Four students from UTCMediaCity have just completed the Youth Leaders Programme with RFF Manchester! After six months of working together, the students designed and delivered projects in football, drama and dance at a local primary school, Lark Hill. All the youth leaders were taught project management skills as they planned their project, coming up with aims and objectives, undertaking tasks such as risk assessments and workshop plans.

The first of the projects was designed by Mia and Nell, who decided to work together as both girls have aspirations of becoming make up artists and wanted to learn about special effects make up. They decided that they would create a music video with the children to the song ‘Thriller’, which would involve creating zombie characters through make up and teaching the children a dance routine.

The first stage of the project involved two sessions with a professional make up artist. In the first, the girls learnt how to do zombie make up, using the RFF Manchester staff as models! This look could be recreated on the children quite easily and quickly when they were delivering their sessions. In the second session they learnt some of the special effect make up skills that would be used on a professional set, such as cuts and bruises. This was to give them an insight into what kinds of things a professional make up artist does. It was also great for them to meet some one working in the industry to ask lots of questions and find out what it is like! These sessions gave Nell the confidence to set up her own social media page for her make up art, this has lead her to landing work experience and now also a part time job at a local salon!

For the next stage of the project RFFManchester teamed the girls up with a professional dance mentor, who has lots of experience teaching dance to small children. They spent time together looking at videos of different styles of dance, making notes of the different elements of each they liked. From this they were able to devise their own routine that they could then teach the children. Together with the mentor the girls came up with six workshop plans that the girls would then deliver to the children at Lark Hill. They included zombie style warm ups and they have gave the girls the skills and confidence in order to deliver the project.

The second youth leader project was designed by Jess. Jess decided to design a drama project around bullying. This was to bring awareness to the fact that not all bullying that occurs within schools is student to student, that it can also come from the teachers. Through drama she wanted to address the difficult subject of bullying and show ways of dealing with it to make it stop. She developed 6 drama workshops alongside her professional mentor that included a positive news time; where the children would all share anything they had done to help someone else. She also created freeze frame scenarios in which the children could all play a different role, such as victim, bully and teacher, helping the children to understand how someone else might be feeling and what to do in order to help.

The third project was run by David, who decided to run a football project. The aim for his project was to give younger children opportunities to succeed and build confidence. He wanted to do this in order to become a positive role model for kids in his community and help to promote a healthy lifestyle. He spent time planning how he would spend his budget to successfully deliver the project and came up with workshop plans alongside his professional mentor Jordan.

For the past 6 weeks, the students have delivered their youth leaders sessions to year 3 at Lark Hill Primary School. All four of them have done amazingly and it has been great to watch their confidence grow. Their project’s came to an end yesterday, and when we asked the girls how they found it they told us,

It made me more confident talking to both people and in front of a group as it pushed me out of my comfort zone. It was fun because we got to meet new people!’

 RFFManchester would like to congratulate all four students on their hard work, it has really paid off!

RFF Manchester would also like to thank our funders the Big Lottery for enabling these projects to happen alongside our partners, UTCMediaCity and Lark Hill Primary School!!