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A project with our neighbours at Wellcome Collection led to young women from New Horizon Youth Centre creating and presenting a live radio show on Resonance FM, learning new skills and finding their voice. 

For the past four years we’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Wellcome Collection, jointly developing projects with their Youth Programme for the homeless and vulnerable young people accessing our services. Taking inspiration from exhibitions at Wellcome Collection, these projects have allowed young people to not only explore subjects as diverse as Japanese outsider art and the interface between humans and technology; but also to develop related skills to help them in their journey towards independent living.

Following their exhibition THIS IS A VOICE, a multi-media investigation of the human voice in all its forms and applications, Wellcome Collection approached us with the idea of running a series of workshops related to the voice with our Women’s Group. This concept was eventually fleshed out to become a six-week programme run by artist, writer and leader of critically acclaimed feminist choir Gaggle, Deborah Coughlin.

Deborah’s idea was to have Women’s Group plan and present their own radio show, providing a way to incorporate the many diverse interests and abilities of the women taking part. Many aspects of voice and self-expression were explored over the course of six weeks, and all participants were able to contribute to the final show through interviews, live discussion, songs recorded in NHYC’s studio or in the case of Women’s Group regular Anna hosting the show itself. The group benefited hugely from a visit by BBC Radio 1 presenter Gemma Cairney, who ran one of the workshops and encouraged exploration of topics important to each individual, no matter how silly or serious. The young women took Gemma’s “Love/Hate” game forward into the radio show itself.

On 8th September Ruth Barnes, host of Resonance FM’s The Other Woman show, generously (and bravely!) handed over her microphone to our group of first-time presenters, who did a brilliant job fronting an hour of engaging, original radio content, broadcast across London and worldwide via online listening.

In giving feedback the women who took part said of the project, all said they would like to join future projects, some other individual comments included: "I learned to come out of my comfort zone and do things I'd never done before"; "I learnt how to speak up and how to use my voice"; "I've learned that I can't just wing it... I've learnt to be patient, and to plan” and “I have learned how to have a proper conversation.”

You can listen to the show below! 

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