Teesside Young People Celebrate Arts Award Success

43 young people from across Teesside are celebrating after successfully achieving their Bronze Arts Awards, through participating in creative projects run by Tees Valley Arts.

risky biz photo by kev howard

Some of these young people have found themselves in difficult circumstances in life, but all have enjoyed taking part in the projects, and all can be very proud of what they have achieved.

Young people gained their Bronze Arts Award through taking part in the following projects:-

  • Moving On: Moving on is a J Paul Getty Jr Foundation funded project which uses the arts to help give the young people in the care of the local authority a range of skills to help them to move on positively, adding value to the dedicated work of the Care Teams.
  • stART: The stART Project worked with young people in the Borough of Stockton categorised as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), and delivered a package of creative activities and learning. The project was funded through the Synergy VCS consortium, and TVA worked in partnership with Stockton Integrated Youth Services on the project which took place at the Five Lamps’ Youthy in Thornaby.
  • Journeys: Young people from Middlesbrough worked on a drama project with local playwright Ishy Din, supported by drama workers. They developed a play called ‘Alchemy’ about the history of Teesside, and it was performed at Middlesbrough myplace and Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt. The project was funded by Arts Council England.
  • Risky Biz: TVA is working in partnership with Barnardo’s to support vulnerable young people through creative activities, and the project is funded by Comic Relief.

Alchemy photo by Kev Howard

The Arts Award supports young people to develop as artists and arts leaders and inspires young people aged 7 to 25 to enjoy the arts. Tees Valley Arts is a regional Arts Award Training Centre, and Education Officer Jane Gray delivers training for Arts Award advisers across the region and nationally. Jane Gray commented:

“The Arts Award is central to many of our initiatives, providing an opportunity to accredit young people’s achievement when participating in the creative arts. One of the interesting aspects of Bronze Arts Award is the opportunity for young people to research their own arts hero and we have been astonished by heroes studied, ranging from the Notorious B.I.G to Susan Boyle via Adam Ant.”

Filed under: JOURNEYS, Moving On, News, Projects, Risky Biz, stART

New Projects

TVA is delighted to announce that we will shortly be delivering another cohort of the stART project – our praise-winning creative intervention with young people who haven’t yet found their pathway in life. We will be working with young people in Stockton, in partnership with Stockton Integrated Youth Support Service and the Synergy Consortium, and the project will be based at the 5 Lamps Youthy in Thornaby – so there will be all sorts of positive partnership working going on.

TVA is also delighted to announce that, in partnership with Maurice Dezou, we have been commissioned by Catalyst Stockton to produce a feasibility study on the potential for developing internet-based community radio within the borough.

Filed under: News, Projects, stART

Stockton stART Support Worker

Tees Valley Arts have been awarded some funding through the Synergy consortium to run the stART project for young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training, in Stockton.


stART is an intervention designed by TVA, which has received national attention (Children and Young People Now journal, Arts Award nationally). Its aim is to ‘capture’ young people who are disengaged and/or disaffected, to help them break out of negative spirals, to learn to turn up and take part, to discover and develop skills, to enjoy themselves and to achieve accredited learning – Bronze Arts Award. This intervention then allows other agencies to help the young people build on this positive achievement and to make better choices about their next steps in life. This may be to college (previous stART graduates have gone on to study arts and media courses, fashion, retail, hair and beauty, accountancy, child care, animal husbandry, access to university etc) or to employment.

stART works through the arts and creativity, but participants don’t need to be ‘arty’ – as long as they like something out of: music, fashion, games, movies, comics, hair and beauty… then we can work with them.

stART has previously been delivered in Middlesbrough and Stockton, in partnership with IYSS teams. Participants have been 16-20 years old, with any/ many of the usual problems that young people have to contend with. Over the years stART has had over 80 stARTers, and 60 have successfully completed the course, achieving Arts Award.

This cohort of stART will work with up to 12 young people, attending for 8 weeks, for 3 days a week, from 10am-2.30pm; it will be based at Thornaby Youthy (211/13 Thornaby Rd, TS17 6LS). The participants receive £4pd towards their expenses, and receive a ‘half time’ £15 and a full time £20 voucher, as a reward.

The stART project leader will be Tim Coyte (TVA Youth and Community Officer); he will oversee and lead all ‘on the ground’ activity including premises set up, materials, preparation, recruitment, liaison with IYSS and others as necessary, administration, petty cash management, ‘participant management’, Arts Award activity, liaison with IAG, local colleges etc.

Each week there is a session led by an artist; usually we have contracted 2 different artists – eg a photographer and a model maker, each delivering 4 sessions. There is a trip to an arts venue – such as the Baltic or Yorkshire Sculpture Park. All participants keep an Arts Award diary which is regularly updated and worked on/ decorated/ enhanced. The project leader and support worker are line managed and intensively supported by TVA.
stART activities and the Arts Award are focussed (carefully and stealthily!) around the development of interpersonal skills, self-management, collaboration, self-confidence and reflectivity; previously stART has worked with many very challenging and lost young people and has helped them to relax, join in, conduct themselves responsibly, make progress, feel proud of themselves and thus make positive choices about their next steps.

The Support Worker

This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in working with young people through the arts to gain top notch experience. We welcome applications from people with a youth work background, and/or an arts background.

The Support Worker will support the project leader in all activities, as required, and will be line managed by him. The SW will help the young people engage and make progress, and will help the project run smoothly in all its interpersonal, practical and administrative aspects, as directed. The SW does not need to be ‘arty’, but does need to be open to creative activities, and will need to be reliable, responsible, responsive and relaxed around young people.

The Support Worker does not need to be a trained Arts Award Adviser (though that would help) and will be expected to understand the requirements of Arts Award and to help the young people achieve it.


Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays for 9 weeks, beginning Weds 1st May (first week will be spent with project leader, based at TVA; delivery begins Weds 8th May).


9.30am – 3pm each day


First week will be project set up, based at TVA and as required by Project Leader; delivery venue (8 weeks) is Thornaby Youthy, 211 Thornaby Road, TS17 6LS.


The Support Worker will be paid £100 per day; thus total fee = 9 weeks x 3 days x £100pd = £2700

  • This fee will include any VAT, travel and subsistence.
  • Purchase Order number: 4060 – to be quoted on any invoice

To apply:

Please send a CV (no longer than two sides of A4) and a letter of application (no longer than two sides of A4). Your letter of application must address:

  • Your understanding of and any experience of participatory arts in the youth sector
  • Your understanding of the barriers to achievement that these young people may experience
  • Your understanding of the issues of eg behaviour, lack of focus, lack of confidence and so on that participants may present, and how you think those issues can be best addressed and managed
  • Your personal qualities that equip you for this role
  • Why you want the role and want to work for TVA
  • You must be able to provide an up to date – ie no older than two years – CRB or DBS certificate; please note, people already working for Stockton Youth Support Services can tell us this and we will check with them
  • You will need to provide evidence of public liability insurance at the point of the awarding of contract
  • You will need to make your own transport arrangements
  • You MUST be able to make ALL the dates

Your letter of application must address every point given above to be considered.

You may include a small amount of other evidence, such as photographs, reports, publicity for projects etc. If you send these as actual documents and you wish to have them returned to you, then you must include self addressed envelopes/ packaging with sufficient postage stamps affixed. TVA cannot accept any responsibility for possible loss of or damage to materials sent by candidates.

Deadline for applications:

Your application must arrive by 5pm Thursday 18th April 2013.

Send applications to:

Rowena Sommerville
Tees Valley Arts
Melrose House
Melrose Street

Or email to:

Please note: email applications are preferred.


Selection will then be made on paper in the first instance.

More Information:

For any further information, please contact Rowena Sommerville, TVA Director, on 01642 264655 or

Filed under: News, Opportunities, Projects, stART

Wellington Square’s a good place to stART!

A pioneering arts project has set up shop in the former “Officer’s Club” premises in Wellington Square, Stockton on Tees for eight weeks.

Stockton stART

The stART project is a programme of creative activity for disaffected and disengaged young people, designed, managed and delivered by Tees Valley Arts in partnership with Stockton Integrated Youth Support Service. Nine young people from Stockton will be working with artist Nicola Parkin and Youth Worker John Greenan learning a variety of new skills.

Young people on the stART project will also achieve their Bronze Arts Award; the Award is for anyone aged between 11 and 25, who is interested in exploring new creative experiences. It’s a national qualification, managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England and is recognised by employers and colleges as proof of skills and commitment.

The stART project began in Middlesbrough in January 2009 and to date has worked with 70 young people, classified as NEET, amongst whom have been young parents, young people in care, young offenders, young people with substance abuse issues, young people on the autistic spectrum, young people with low levels of literacy, young people with learning difficulties, young people newly arrived in this country and young people with anxiety issues such as agoraphobia and obsessive/ compulsive disorders.

The aim of stART has been to ‘capture’ those young people and to help them re-engage with their own lives, discover some unsuspected and undeveloped talents, learn some interpersonal and practical skills, and prepare for some positive next steps in life. The intervention has allowed agencies working with those young people to re-establish relationships with them, and then to support them in making progressions to college or other training, where previously the young people have been chaotic or uninterested.

Project Manager: Tim Coyte commented

“It is great that stART is now blossoming in Stockton and Wellington Square is a great space to work in for the participants and offers them a fantastic “shop window” to exhibit their work publicly.”

Carl Scott, 19, is one of the people on the course, and said:

“I like stART because it’s good fun and it gives you confidence to go for interviews. I really want to go into retail and the job centre can only help you so much, so I’ve been volunteering at the Butterwicke Hospice shop. This project is in an empty shop in Wellington Square and I get to do displays; this experience will help me get work in retail.”

Hazel Woodhouse, 17, said:

“I’m enjoying what we’re doing at stART, experiencing new things and working on building up a portfolio. I like crafty things and making stuff and would really like to go to Art College to study design crafts. My dream job would be to make and sell my own creations.

“By the end of stART I hope to have an interview to go to Art College and something lined up to do before the college course starts in September, like a summer course or something. I’m hoping stART will help me to achieve this and improve my confidence.”

Rob Gildersleeve is the centre manager at Wellington Square, and commented:

“This is a valuable opportunity for the youngster to gain experience and qualifications, and we are pleased to put one of our units to good use in this way. The students have brightened up the shop unit and have created a colourful window display. Our retailers and many of our shoppers have commented on how well they have done. It’s worth coming down to take a look!”

Filed under: News, Projects, stART

The stART Project

stART is an 8 week creative project

3 days a week (Tue, Wed, Thur), 10am – 2.30pm (with lunch break)


  • Creative Space (vacant shop unit) Wellington Square, Stockton
  • Small group of 10 young people
  • Working with Nicola Parkin and John Greenan

Tees Valley Arts are working in partnership with Visit Tees Valley and Middlesbrough Connexions on the stART project.  The stART Project is part of the Cultural Volunteering Programme supported by One North East.

The stART Project works with young people aged 17 to 19 categorised as Not in Education, Employment or Training, and delivers a package of creative activities and learning.  stART takes place in TVA’s art room, equipped and furnished with funds from the LSC, the Northern Rock Foundation, and the Cultural Volunteering Project.

Workshops take place with professional artists and involve fun and accessible art based exercises that develop individual creative skills building confidence and self-esteem. Other activities include games and exercises that use an informal approach to encourage positive engagement and reflective thinking, whilst developing pre-employment skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication skills.

All the young people will work as individuals and teams to achieve the Bronze Arts Award.

Arts Award Qualification (Tuesday and Thursday)

  • Daily diary – writing up sessions – photography – audio and visual
  • Trip to Newcastle
  • Arts Hero Project
  • Sharing Skills

NVQ Level 1 Qualification

£3 per day
£20 highstreet voucher upon completion of project


Download (PDF, 188KB)

Filed under: Projects, stARTTagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

stART Art

This is a selection of artwork from stART. There is loads more, but we can’t show everything!

What people said;

“It has been really fun”

“I have greatly improved my drawing skills…and my writing skills aswell.”

“At the beginning I thought art was just about painting/drawing but I have now learned that art comes in many forms which can relate to many different subject matters.”

Filed under: News, Projects, stART