Graffiti at Grafham
Six young people have lifted the lid on spray paint cans to begin a huge 45 metre graffiti arts project at Grafham Water.
The 16 to 19-year-olds are former participants in the County Council’s UProject which helps school leavers who are not in employment, education or training to learn team building skills, improve communications and build confidence while taking part in fun and challenging activities.
The team is taking up the challenge in their own time as they are either now volunteering, at college, or have an apprenticeship after gaining new skills last year with the UProject.
The group has been set a challenge to create a mural that represents the water sports and activities centre.
It will take the group of teenagers, who have called themselves ‘Vibrant’, three days to complete the mural which will be the same size as the width of a football pitch. The group will have help from Josh Peacock, a well known graffiti artist with Momentum Arts.
The UProject has been running across Cambridgeshire for 8 years and within the last year has worked with 182 young people between 15 and 17 years old. Around 90% of the young people who have been given training under the project remained attached to education, employment or training. The rest supported and referred onto other relevant programmes.
The mural is being funded by money from a charity called the Youth Bank following a successful bid for £2,900 by the six teenagers supported by their Connexions worker Dawn Carter. All six of the people working on the mural attended graffiti arts workshops last year which inspired them to make the bid for funding.
The group will also take part in climbing and archery sessions during the evenings during their three day stay at the Centre and will be completing an award run by the Arts Award group.
Ian Downing, Grafham Water Centre Manager, said: "We are really excited about this art project and I cannot wait to see the final results. It is a huge task to complete such a gigantic project in just three days but I know the team of youngsters will do a great job and have fun at the same time."
Martin Curtis, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, said: "A lot of hard work has already been done by this group of teenagers to get the funding they needed to carry out this project and they should be congratulated. A project of this size will need a lot of team work and co-operation which are some of the skills which will help them in the next few years."