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Engaging with young people in Wales

Reach the Heights

" [This project has provided] an opportunity to highlight the significant role art education has in engaging disaffected learners. Working with young people who have challenging backgrounds and mental health issues, it is evident that many are searching for a voice to communicate their thoughts and experiences. Working with artists and using the gallery space to make their own statements is liberating and empowering."
- Louise Morgan, external partner, Oriel Myrddin project, 2011

In 2011 engage Cymru ran Reach the Heights, a pilot programme and Welsh Government initiative aimed at reducing the number of young people in Wales aged 11-19 years who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), or at risk of becoming so.

Reach the Heights grew from two partner galleries in 2011, Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Oriel Myrddin, to five partners in phase two of the project in 2013 - Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Oriel Myrddin, Oriel Mostyn, Oriel Ynys Môn and Denbighshire Arts Service.

An extension of the project took place in 2014, which saw the involvement of Oriel Davies, Oriel Wrecsam, Oriel Mostyn, Oriel Ynys Môn and Denbishshire City Council.

The projects encouraged young people to broaden their aspirations by providing opportunities for them to work with artists, and to see, understand and participate in various roles in the galleries and consider further education or job opportunities in the arts. In all the projects, young people achieved an impressive range of transferrable and practical skills and the projects helped galleries to develop new and existing partnerships.

Projects were designed to support young people to re-engage in education, training and active citizenship, ultimately beginning a journey towards employment. Each project was unique, including opportunities to work with artists such as Michael Brennand-Wood at Ruthin Craft Centre; curating their own exhibition at Oriel Myrddin and creating an animation film at Aberystywth Arts Centre. 

Evaluation reports from all three of the project phases are now available to download:
 - Cyrraedd y Nod (2011) Adroddiad Gwerthuso (Cymraeg)
 - Reach the Heights (2011) Evaluation Report (English)
 - Reach the Heights (2013) Phase 2 Evaluation Report
 - Reach The Heights III & Galleries and Young People Evaluation Report (2013-2014)

Project Films:
Click here to watch animations and listen to sound pieces made at Aberystwyth Arts Centre in 2011 as part of this project
Click here to watch films made in Phase 2 of Reach the Heights




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