Supporting & developing the entrepreneurial skills of young disabled people

(Creative Junction)

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This project aims to support & develop the entrepreneurial skills of young disabled people in the South East through a range of skills-based workshops, competitions and work-placements.

Realise case study November 2011

Realise Case Study November 2011

Realise @ Readipop

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Realise! aims to nurture the entrepreneurial and enterprising skills of young disabled people through a series of development opportunities.  Nearly 40 young people across Berkshire will be working with staff from Readipop and the East Berkshire Education Business Partnership to explore their entrepreneurial ideas and receive mentoring, training and work experience from local businesses.

Project aims and achievements

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  • Using music as their starting point, the young people working with Readipop will learn about everything from producing and recording to organising live gigs and festivals.
  • The young people have developed a business idea around setting up music events for young people in the wake of youth centre closings for their Reaching for Gold application.
  • One of the aims of the project is to provide opportunities for young people to make international links. Over the next year this group will be making contact with young people in Brazil. Brazil is set to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

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Outcomes and impact

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  • Currently working with young people from Reading College and three young people outside of formal education. A second round of recruiting will target disabled young people currently focusing on sport.
  • The young people have had taster sessions exploring things like Brazilian culture and music, band skills, music production, graphic design and event planning and promoting.

Next steps

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Readipop has opened a second round of recruitment to capture more young people who aren’t necessarily attached to a group. From the beginning they were keen to be able to work with young people outside of formal education and provide opportunities for those young people who don’t usually want to be part of a larger group.

Personal experience

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In the atmospherically lit studios of Plug n’ Play three budding music entrepreneurs work with the staff from Readipop. “We can’t be finished...it’s only been 20 minutes,” exclaims Osman after a two-hour session trying to perfect using the Kaoss pads while his friend Tamir raps. These boys from Reading College come every Wednesday to work with Rob Gilmour, one of the Readipop Music Leaders, and explore the possibilities of working in the music industry.

In the studio across the hall, Ben plugs his electric guitar into an amp and with lightening finger movements plays a short piece to be recorded. He channels heavy metal legends of old. This will be his first time recording and using audio editing software and Russ Alsop, another Music Leader, is eager to walk him through the basics.

For Readipop, one of the biggest challenges is bringing a diverse group of young people with a wide range of music interests together to form a cohesive programme that is accessible and engaging for everyone.  But for the moment the young people seem to be enjoying just having the opportunity to try new things and learn new skills. They know that making music is a serious business venture but they also know that they are having fun. When they realise they can put the two together the sky will be the limit!

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