Birmingham Hippodrome have selected 16 young people for their new Young Advocates pilot programme, officially launching on Wednesday 3 February.

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The new group, all aged 14 -22 and from the West Midlands, comprises of; Aadil (aged 18), Amal (aged 15), Annabel (aged 21), Beth (aged 22), Bolu (aged 17), Deborah (age 17), Ellie (aged 18), Harley (aged 16), Harvey (aged 14), Hiba (aged 17), Liam (aged 18), Niamh (aged 17), Noor, (aged 15), Radhika (aged 14), Sanskar (aged 17) and Shreya (aged 14)

Over 300 young people expressed interest and 150 applied to be part of the pilot programme which will initially run until the end of March. The Young Advocates will receive mentoring, training and skills development to build the group into future leaders as they help shape the future of Birmingham Hippodrome’s work with and for young people.

The new group will meet for the first time on  Wednesday 3 February for a special digital live launch event, hosted by Worcestershire based Creative Communications agency DRPG who are supporting the programme. Over the course of the evening they will learn more about the Hippodrome’s work through an exclusive Q&A session with Fiona Allan (Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome) and Chris Sudworth (Director of Artistic Programme of Birmingham Hippodrome). They will also hear more about DRPG’s work from Ruan Sarris (Junior Creative Director  at DRPG).

Zaylie-Dawn Wilson, Head of Learning and Participation at Birmingham Hippodrome commented: “We can’t wait to start working with this exceptional group of young people. This is about the Young Advocates driving meaningful change for young people of the city. As well as looking at how this group can shape our future programme, we are excited to develop their skills as future leaders in the arts and cultural sector”.

Zaylie added: “We are hugely grateful to DRPG for supporting this important programme including hosting the digital launch in their covid-safe studios, training for our Young Advocates and digital expertise to realise the ambitious plans for the programme as we develop these talented young people”

With this partnership with the team at DRPG they will host and play a part in mentoring the Young Advocates in digital communications and giving an insight into careers in the creative industries.

Richard Hingley, Chief Creative Officer of DRPG added: “At DRPG we are committed to supporting young people in our community and I’m delighted we will be working with Birmingham Hippodrome once again.  As a creative communications agency it made perfect sense to partner with the Hippodrome, providing them with access to our experienced creative team members, our wider creative services and studio facilities.”

He added “Since DRPG began back in 1980 we have consistently nurtured young talent, helping them harness their energy and passion for creating amazing work.  Our 350 strong team are passionate about giving back and this local initiative will shine a light on the exciting opportunities for those wishing to start a career and help shape the future of the creative industries.  

The Young Advocates Programme also promises to leave a lasting impression not only on all those involved, but in the wider creative community and who knows, some may find themselves using their talents to help DRPG continue its trajectory of growth well into the future.”

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