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Key2Radio offers cultural engagement for young offenders through innovative partnership of Manchester’s Key103 radio and arts charity TiPP

  • Date: 25 April 2013
  • Area: North
Young man in front of a microphone

Recording a radio programme in the studio at Key103. Credit: Anna White

Key2Radio is a new radio project in Greater Manchester that gives young offenders the opportunity to develop their arts, broadcast and social skills, and to gain a national qualification. The project, funded through the Arts Council's open-access Grants for the arts scheme, is delivered by a partnership between Manchester's Key103 radio station and the arts charity TiPP, which specialises in arts provision in the Criminal Justice System and similar settings. 

Since the pilot project ran in early 2012, the programme has been rolled out in Youth Offending Services in Salford, Bolton and Manchester, and 15 young people have received an Arts Award certificate (a nationally-recognised qualification in arts and personal development).

Commenting on Key2Radio, Dianne Musker, Project Manager at Key103, said: 'We are delighted with the impact the project has had on the young people, showing a significant increase in confidence and self-esteem. The award has had a very positive impact giving those who took part a real sense of achievement, enabling them to learn new skills and experience something completely different. We are now looking to secure further funding to roll the project out across the North West.'

Jane Beardsworth, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: 'I am pleased that we have been able to invest in this project which helps us to meet one of our priorities of ensuring that every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts. This project also reflects our Creative case work putting diversity and equality at the centre of all that we do.'

Each round of the project is run over a five day period and always takes place in the school holidays, encouraging school and college attendance and addressing the hours of participation required in line with court orders. Activities take place at Key103's broadcasting studios and, over the week, young people are taken to various locations, from fire stations and museums to educational establishments and community venues.

At the end of each project the participants receive an official qualification through the Arts Award scheme and they mark their success with a celebratory event with family and friends.

As well as the Key103 radio professionals and experienced staff from TiPP, more than 10 local artists have also been involved in the project, including musicians, photographers and a drama practitioner.

To find out more about our open-access Grants for the arts scheme, click here.