[Image courtesy of The Young Urban Arts Foundation]
The Young Urban Arts Foundation is a London based Charity whose mission is to transform the lives of young people by strengthening their mental well-being through urban arts.
Since 2009, they’ve been helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people fulfil their potential by engaging them with music and other arts.
On the 22nd March, the Charity is running a fundraising function at the Shard called ‘Give to the Beat’. The goal is to raise a minimum of £50k.
We spoke this week with the CEO Kerry O’Brien, to find out more about YUAF and their fundraising event.
The room will be filled with positive energy by our team of trustees, operations, delivery team, young beneficiaries, funders and artists – all there for one reason. To raise awareness of the work that we have been doing for 9 years, we have collaborated with The Grime Violinist to create two original tracks thanks to Saskila and Defender Studios. I will be speaking with our special guest TBC, a silent auction and our young people sharing their journeys with Urban Arts. We hope it’s a night that inspires everyone in the room!
Yes, there are many factors that are adding to these high statistics, starting at school; there is a lack of mental health education in schools alongside the increasing pressure to achieve high academic grades and a reduction in creative subjects. Exam stress is one of the biggest causes of anxiety in young people and 1 in 10 young people self-harm as a coping mechanism. CAMHS (child, adolescent, mental health services) funding has been cut year on year and therefore the lack of support for young people in schools is at the highest it’s ever been and on top on this, some young people are waiting 6 months before they get referred to a counsellor. It’s an epidemic that is from my view, very scary.
Putting schools aside, parents are working harder than ever, leaving less time to focus on their child’s wellbeing, the use of drugs causes psychosis and this does not include young people who come from vulnerable circumstances, broken families, high levels of poverty, young people being groomed into gangs being shown how they can make ‘easy money’, young people whose parents have mental conditions are 60% more likely to have a condition, not because of the DNA just due to the stress of dealing with it. Then we have social media and technology…. the contributing factors are endless.
We as humans are here to create, it’s what we are made of. We use music and arts because that is what I personally am passionate about, as it helped me growing up in a volatile environment immensely but anything creative is healing. It’s about self-expression and with that there is no wrong or right, no judgment, just creation on our perception of what something is or how it feels. Often, especially with boys, society has trained them that they are wrong to express their emotions – it causes all sorts of issues, anger and depression especially. Music is a fantastic meditation, or when we can reflect or speak about how we feel in a way that doesn’t necessarily need words, its accessible and universal.
For young people its current and cool. So, mix all those elements together… yes, it’s a healing process and I personally, I am so privileged to have my creative talents, enough that it pretty much saved my life and now I am able to pay it forward. Not only are we helping young people but it also creates a space for our artist facilitators to explore and expand their talents too. It’s a win win all round and I love what we have all created together.
Not really, but the young people do love grime and rap. If I had my own way they would be making drum and bass all day long!
We found before, that young people didn’t find it cool to go to youth clubs, so having this we are able to take it to their doorsteps. Its makes it accessible to everyone. What’s been most successful about this, is that we are preventing young people from being distracted into going down a path that won’t serve their best good, it brings the community together who see our young people as positive people who have talent, love in their heart and a will do want to do more than just hang around on an estate.
Well, yes, my artist name is Lady MC. I have been involved in it for (omg) 23 years! So, that’s my roots.
I love to just find a mix on Youtube and discover new music that way.
I love 1995 – 2005 of most genres.
No, they usually give me the mic to hype up the party!
Join YUAF for an unforgettable evening at ‘Give to the Beat’ – get your tickets here.
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