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B Sharp - Building a Sound Future

Mission Statement

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B Sharp works with young people for young people to improve their lives through music and art.

  • Offer young people in the Lyme Regis catchment area high quality arts and music activities.
  • Invest in young people through our volunteering, peer mentoring and apprenticeship scheme.
  • Raise a positive profile for young people in the wider community.
  • Operate within established budgets and produce efficient, value for money projects.
  • Extend our reach and broaden the cultural opportunities for young people by increasing the number and diversity of partners wanting to work with us.

Context

Young people in the Lyme Regis area suffer many of the challenges associated with living in small rural/coastal towns  – lack of reliable transport, jobs, affordable housing, and contemporary cultural activities.

In addition, Lyme Regis has closed its Youth Club for 5 years, has been trying to get a skate park for 30 years and generally has poor out of school youth provision. Lyme Regis comes 9th from the bottom of the 2000 Index of Rural Deprivation for child poverty in Dorset. Our low waged seasonal economy doesn’t allow many families to pay for extracurricular activities or transport to get to clubs/youth centres out of Lyme. We offer meaningful arts activities that also help to challenge the status quo.

B Sharp began in 2007, in response to requests from young people in Lyme Regis for creative activities. We offer high quality arts/music and performance opportunities for ages 11 – 21 (up to 25 if helping as a trainee). Evaluation of our work has shown that music making activities has been the most popular genre of the arts we have tried. Music making is now our main focus but is not exclusive.  Our performances  – on stage, on the street or on the seafront – raise the profile for young people in Lyme Regis and bring members of our community together – youth, residents of all ages and tourists.
We are widely known as ‘B Sharp’. This was the name of our first major music project (mostly funded by Youth Music). For branding continuity we continue to call ourselves B Sharp in marketing campaigns and in this business plan.

We have successfully undertaken 7 projects over 4 years, have worked with hundreds of young people and have raised approx. £100k. Projects: September in the Shelters, B Sharp, Evolution Rocks, Dead and Alive, Weymouth Carnival, Lyme Busking Festival, Peer to Peer. Some include 3 dimensional work but our strength and reputation is based around music.

We are outward looking and have worked with many partners e.g. Jurassic Coast Arts Programme and the Eden Project and have plans to work with many more e.g. Poole Lighthouse and the Cultural Olympiad. As well as music projects in Lyme Regis, we have undertaken outreach programmes in West Dorset communities to share our skill cascade model.

Previous funding has allowed us to offer free access to all workshops for all participants. For sustainability, we need to explore other income streams, including charging participants for activities for those who can afford to pay.

Our Model is distinctive and unique. We have a truly ‘bottom up’ approach, giving ownership to participants in every aspect of our work.  More than half of our management committee are young people.

We invest in young people through our volunteering, peer mentoring and apprenticeship scheme. ‘Trainees’ (aged 18-25) are paid to work alongside professional workshop leaders, learning how to plan, deliver and evaluate workshops.  These skills are cascaded down to other young people taking part in our projects.  This sharing of skills is a hallmark of our work – building local skills in a sustainable way by embedding them into the organisation and community.

Under the guidance of professional artists and music leaders, our members create all aspects of our work every step of the way, from musical performances, designing publicity materials and our web site, to creating stunning visual projections as backdrops to music performances. Young people mentor their peers artistically and socially.

History

B Sharp began in 2007, in response to requests from young people in Lyme Regis for creative activities. We offer high quality arts/music and performance opportunities for ages 11 – 21 (up to 25 if helping as a trainee). Evaluation of our work has shown that music making activities has been the most popular genre of the arts we have tried. Music making is now our main focus but is not exclusive.  Our performances  – on stage, on the street or on the seafront – raise the profile for young people in Lyme Regis and bring members of our community together – youth, residents of all ages and tourists.
We are widely known as ‘B Sharp’. This was the name of our first major music project (mostly funded by Youth Music). For branding continuity we continue to call ourselves B Sharp in marketing campaigns and in this business plan.

We have successfully undertaken 7 projects over 4 years, have worked with hundreds of young people and have raised approx. £100k. Projects: September in the Shelters, B Sharp, Evolution Rocks, Dead and Alive, Weymouth Carnival, Lyme Busking Festival, Peer to Peer. Some include 3 dimensional work but our strength and reputation is based around music.

We are outward looking and have worked with many partners e.g. Jurassic Coast Arts Programme and the Eden Project and have plans to work with many more e.g. Poole Lighthouse and the Cultural Olympiad. As well as music projects in Lyme Regis, we have undertaken outreach programmes in West Dorset communities to share our skill cascade model.

Previous funding has allowed us to offer free access to all workshops for all participants. For sustainability, we need to explore other income streams, including charging participants for activities for those who can afford to pay.

Our Model is distinctive and unique. We have a truly ‘bottom up’ approach, giving ownership to participants in every aspect of our work.  More than half of our management committee are young people.

We invest in young people through our volunteering, peer mentoring and apprenticeship scheme. ‘Trainees’ (aged 18-25) are paid to work alongside professional workshop leaders, learning how to plan, deliver and evaluate workshops.  These skills are cascaded down to other young people taking part in our projects.  This sharing of skills is a hallmark of our work – building local skills in a sustainable way by embedding them into the organisation and community.

Under the guidance of professional artists and music leaders, our members create all aspects of our work every step of the way, from musical performances, designing publicity materials and our web site, to creating stunning visual projections as backdrops to music performances. Young people mentor their peers artistically and socially.

Objectives

The long established objectives of B Sharp are:

  • Organise and deliver quality arts workshops, installations, performances and exhibitions.
  • Employ professional workshop leaders to ensure high quality work and leadership.
  • Ensure a sense of ownership by young people, by working in a ‘bottom up’ way – they have the ideas, and together, we make them happen.
  • Work with local and regional partners to share skills, resources and enthusiasm, increasing efficiencies, opportunities and experiences for young people.
  • Work with and be part of local and regional arts strategies.
  • Work with and be part of local and regional Children’s Services strategies.
  • Encourage volunteering by young people and the wider community.
  • Offer a welcoming, inclusive and meaningful environment wherever we work.
  • Undertake commissions for organisations.
  • Offer outreach work to demonstrate our model of best practice to other organisations and learn from them.
  • Continually monitor and evaluate our work to ensure good quality, practice and value.

Achievements to Date

  • Completed seven projects and commissions.
  • Raised Approx £100,000 for projects over 4 years.
  • Worked with hundreds of young people.
  • Established excellent partnerships with local and regional organisations.
  • Developed a unique model of skill cascading.
  • Established a good regional reputation for our work.
  • Improved the reputation and respect for young people within the community.
  • Established enough funding for our new 18-month music project ‘Hear Here’.
  • Secured a commission from Coastal Voices, to take part in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.


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Weymouth & Portland Partnership Link to: Working Together for Dorset Website Link to: Youth Music Website Link to: Jurassic Coast Website

B Sharp is registered as a charitable company at Companies House and as a charity with The Charity Commission

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