This case study – held up as an example of good practice by the DCMS – shows how cultural activity can be used for regeneration and social inclusion. The ‘being here’ project was a four year programme of arts and cultural activities in Southend on Sea and was managed by Momentum Arts on behalf of the Borough Council and Arts Council England East. It was a multi-agency partnership project providing participatory arts activities for young people aged 11 – 25 who faced social exclusion.
The range of organisations involved in the project included Theatre Resource, a county-wide arts organisation working in the areas of disability arts,TheYouth Offending Team, Pupil Referral Units, family centres, community partnerships, young carers groups, youth and connexions and also schools and colleges were firmly engaged with the project.
One young person began Being Here when she was homeless. Cajoled to take part, she attended her first workshop wrapped in her duvet. This person is now living independently and has a job. The programme was key to leading her to a more positive life situation.