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Headskillz Southwest

Due to UK-wide cuts in Youth Services, recently proven by the All Party Parliamentary Group's official report to correlate geographically with rises in knife-crime, we have taken the step of renovating abandoned portable boxes such as used static/tourer caravans, shipping containers and trailers into badly needed “pop-up” Youth Support & Community Hub units, soundproofed using 100% “upcycled” salvaged insulation materials donated by local businesses and parents.

Facilities include music / video production studio, mixing and editing suite, green-screened live room / rehearsal / photography/ filmshoot studio, office space for hot-desking, studio / gallery space for painting /sculpture/ ecosalvage art projects.

Once engaged via said activities, young people supported through our project will be offered opportunities for apprenticeships, mentoring, vocational training with our own record label and with local businesses, sponsors and tradespeople. Our units are also planned to serve as late-night emergency respite centres for teenagers with problems at home.

Current sponsors and delivery partners also include Reggaewerx PR, Travis Perkins, Cornwall Broadband, Threads Radio, THTC The Hemp Trading Company, Blatantly Blunt Agency, X-zibit LDN Photography, B-Line Recordings, London Promoters' Society, Coversure Insurance, Miller Upholstery, Remnant Warehouse, Ryde Demolition, Balcony Shirts, London House Bude, The Carriers Inn, ABConstruction, Lucky Kiss Bude, Animals in Need, 4D Designs, Trespass Bude, Bude Solutions, Kitsham Farm Estates, Simplybook.Me and Tony Oliver Transport.

We are also looking forward to working even more closely over the coming months alongside Bude Coastal Communities Team, Cornwall Community Fund and Learning Partnership for Cornwall.

“Headskillz Southwest” - Pilot Project, Bude, Cornwall UK

Project Goals - We plan to offer the following services to disadvantaged young people in Bude over 30 wks over a 1 year period:

  • 120hrs free creative group workshops
  • 120hrs free 1-to-1 tuition
  • 120hrs work experience leading to vocational training and local work-placements
  • 80 hrs free musical sensory play and therapy for young people with additional needs
  • 120hrs free rehearsal space
  • 500hrs free office hot-desking services for local young entrepreneurs / startups
  • 240hrs free rental to private tutors
  • 100hrs free exhibition / gallery space
  • 100hrs free music studio space inc. live-room / mixing / vocal booth
  • 100 hrs free greenscreen unit access
  • 240hrs free use of wet-paint creative art-space
  • 1200hrs late-night emergency respite support for teenagers with problems at home (midnight-8am)

We plan to spend the other 20 weeks of the year on R&D producing a mobile outreach unit, music releases and merchandise products for public release and sale, live music programmes, event installations, a youth-policy-focused version of the NEWBIAS radioshow and bespoke AV commissions.

These additional activities and the resulting potential revenue streams from the creation of saleable products will greatly empower our organisation as an independent creative brand, able to rely less and less on grants and crowdfunding in order to serve our beneficiaries as each year passes.

Benefits For Land & Property Owners

Commercial land-owners and property developers pledging such a space for this non-profit project are highly likely to qualify for a drastic, if not complete reduction in their business rates for the period in question. There have been many successes here already with 6 county councils, resulting in the granting of several landlord-extensions due to the moneythey save and the additional security provided for their sites.

Respace's “HIVE Dalston” project saved the property owners £143,434 in Business Rates and £250K in Security & Maintenance, at £Zero cost over 2.5 years, resulting in 4 Contract Extensions and a saving for the local community of over £565,062 in Space Hire. This model has been replicated successfully with Hackney Council, SouthendCouncil, Havering Council, Newham Council and Haringey Council. Each active project has received at least 2 landlord extensions. Respace Projects are currently also in negations with Camden Council, Tower Hamlets Council, Leicester Council, Birmingham Council, Bristol Council and Peterborough Council.

This system uses Discretionary Rates Relief which reduces Business Rates for Charitable and Social Organisations by a standard 80% (available from every Borough Council in UK ) with the remaining 20% negotiable based on the social output and sustainabilty, legacy and longevity of each project. Therefore the more support pledged, the greater thefinancial saving.

Moving This Project Forward - Next Steps To Ensure Delivery

We are looking forward greatly to continuing to build our relationships with local young people and their families, businesses, land and property owners, other nonprofits, charities, faith groups, schools and academy trusts, training companies, Council representatives, funding bodies, community trusts and local authorities. Between us all we easily have all the will, expertise and resources required to drastically improve young lives and local opportunities in the areas we serve.

We are now in the process of applying for grant-funding, and launching a crowdfunder campaign for various essential project-costs from staffing to equipment to marketing, further R&D.

Our main priority right now at this intermediary stage however is to ensure project sustainability as a local resource for North Cornwall and Devon, Bude in particular in terms of a permanent or longterm local site / sites (our pop-up units are portable by design in order to maximise adaptability).

For this we now need to securely site our outreach unit on a piece of land no more than 40 x 30ft in size, within walking distance of Bude's schools and residential estates. A permament, natural setting with utilities and drainage is preferred but not essential.

We thank you in advance for all and any feedback, advice and financial / in-kind support at this exciting and inspiring time.

We truly hope we will be able to work together to ensure the 2020 delivery of this badly-needed project for disadvantaged young people and low-income families in Bude and beyond.

In the longterm, the knock-on effect of the HEADSKILLZ SOUTHWEST community project, in terms of peer-reviewed impact-evaluation case-studies, will take steps towards actively stimulating badly needed improvements in UK arts-based youth-funding policy.

Our aim is to make it easier for arts-based community initiatives and non-profit orgs to obtain funding and support, along with providing compelling evidence to funding advisors and policy thinktanks that the majority of the damage to local communities and general societal decline caused by cuts Youth Services can be drastically reduced, if not completely reversed by their re-instatement.

Thank you for your consideration.

The NEWBIAS team

References Used & Information Sources

2010-2016 £387 MILLION was cut from UK Youth Service Spending: A Future At Risk - Cuts in youth Services – published by Unison (PDF)

Rise in UK knife-crime proven to correlate geographically with Youth Service Cuts: All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) 2019 Report on UK Knife Crime / Youth Service Cuts

  • 90% of Councils in England cut services for teenagers.
  • 600 UK Youth Centres were closed over between 2012 and 2016 alone :
  • 1 in 5 regional museums are closed or now plan to close in UK
  • Revenue Support grant to reduce from £11.5bn to £5.4bn by 2020

Source: "Funding Arts and Culture in a time of Austerity” Adrian Harvey, Arts Council England published by NGLN April 2016 (PDF)

2018 child poverty in Bude was 34.4% - 7.86% above the 2016 average for Cornwall: CCF Vital Signs For Cornwall Study 2017 / 2018 Update (PDF)