We really do have some great young people in our town! As reported in last week’s Standard, I was delighted to experience a charity band night at the Trinity Arts Centre.
The event, organised by Mollie Barley, a Trent Valley Academy student, and her sister Grace, raised money for a Play room for babies and children at the Birmingham Orthopaedic Hospital where Mollie had previously received treatment for a bone tumour.
The event brought together a group of young people who love performing. In Mollie’s case, she writes her own material for her exceptionally beautiful voice. The band that followed her- Madman Sam and the Funkadelic Groovemeisters(!) were also brilliant. The 16 year old lead singer showed great connection with the music and charisma that many X Factor finalists will never possess. It was wonderful to see these young people having fun, watching and supporting each other and doing so well.
There is something about the arts that lifts the soul and leaves the onlooker feeling enlivened by the experience. Artists have always survived despite poverty. However, trying to make it in the music industry is now difficult without the financial backing that allows 100 per cent dedication to achieving success.
That is why, despite the massive cuts in Arts funding, local authorities and councils should try to facilitate and support these events, individuals and groups wherever possible. They can do this by helping young people to advertise and promote their events and by giving them every opportunity to hone their talents.
On the Town Council, we have been proactive this year in setting up a Gainsborough Youth Council. Young people from Trent Valley Academy, Queen Elizabeth High School, the Aegir school and Yasig have come together and formed a council that will enable young to have a real say in what goes on in their neighbourhoods. The Youth Council meets just before the Gainsborough Town Council monthly meetings. One of the emerging subgroups of the Council is the Skateboard development group. This group’s aims are to extend and maintain the Aisby Walk skate park, to increase security and to provide floodlights.
With the support and guidance of Debbie Chambers from Youth Services, Mark Szostak, Student Council director at TVA and the newly appointed Gainsborough Area Action officer, Paul Crompton these dreams can become a reality. This is partnership working at its’ best – Town, District, County, Youth Services, Schools, volunteers all working together to show what the young people of Gainsborough can achieve.
Coun Lesley Rollings Mayor and Chair of Gainsborough Town Council