Mayors Pride Awards 2012
At this years St Albans Mayors Pride Awards, held at the Alban Arena, two Highfield User Groups came away with awards.
City Youth won the Community Project of the Year Award for its Young Coaches and Holiday Coaching programme and The Trestle Theatre Company won the Cultural Innovation Award.Community Project of the Year
St Albans City Youth Community Football Club
St Albans City Youth Community Football Club started running their Holiday Training Course programme in 2008, initially in association with the David Beckham Academy and gradually migrated to a full City youth scheme. The scheme offers coaching events run by Young People (under 21s) for boys and girls (5 to 13 year olds) during the School Holidays, e.g. Winter, Summer and Christmas breaks.
By the summer of 2011 the course was 100% St Albans City Youth run up to David Beckham Academy standards. Successes in the past 12 months include; all Holiday coaching events are run by Young People (Under 21's); over 1000 young boys and girls took part (5 to 13 year olds); 49 new young coaches trained and achieved Level 1 coaching qualification; 5 coaches with Disabilities integrated into the programme; 35 new young coaches (14 to 18 years old) currently being prepared for Junior Sports Leaders qualifications; courses provided to young people for free if they they coach at our club and act as role models to our younger members; free hardship places available thanks to grants from St Albans District Council; coaches are mentored so that success and learning points are discussed at the beginning and end of each session.
As a result of the above success the club now offers Work Experience (aimed at 16 year olds) and Apprentice Placements (aimed at 18 year olds) to manage the Young Coaches experience. The Club currently employs 5 full time Apprentice Coaches and 1 part time coach. Another works full time for one of our partner groups specialising Outward Bounds Management courses. One of our top Apprentices has been offered a full time job with our sister club in USA.
Nominated by Mervyn Morgan, Trustee
Cultural Innovation Award
Trestle Theatre Company
Internationally renowned, professional theatre makers, Trestle, run Trestle Arts Base in St Albans as a high quality cultural community resource. Trestle Arts Base has been open for almost a decade and has steadily built up community relations through its cafe, its performance programme and its availability as a space for groups, individuals and businesses to hire for classes and events.
Following a significant cut in funding last year, Trestle has had to re-invent its operation and survive through a challenging time of transformation. Trestle was determined to not let its visitors suffer through the turbulent period and has succeeded in maintaining loyalty and winning new support.
Whilst specialising in engaging young people aged 11-25 in the arts, Trestle Arts Base welcomes all ages to its friendly cafe and inspiring creative spaces; the Theatre, Studio and Apex. Children Under 5: Trestle Arts Base runs Story Tent, a highly successful weekly session where under 5s and their parents/carers hear a story, craft a puppet or object and retell the story along with an inspirational local storyteller, Kathryn Holt. Two mothers of Story Tent children volunteer to support the administration and marketing of Story Tent. Trestle Arts Base hosts local groups Best Beans and The Dance Academy for this age group, too.
School aged children: Trestle run a youth theatre in partnership with local professional Theatre-In-Education company Tip of the Iceberg for children aged 5-18. We have 40 young people regularly engaging in playful physical theatre and staging productions such as their devised Peter Pan, December 2011. Trestle Arts Base hosts Act Now in a new relationship starting from January 2012 for their weekly classes, drama exams and performances each term. There are also weekly dance classes with The Dance Studio, Taikwondo and Zumba sessions.
Disability: At Trestle Arts Base, a thoroughly accessible building, the company has worked continually with adults and young people with learning disabilities and currently host weekly sessions with Squeaky Gate, a local charity who work with young adults with learning disabilities to create and perform their own music.
Adults: Trestle employs local people, develops local artists and companies and gives opportunities to young emerging companies, such as the resident media team, Videofeet and student theatre company MProductions. Trestle Arts Base hosts yoga classes and Next Stage Choir, and welcomes meetings, conferences, birthday parties, weddings, baby naming ceremonies and all sorts of community events.
Families: Weekly sessions supported by Berry Street Foundation, for good parenting and enabling children to grow up in caring communities.
Performances: Trestle brings high quality performance work from across the UK into the district through the programme of theatre, dance and performance. On the first weekend of every month there is one performance for adults and young adults on the Saturday night and one for families on the Sunday afternoon. From December 2011 this was supported by a grant for programming from St Albans Council. The Christmas show at Trestle Arts Base was The Just So Stories, for families, which had 6 performances for 600 people and filled the theatre 98.3%. Trestle has built up a dedicated family audience and is working to ensure young people are aware of and excited by the work coming in. All Trestle performances are ushered by local volunteers.
Numbers: The majority of Trestle's programme is attended by people within the local area however Trestle draw people into the district from as far afield as Nottingham, Leicestershire and beyond. Over the past year, over 3300 people watched performances at Trestle Arts Base. Over 7000 pairs of eyes have seen Trestle Touring Performances. Over 2800 pairs of feet have taken our workshop sessions. Over 5400 Trestle Masks have travelled out across the world.
The Story: In 2011 Trestle Arts Base rose phoenix-like from a challenging cut in funding and is now not just surviving but thriving! Early in 2011, Trestle was given the troubling news that its Arts Council funding of an annual £250k would be coming to an end. What could have been seen as a devastating blow was taken on as a new challenge by the team at Trestle, who had to pause, reconfigure and create a new way of working to ensure the survival of the Arts Base. In July 2011, a number of roles at the Arts Base were made redundant and the building lost its Front of House Manager, Arts Base Manager and Catering Manager. From September the building was only open on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and the number of hires was reduced. From September to December 2011 the demand for the building steadily grew and, on a skeleton staff, Trestle Arts Base extended its opening hours.
This year, with a new business model in place, Trestle Arts Base will be open every day apart from Sundays. This has been made possible due to the dedication of a small team of multi-skilled staff and strong, innovative leadership, commitment from the local commuty and support from the local council to present a programme of performances at Trestle Arts Base with belief in the need for a small scale cultural venue in the District led by a professional theatre company.
A successful bid by Trestle to run the arts programme at Platform, a new youth arts hub in Islington, is now serving as a supportive partner to Trestle Arts Base.
Nominated by Rhian Desborough