture.

Chelsea, Awa and their producer Kate Bradnam worked extremely hard over February and March to bring Moston an exciting day celebrating African culture. They enlisted the services of Amani Creatives, who supplied music and entertainment for the day, brought local graphic designer Jess Loveday on board to create a Muriel of the event and also held drumming workshops, all under the roof of The Simpson Memorial Hall. The event was a success and was enjoyed by individuals from every corner of the community.

Console.Code – Aaron Omotosho & Bayo Adetunde (age 17)

Console.Code aims to provide a space for young people in the territory to learn and to practice key computer programming skills, which can then be used to create software applications or hardware systems for their functionality or purely for fun!

This is done through ten well-planned sessions for the participants in a variety of settings including workshops, trips and celebration events.

Over the course of 5 weeks and 10 workshops, the young coders blew our minds with their truly incredible and innovative projects. We were wowed by home security systems, smart lights, step counters, fully playable maze games and one copy right questionable gaming console that used multiple emulators; it seemed there was nothing these young coding enthusiasts couldn’t create.

The process culminated with a tech sharing where individuals from HIVE MCR, Loreto College and Contact’s very own Head Technician were presented the ideas from each participant who were all hoping to win Console.Code’s top prize of an XBOX ONE Console. After much deliberation they chose…………….. as the winner who created a fully playable Maze game using Scratch & Rasberry Pi’s.

Aaron and Bayo have plans to re-launch the project in the Summer and continue to develop Console.Code as a brand so watch this space and get in touch if you’d like any further info. We made a quick video as well courtesy of the Bearded Fellows Creative Studio.

Open Minds but Silent Sounds – Alisha Loco (age 16)

Open Minds but Silent Sounds is a creative writing project for young people age 12-16 who are experiencing mental health difficulties. The project aims to offer participants a tool for expression and to raise awareness of mental health in the territory.

In order to deliver a substantial yet safe process, Alisha collaborated with poets from Young Identity, mental health experts from the NHS, as well as a mediation specialist to develop a flexible process that responded to the needs of the participants. Over the course of her process, we met some amazing young people and created some really insightful pieces of poetry that Alisha hopes to continue to develop, with the goal of creating an anthology to be released in the future.

The project culminated with a low key sharing at The Moston Methodist Church, where we heard a selection of poems from the participants and a reading from local author ……….. who writes about her experiences with mental health through literature and colours. We were also honoured to be joined by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, who handed out certificates of achievement to our participants, as well as shared some of his own experiences with mental health.

All in all it was a fantastic project that really addressed some much needed issues in the community. Over the coming months Alisha is looking to secure further funding and continue to deliver this vital work in the community.

Reel It In – Warren Howard (age 16)

Reel It In is a fishing project for children aged  8-13 years olds and will be held at Boggart Hole Clough in Moston. Participants will be taught skills in fishing and take part in the first ever fishing competition for youths in the area.

Reel It In held their first fishing open day on 25th March and we couldn’t have asked for a better day for it. The sun was shining and the local community were out in force enjoying the lovely weather, which was ideal for getting people to take part and engage in fishing for the first time.

We had an incredible afternoon and although no fish were actually caught on the day, we have definitely sparked an interest with the young children who took part. A massive thank you to the Angling Society for their expert guidance on the day.