Share your thoughts about our work.

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 including Cramlington Town Council, Real Deal Plus, Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project and Cramlington Learning Village.

Real Voice is an inclusive, new and exciting youth music project for Northumberland. Working across four satellite sites in Ashington 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, and personal development for artists and support workers.

What's happening in Year 2?

In Year 2, young people are taking more control. They will form youth panels, influencing artist recruitment and the artist process, ensuring their voices are heard.

Working with a variety of artists, the young people will write, compose and rehearse their own work in both small groups and individually to produce high quality music and drama. A performance, organised and hosted by the young people in Summer 2023 will showcase their creations and celebrate their achievements.

Year 2 so far...

Young people from Real Deal Teen Bar and Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project have began working with local director and writer Alison Stanley to learn the basics of scriptwriting and start forming drama pieces. Focusing on topics which are important to them, the young people will create both group drama performances and individual scripts. These will then be used to inform music composition workshops that start in Spring 2023.

What did we do in year 1?

  • 141 young people took part in taster workshops and intensive holiday programmes, experiencing a variety of art forms including rap, song-writing and drumming.
  • Real Deal youth project wrote new music for a digital EP titled ‘Only a Kid’, based on their experiences. You can listen to it here
  • 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
  • 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 Ability 2 Play 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 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

How can I get involved?

This year we are partnering with even more groups!

Youth sessions are open-access and available to attend at:

We are also partnering up with Cramlington Learning Village where students have the opportunity to work with artist Beccy Owen over a number of weeks.

Want to take part? Sign up using our form below.

Sign up now


‘Only a Kid’ was created by the young people at Real Deal, Ashington during 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!


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.