Real Voice Year One

July 2021 - July 2022

Real Voice is an inclusive Youth Music project for young people across Northumberland.

Image credit: Helix Arts


This project is supported by a number of partnerships including Cramlington Town Council, Real Deal Plus, Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project and Cramlington Learning Village.

Real Voice was an inclusive, new and exciting youth music project for Northumberland. Working across satellite sites in Ashington and Cramlington, young people had the opportunity to develop new music skills, increase self-esteem and have fun.

Open to young people aged 11-18 years old, young people will co-designed an inclusive music programme based on their unique needs and interests, around the premise of prevention and reduction of offending. Real Voice allowed participants to amplify their voice through music and tell the local community about what mattered to them.

Highlights from Year One

  • 141 young people took part in taster workshops and intensive holiday programmes, experiencing a variety of art forms including rap, song-writing and drumming.
  • 17 young people completed their Discover Arts Award
  • 11 young people achieved their Explore Arts Award
  • New branding has been produced for the project through discussions with young people
  • We worked with 8 new artists from across the region
  • We ran a development programme for 5 Northumberland artists, and commissioned 2 to work on their own arts projects with young people in Northumberland
  • Young people from Real Deal took part in a 5 week course to learn how to be producers, allowing them to shape our Year 2 programme which began in October 2022

Creating an EP with Real Deal

Participants from Real Deal worked with artists Holly Rees and Arian Sterreveld over Easter break 2022 to create a short EP based on personal experiences. Examining feelings of peer pressure, anxiety and what it’s like to live in Ashington, the young people worked as a group to compose and write the lyrics of the track. Young people additionally worked with artist Ellen Erichsen to create their own peices of artwork as cover art to alongside the EP.

You can take a listen to the EP below.

Take a listen

Forming a brand

Working alongside branding agency Everything Studio, young people from Real Deal took part in a series of branding workshops, exploring the identity they wanted for the project, colours which they connected with and general looks of materials. Exploring a series of concepts the young people took inspiration from other brands and marketing to pick out bits which called to them the most. Everything Studio then used these inspirations to create a set of varying designs for the young people to pick from and customise into the logo and branding used throughout the second year of the project.

Summer with CVYP

We delivered a 4 day programme for young people at Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project in August with workshops in dance, musical theatre, drumming and film production. Throughout the week, young people worked towards their Explore Arts Award too.

They also created a celebratory song with artist Holly Rees about the summer. You can take listen to what they create below.

Animating with Ability 2 Play

Young people from Ability2Play took part in a short summer tasters having fun learning to drum and play ukulele’s with artist Carol Bowden. Creating beats and short rhythms which the group recorded. Recorded drum beats then were used as a backing track to a group animation about their local area. Focusing on what they enjoyed, the activities they took part in and experimenting with the artform.

Thank you to our funders.

Thank you to our project funders Youth Music, Northumberland County Council and Tyne & Wear Community Foundation.