Following a brilliant event, where young people truly inspired, moved and impressed us, you can read the Ipswich Star’s coverage of the winners here: https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ipswich-pitch-competition-winners-revealed-1-6558957
The Ipswich Pitch competition was set up by Ipswich Opportunity Area in partnership with 4YP, and was designed to give young people a voice.
Applications were open to young people in Ipswich with a project they wanted to deliver that would positively affect the lives of young people in Ipswich. We received a total of 14 excellent applications, which were shortlisted to 10. These 10 groups of people aged 11-25 were invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in an event held at the University of Suffolk’s Waterfront Building.
The truly inspirational young people pitched projects ranging from a youth theatre production supported by New Wolsey Theatre, hoping to take its performance out into schools and the community, to students from Chantry Academy, wanting to set up a cheerleading club to encourage ‘non sporty’ fellow pupils to get active, build resilience and strengthen team working and leadership skills. Other unsuccessful, but also impressive, pitches included Ipswich Academy, whose Year 10 Business Studies students want to create a commercial outlet for young people’s creativity by establishing a Youth Market to showcase for young talent in the local area, and a proposal from Y.O.U. Music Project to run a series of six music workshops aimed at giving young people the chance to gain new skills and learn new ways of expressing themselves.
The IOA and 4YP originally intended to award three projects £3,000 each, but the quality of entries was so high that five were awarded funding in the end: three were given £2,000, while two entrants were awarded £3,000 on the condition they combine their efforts.
The winners were:
■ Opre Chavale Youth Awakening, who were awarded £2,000 to set up twice-weekly meeting to improve education for young people in Ipswich’s Roma community.
■ Westbourne Academy’s Mental Emotional Stable Societies (MESS) group, who were awarded £2,000 to present mental health workshops to year-four and year-five pupils in the secondary school’s feeder primaries.
■ Women Against Sexual Exploitation and Violence Speak Up (WASSUP) Mommas, who were awarded £2,000 to widen the group’s activities and create new groups of young mums who help each other to raise their children free from fear.
■ Gainsborough Community Library’s Have you Heard?! Group and Future Female Society’s Girls Where You At? Group were jointly awarded a grant of £3,000. Have You Heard?! proposed a new podcast series by young people aged as young as 10, while Girls Where You At? suggested using radio, video, music and other mediums to explore girls’ mental health.
Kimberly Feldewerth, Ipswich Opportunity Area Programme Coordinator, said: “It was a fantastic and very inspiring day. The young people were so creative, and the event really showed that young people in Ipswich are really eager to participate and play an active role. They don’t want to have decisions taken for them, but want to make sure they are heard. The judges wanted to highlight the amazing quality of the pitches and the high level of commitment by all those groups and young people involved’.
Richard Lister, Chair of the IOA, said: “The day was a spectacular success. It was perfectly organised, and because of the high quality ideas and presentations from the young people, an emotional rollercoaster.”
The Head of Delivery for the IOA, said: “A fantastic event! There was a real buzz in the room… I was really impressed by the wide range of creative ideas from the participants and the quality of the winning proposals.”