Over the course of two days in mid-October, Youth Enterprise Live (YEL) came to town; a new concept exhibition that looks to let young people know about the organisations, projects and ideas that fill those often grey areas between education and employment. The idea was that young people would leave YEL with a better sense of the support networks available to them as they move into the potentially perilous world of earning money and supporting themselves.
somewhereto_ is all about providing a platform for young people to get their projects moving, giving them space to develop stuff they love. The hope is that this gives them the chance to sidestep those tricky times with nothing to do and nowhere to go, populating those days with meaningful stuff driven by them. YEL was therefore a good opportunity for us to get the word out to a new audience about somewhereto_. Regional coordinators, brand ambassadors, Livity family members and somewhereto_ volunteers all did their bit to shout about the project via our stand.
But what really set us apart at YEL was our stage presence. Literally. We welcomed performers from across the UK to do their thing on stage; this was somewhereto_ in action and as a result of providing something different, our impact and reach within an exhibition hall context was palpable. We had conscious rap from Croydon, manga art from Halifax, a crooner from the Wirral, body-popping from Blackburn and knitted installations from Manchester. And these were just the organised performers. Thanks to our pragmatic volunteer stage programmers we also hosted a mini talent show on our stage, compared by some bright young urban voices who saw somewhereto_ take a chance, and took it.
Our reach at YEL didn’t stop at young people – other exhibitors saw the opportunity to shout about their projects from our stage and we were happy to oblige, giving spotlight to Spirit of London Awards, Battlefront, the St. John’s Ambulance and Smarta. It was great to share the space with YEL’s youth media partners LIVE magazine too. Led by Celeste, LIVE’s street team bought a real sense of purpose to the area and were instrumental in getting young people who wouldn’t normally have done so to perform on our stage. This meant that our space was always bustling, always busy - somewhereto_ see great performances from our talented young people.
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