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Real Voice

July 2021 - Ongoing

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 with organisations including Cramlington Town Council, Real Deal Plus, Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project.

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

The project is open to young people aged 11-18 years old from Northumberland. Following initial sessions, the young people will co-design an inclusive music programme based on their unique needs and interests, around the premise of prevention and reduction of offending. Real Voice will allow participants to amplify their voice through music and tell the local community about what matters to THEM.

Real Voice will support young people to build confidence, develop skills and interests, motivate and stretch abilities. It will develop regular music engagement and activity with professional musicians, and encourage audiences for their work. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in events management training, and plan, deliver and perform in their own live events.

The two-year project will also include development of young leaders, delivery of Arts Award accreditation, and personal development for artists and support workers.

So far....

We have worked with 141 young people during taster workshops and intensive holiday programmes, with them experiencing a variety of art forms including rap, song-writing and drumming.

“I just wanted to say thank you. I know J doesn’t show her feelings very well [but she] is absolutely buzzing. She totally loved it.”

Real Deal youth project have written new music for a digital EP titled ‘Only a Kid’, based on their experiences. You can listen to it here

“I loved this. Would 100% recommend. Brilliant. I enjoyed writing songs”

‘This sounds so cool already!’

“It’s been really good. We’ve got the chance to use proper equipment, we’ve got new opportunities. The lyrics are our own that we relate to.”

17 young people have completed their Discover Arts Award with another 11 currently being moderated for Explore.

New branding has been produced for the project through discussions with young people.

We have worked with 8 new artists, run a development programme for 5 Northumberland artists, and commissioned 2 to work on their own arts projects with young people in Northumberland.

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.

Young people from Ability2Play took part in a drumming session creating accompanying music for an original animation about their local area. View the completed film here

Young people from Real Deal are taking part in a 5 week course to learn how to be producers, so they can shape our Year 2 programme which starts in October 2022.

What’s next? ….

We start Year 2! Keep an eye out for more news about our project.

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Take Listen...

‘Only a Kid’ was created by the young people at Real Deal in Ashington through workshops with artists Holly Rees and Arian Sterreveld and was recorded over Easter break 2022.

Want to find out more...

If you’re interested in taking part and you live in Northumberland, please get in contact.

We have opportunities for artists and volunteers too, so do contact us if you are interested in getting involved.


Rachel Snape, Creative Producer

Katie Jayne Appleyard, Project Coordinator

Thank you to our funders.

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