The National Lottery fights youth employment with London charities

The National Lottery is funding a scheme that presents job opportunities in creative and arts industries to young people hit hardest by the pandemic.  

The Cultural Leaders Youth Employment Scheme (CLYES) provides paid work for six young people (aged 18-30 years old) every six months with three London based charities – Poetic Unity, Theatre Peckham and Black Cultural Archives.  

The scheme, which is part of the Poetic Relief Project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, gives young people real on-the-job experience in the charity and art sectors.  

The selected Cultural Leaders will run poetry workshops, events, provide support for the community and learn about the daily operations of the charity they are designated. 

The first cohort of Cultural Leaders started in September 2021, and they have been a great success.  

The Cultural Leaders have helped each charity extend their impact, and also learnt transferable skills they can use for future employment.  

Ryan J. Matthews-Robinson, Founder and Chief Executive of Poetic Unity, said: “The Cultural Leaders have been a breath of fresh air and have contributed to us supporting more young people in this time of need.  

“To provide this youth employment scheme now where young people are struggling to find work is really important and I can’t wait to work with our new cohort of Cultural Leaders in the near future.”  

Applications are now open for the second cohort of Cultural Leaders who will start on 1 March 2022.  

If you’re 18-30 years old and would like to apply for this role, send your name, age and current employment status to [email protected] with the title ‘Cultural Leaders.’  

Applications close on 4 February at 5pm.  

The National Lottery Community Fund provides funding to help communities thrive with people in the lead.

The charities 

Poetic Unity  

A Brixton-based charity that provides support and services for young people across the UK.  

It uses poetry as a tool to support young people’s mental health, education, physical health, community cohesion and personal development.  

Poetic Unity is a Black/Black Mixed led charity which works with some of the most marginalised young people in the UK.  

Black Cultural Archives 

The only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving, and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.  

Founded in 1981, BCA’s mission is to record, preserve and celebrate the history of people of African descent in Britain.  

Theatre Peckham  

founded in 1990, the theatre is an award-winning cultural venue for artistic excellence and social change.  

It illuminates young voices, provides skills and opportunities, and platforms excellent creatives who are locally focused with a national and international vision.  

Photo credit: Poetic Relief Project

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