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Congratulations to the winner Cody Southern, with our two runners up being Imogen Teare and Edith Clarke. There were also seven Highly Commended stories. All 10 winners received Waterstones book tokens, with their winning stories being displayed in the children’s section of Yeovil Waterstones.
This year the YCAA has broken all records by being able to award 15 grants to young people furthering their studies in the arts, as well as helping a school buy musical instruments.
India Lloyd, who has trained with Castaways, will be commencing her theatre studies in Manchester, whilst Reuben Lane is embarking on a degree in illustration at Plymouth University. With so much talent we are pleased to be able to help them with a grant toward the cost of their higher education.
Liz Pike presenting cheques to India Lloyd and Reuben Lane
Dance is an amazing way of nurturing the artistic talents of our young people in Yeovil. Students from the Helen Laxton School of Dance start at the age of three years and follow through until many of them go to dance and theatre schools. This year we were able to give grants to four young people with the South Somerset Performing Arts school and the Helen Laxton School of Dance. Below are three of them and I was delighted to meet Jessica, Cerys, Beth and Charlotte at one of their practise sessions.
We have also been supporting several other dancers who have blossomed under Helen’s tuition and are now furthering their education in dance and musical theatre at various dance colleges, as well as Zander who trains with the Royal Ballet.
Liz Pike with Beth, Cerys and Jessica
The YCAA is privileged to be able to help some young carers this year, who value time and tuition in their busy lives. Also, two grants were given to The Dance Factory to help with the cost of tuition for two students. The Dance factory will give a fundraising event in The Octagon Theatre on Sunday 23 April 2017, so we can look forward to another wonderful day of dance with the proceeds coming to the YCAA so we can further our work by sponsoring young people for their future education.
Another way of using our funding this year has been to encourage young writers in their ambitions. In the spring term we held a Children’s Short Story competition with several of the Yeovil schools. This was so successful, with Anna Wilson as our amazing judge, that we hope to open it up to other schools in the surrounding villages, so that more children can develop their love of writing.
Another way of ploughing our funds back into the community was by giving creative writing workshops to several young writers in the performing arts library at Yeovil Library during the Easter and August school holidays. These are some of the superb writers of the future enjoying our workshop with Jackie Gingell, helped by Liz Pike.
The children came from several schools in the area and some attended all four summer sessions, whilst others came for one or more, building on their writing experience. The YCAA received several letters thanking us, which was part of the writing project. We hope to develop our workshops further in 2017.
Liz Pike, on behalf of the YCAA, presenting cheques to Kate Overd for three Young Carers.
Kate Overd is a Project Worker from the Somerset Young Carers Project. Young Carers are children who have to fulfil the role of caring for a parent or sibling dealing with adversity in life, whilst still attending school. These grants were awarded to enable the young people to undertake arts based activities. Kate said "The role of a project worker is to build the resilience of a young carer, widen their experiences and give them some fun respite time which reduces their caring role. It is not easy to source funding for these activities which makes such a difference to our young people, so to have it offered was fantastic." One young lady will undertake singing lessons, the other will enjoy drama lessons with the South Somerset Performing Arts, and one young man will have guitar lessons.
The YCAA hope they each enjoy their new hobby and we wish them pleasure in their learning.