Could you first introduce yourself for the reader?
I’m Maddy and I’m the Education and Outreach Officer at Lauderdale House. I have a varied role but mainly work with schools and youth centres to run creative heritage projects for children and young people.
What happens at the organisation?
Lauderdale House is a diverse organisation. We host exhibitions, have classical and jazz concerts, children’s theatre, talks and family events, as well as the programme for schools and young people. We are also available to hire for parties, weddings, funerals and meetings. Musicians can hire our spaces to put on concerts too.
What do you offer to young people?
At the moment we run a weekly arts session at Lauderdale House, Fresh@Lauderdale, on Thursday evenings in partnership with Camden Youth Services. The session is open to young people from 11 – 19 and free to attend. We do a variety of activities such as photography, spoken word and lino printing. We talk to the young people attending to find out what they want to do.
We also work with local schools and this year will be running a series of poetry workshops led by exciting poets in three schools nearby.
What activities are most popular for young people and why?
Some of our most popular sessions have been spoken word. Young people have enjoyed having freedom to express themselves and also get to know other young people in the sessions in a new way. We work with some really inspiring poets too!
Could you give an example of a recent project you have run, and the impact it had?
We recently ran a project called Bad Bess and the Golden Age for students studying GCSE History at a local school. We used dance, drama, costume making and lyric writing to learn about life during the reign of Elizabeth I. The project helped students engage in their history lessons and improved attendance. The students have not taken their GCSE yet, but in assessments on the topic they’ve done really well and we hope that they will do well in their final exams.
Have you seen any change in the industry over the last few years? Is it positive or negative?
I feel that over the last few years there has been some great work to engage a wider group of young people in the arts and also to diversify the workforce. There’s definitely some amazing work going on.
However, we work closely with youth centres and have seen the number of open youth sessions in our local area reduce dramatically, mainly due to lack of funding. We feel its really important to have activities for young people to do that are free, reliable and don’t require you to sign up for several weeks of sessions. This is part of the reason that we are running Fresh@Lauderdale.
Do you run Arts Award or offer a Trinity College qualification? If so, what do you offer and how can young people get involved?
We offer Arts Award Discover to Primary Schools who visit the House and at the moment we are delivering Arts Award Bronze with young people attending our Fresh@Lauderdale sessions. If young people are interested, they get in touch with us via our website to find out more.
Is there anything you particularly want to promote to young people at the moment?
Our Fresh@Lauderdale workshops take place every Thursday evening. They’re fun, relaxed and everybody is welcome. The activities that we do are led by the young people attending so it’s a great way to try something new or that you’ve always wanted to do.
Where can people find out more about the work you do?
People can find out more about our work on our website: www.lauderdalehouse.org.uk/