Commonword Trust

Young Identity

Young people, aged 13-25, from urban areas of deprivation get a chance to write and perform poetry as a group, mentored by established writers. This project is young-person led.

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It ran from to




  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage
  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment


  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



The Young Identity project seeks to give black and minority ethnic youngsters from disadvantaged urban areas better opportunities in life through writing and the performance of poetry. There has been a highly successful flagship group of 35 young people in South Manchester since 2006, which participates in and leads writing workshops and poetry slams both nationally and internationally. We have found that by offering the young people free access to creative writing, there has been a marked improvement in their communication skills. Young Identity has enhanced their employability, boosted self-esteem, and has re-engaged the socially excluded. It is our plan that, over the next 3 years, we will roll this model of peer-led poetry writing and performance out to other areas in Manchester where there is great urban deprivation. Over the 3 years, we expect to be able to engage 450 youths in literature, who would otherwise be exposed to the urban scourges of gang activity, crime, drug abuse and teen pregnancy. We now seek to raise £243,424, which includes £223,449.50 revenue funding and £19,975 capital funding. The money will be spent on recruitment costs, salaries and pensions etc… for a Project Worker and Administrator to make the project logistically viable, proportion of salaries and overheads of Commonword staff who oversee the project (Artistic Director & Fundraising Manager) freelance fees for special workshops by established artists, workshop materials for training, travel and transport of groups between sites, computer hardware, premises overheads and extra venue hire for the groups and project workers and marketing of the project. I do hope you will support this outstanding project.