Magenta Living, through their Social Value partnership with Travis Perkins Managed Services has invested in a community engagement project designed to deliver a creative experience and a dialogue that will shape ongoing programming at Future Yard CIC.
Future Yard is a music venue and vegan cafe reimagined as a learning resource. The team has been able to create a safe space for an open conversation with local people, which will shape future activities. This presents a unique opportunity to shape & test programmes in partnership with local residents, ensuring ongoing activities are anchored on the needs & interests of Magenta residents & communities.
The surrounding neighbourhood of Future Yard in Birkenhead, has been entrenched in poverty – a situation exacerbated and amplified by the effects of Covid-19. The lack of job opportunities in the area has led to a deterioration in living standards and increasingly hard to manage financial situations. For the Futureyard team it is fundamental that they are able to use the funding from TP Managed Services to Improve the lives of people living in their diverse communities by utilising music as a powerful force for dynamic social change.
The project aims to establish a long term direct relationship between Future Yard & the local community, enabling people to utilise free-to-access skills & training opportunities in a growing, high skilled sector. The venue has been able to unpick the variation of career opportunities and opened up job opportunities such as Musical tutoring, Roady opportunities, sound and lighting engineering, events management, admin positions and bartending. There are many that start their journey at amateur level with very little guidance and no understanding of how to turn it into a viable career. Opportunities outside formal education to gain this level of training are rare and, away from Future Yard, are not readily available within most communities. In particular, those undertaking production qualifications at HE level during the pandemic, did not gain practical experience in what is a very practical field.
As well as opportunities within the production industry, the site is also able to train in the kitchen or coffee shop within their new Vegan cafeteria that is open 7 days a week and provides a welcoming, approachable and fun space for our whole community to enjoy, including pets.
The team plan to initiate a Neighbourhood Pilot & Listening Programme by undertaking:
- A comprehensive campaign of outreach, asking people; What Does Music Mean To You? This is intended as a conversation starter, but will also allow us to record & capture responses, directly leading into our programming. This campaign will feature Pop-Up activities in the community, engagement through community partners & online activity.
- A series of free-to-access neighbourhood events held at Future Yard which instigate a dialogue with local people, seeking to learn about their interests, attitudes and perspectives on what Future Yard’s ongoing neighbourhood activity will look like. These will utilise music activity as the ice breaker, with surveys taken alongside focused and casual conversations. These events will take place at various times to fit with the needs of different sections of the local community.
- These events will provide an opportunity to pilot neighbourhood focussed music activities, such as early years parent and toddler events, music wellness and therapy sessions. We have existing relationships and an open dialogue with a range of new partners to collaborate on this activity
These opportunities are having a positive impact on Mental Health, Wellbeing and confidence growth, supporting residents to live healthy and happy lives by showcasing local talent and encouraging people to express themselves through their music. The project directly engages between 200-400 hard to reach local residents in high-quality cultural activity, with an intervention directly designed to improve the lives of those engaged. The sessions are anchored in established mindfulness techniques & designed to increase family cohesion & bring the community together. It will enable local people to shape future activity delivered by Future Yard CIC as they look to shape the programme for the next 2-3 years.
“All that I have learned over the past six weeks has made a huge difference in my confidence around sound, lighting and event management. Which makes a big difference from our first session, I was clueless and worried I’d struggle. But working as part of such a lovely team and building each session, especially doing shadowed shifts has given me that little bit of extra experience and growing my knowledge further.” Becky – Sound Check crew.
“We are committed to working in partnership with Magenta & Travis Perkins on this project which will shape our future activities, ensuring long term legacy for the investment.” Craig – Founder and Director of Future Yard
Future Yard has now benefited 200-400 people in this initial phase and targeted another 600. Customer engagement is a key objective for Magenta Living and they are particularly keen to engage groups who do not participate in formal activities. This project will enable that reach to be extended and grow the community.