Darlington youth project in line for national cash prize

Published: 17 August 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

An In2 Project music event with Darlington children
Darlington Hippodrome
Persimmon Homes Building Futures logo

In September, the Cabinet of Darlington Council agreed that uncommitted capital receipts from the sale of Darlington Arts Centre and of the Eastbourne School site, totalling £118,000, should be used to support the In2 Project, a three-year programme of activity working with Darlington schools through art and sport to encourage well-being and a successful transition from primary to secondary school.

The reason for this decision was that, “over the last decade, there has been significant research which demonstrates the health and well-being benefits derived from engagement with the arts and sport, including the Arts and Culture in Health and Wellbeing and in the Criminal Justice System research released by Arts Council England, which makes a compelling argument for using the arts and physical activity as tools to tackle mental health and health and well-being challenges across the community.”

The three-year programme would focus on work with a small cohort of pupils from six schools in depth and seek to support those children engaged through the transition from year 6 to year 8, responding to longstanding challenges facing North East schools around the transition from primary to secondary, including scoring poorly on KS4 progress.

As the home of the In2 Project, Darlington Hippodrome has hosted sessions with musicians, circus performers, actors, theatre producers and even inventors over the last year and now the project is on the shortlist to win a share of Persimmon Homes’ Building Futures £1 million pot supporting under-18s nationwide.

Persimmon Homes North East is backing the In2 project to be a prizewinner at a gala dinner in October, where cash awards of £100,000, £50,000 or £20,000 will be made to those projects winning the most online votes.

Councillor Andy Keir, representing the In2 Project, said, “it is a huge achievement to have been selected as a regional finalist, but now we really need people to get behind us and get voting so that we are in the strongest possible position to earn one of the top three cash awards on the night.”

“Voting could not be simpler,” he went on. “Just log on to the Persimmon Homes Building Futures web site, select the In2 Project and vote for us. We would really appreciate everyone’s support.”