The idea of the project was to cover mental health and emotional wellbeing amongst young people through five different themes  Freedom, Despair, Obsession, Passion and Pressure. This was done through five different art forms music, dance, drama, creative writing and art.


  1. Young people to have a better understanding of mental health and emotional wellbeing
  2. Young people to develop skills in music, dance, drama, creative writing, art and leadership
  3. Young people to develop leadership skills and plan their own workshops and deliver this in the near future


  1. Young people created a series of spoken word poems and monologues
  2. Young people curated dance and drama performances
  3. Young people created an art sculpture exploring all the five themes
  4. Young people produced their own soundscapes and music tracks
  5. A video was made highlighting the whole residential
  6. More than 3o young people delivered workshops to other young people


The project took fifty young people to the Conway Centre in Anglesey, Wales and facilitated a variety of arts based workshops in partnership with Oldham Theatre Workshop, Mahdlo Youth Zone, Oldham Youth Council, Young Oldham Dance and Square 1 Studios. From starting the residential project with games such as man hunt, ralio and a series of team building games and a high energy filled drumming workshop. Whilst young people enjoyed all the activities and workshops, they also enjoyed the high carb food, did some site seeing around the historical sites of Anglesey such as Caernarfon Castle and not to forget the silent disco, where young people danced to nothing but music being played in their headphones.

On the last day of the residential a big sharing event took place where young people shared their work through the performances they curated, poems they wrote and art work they created.

On their return back to their hometown, the young people put on a creative event, OL1derland, at Mahdlo Youth Zone where they delivered their own workshops for the benefit of other young people from across Oldham. The young leaders took what they had learned from the residential and created their own unique sessions incorporating a wide variety of art techniques.


Although the project itself ran smooth and there was no highlighting issues, however some of the workshop leaders felt that  the aspect of young people delivering workshop was not incorporated within the project enough. At the same time some young people felt disconnected from the moment the residential trip finished to the point where they had to deliver their own workshops.

Whilst managing fifty young people at once through multiple workshops was a challenge within itself, it was however well co-ordinated thanks to both Criag Harris from Oldham Theatre Workshop and Chris Lewis from Oldham Council.


For me personally the main learning resulted from the above, that more consideration should have been given to the legacy aspect of the project, where more activities should have delivered around how young people could plan sessions, engage their groups, evaluate their session etc.


“We are very proud of the achievements of our young people. It is a privilege to support them as they develop as community leaders,” said one of the organisation’s leaders” Workshop Leader

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