By Leah Conway –
The local Kirklees Theatre Trust, who run Lawrence Batley Theatre, has been awarded £124,957 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England.
The funding will go towards volunteer opportunities and the Trust is one of over 160 community organisations set to support such new volunteering opportunities.
The Lawrence Batley Theatre will administer the funding and will work with local cultural organisations across Kirklees to create a ‘Young People’s Cultural Volunteering programme’.
The programme aims to galvanise talent and leadership and to offer a range of volunteering opportunities as part of plans for the Kirklees Year of Music 2023 (KYOM23).
KYOM23 is set to be multi-organisational led series of music-based events and activities across the district. The year aims to make music more accessible and inclusive and support local talent.
The £124,957 funding will create 200 new volunteering opportunities to be recruited and trained for the Year of Music and the wider cultural sector.
The scheme particularly aims to create opportunities for young people who live in deprived areas, people isolated by disability, mental health and health issues as well as people such as asylum seekers, refugees, people in the LGBTQ+ communities, young carers and young people from migrant backgrounds.
“Confidence and Career development”
Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England said: “There’s an abundance of evidence to show that volunteering can be a key factor in helping people lead happier lives.
“This new investment will enrich villages, towns and cities across England, increasing health and well-being and decreasing loneliness and isolation.”
Henry Filloux-Bennett, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Lawrence Batley Theatre said: “As the lead organisation for this grant and on behalf of the partners involved, we are so grateful for the support of Arts Council England for our Youth Cultural Volunteering programme.
“This project will rejuvenate opportunities for young residents, some of them have been hardest hit over the last few years in terms of confidence and career development.”
Colin Parr, Strategic Director, Environment and Climate Change said: “The Year of Music 2023 is an exciting initiative for the whole district, and volunteering is an integral part of the work, as it roots it in the places and communities of Kirklees.
“We look forward to working with partners to realise the ambition and to place children and young people at the heart of the programme.”