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Inspire graduates win funding for music project

Published: 17 Oct 2013


We are pleased to announce that Inspire has been awarded a Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF) grant by the Council of Tower Hamlets for their project called Shine. It was awarded the maximum grant amount of £3,500.

The focus for this year’s YOF bids are aiming to highlight UNICEF Convention for the rights of the child to all young people in Tower Hamlets.

About the project

Shine’s aim is to get young people who are different from one another (race, religion, abilities, young people with special needs) and from different parts of Tower Hamlets together to socialise, collaborate and build up their confidence and skills through music. The project which will focus on making and producing music, will run for three months and there will be a main event at the end which will showcase what participants will have learnt. During the workshops, they will work with music professionals from Spitalfields music and Drake music.

Getting funding

At the beginning of October, two of the Inspire graduates (Farhana and Sharmin) presented their idea to the Tower Hamlets Youth Panel made of other local young people who are trained in grant making at the Town Hall, Mulberry Place. Farhana said: “We put a lot of thought and personal experience into the application form because it was about a topic which we pretty much live in. Sharmin remembers: “We were also really nervous and confused about what we would say at the presentation, we practised on our way to Mulberry Place Town Hall, and this is when the nerves kicked in real hard! The scary thing was that it was 15 -18 year olds as judges, basically hard to please ages which was intimidating.

Halfway out the door, one of the judges ran back out telling us to come back in. They sat us down, and altogether all 4 judges announced 'We have decided to give you the full £3500 for your project funding'. I couldn't believe it... Out of so many groups and being the last ones to present... It was an amazing experience to realise that we did come up with a very unique idea which they loved and it meant so much to us both”. 

She continues: “We left the room and shared the news with Toynbee Hall staff Amira and Anna. It was so good to see them smile so much. It showed that we accomplished something big for them and nothing could be better than the feeling of accomplishment!”

Farhana said: "It felt like we had done something back for them- Thank You for another experience that we will never forget! Yay!”

Amira, Toynbee Hall Youth Services Manager concludes: “this is such an amazing accomplishment for Inspire. Sharmin and Farhana worked so hard on the funding proposal and presentation and truly deserve this recognition. They have both been part of Toynbee Hall Youth Services for over two years now and have been on remarkable personal journeys. I am immensely proud of both Sharmin and Farhana and thank them both for providing us with this wonderful opportunity for an inclusive music project for local young people. Well done!”