A targeted programme of activity raising awareness of creative and cultural participation for young people in Leeds

Running from 2021-2023, Lift the Lid focused on the benefits of taking part in creative activity, exploring how poetry, creative writing, and music can improve wellbeing. The project also shone a light on creative activity for and by young people via BBC Radio Leeds, on shows that attract 196,000+ listeners.

Outreach work

Throughout 2021, we engaged young people from Harehills and Seacroft in poetry workshops led by local artists Matt Abbott and Testament, exploring themes like youth identity and self-expression. We also partnered with the Leeds youth charity Getaway Girls to run a series of podcast-making workshops focusing on empowerment and self-esteem.

Between November 2022 and January 2023, three music workshops in Chapeltown, Harehills and Sheepscar offered young people the chance to have a go at making beats, singing, and writing songs. In June 2023, we delivered an afternoon of free outdoor singing and drumming workshops in Seacroft as part of Chapel FM's 24-hour Musicathon.

"It was fabulous!"
"Really engaging, amazing host, really friendly and encouraging"
"So mind blowing! So moving for all ages!"
Feedback from Year 1 participants

Radio Broadcast

young lady wearing headphones and talking at the microphone

We raised awareness of creative and cultural activity for young people in Leeds via a range of features on BBC Radio Leeds that showcased stories, new voices and new activities across the whole city, from theatre and film made by and for young people, to music studios, community murals and upcycling fashion.

Lift the Lid: 23 Voices

For the second year of the project, we partnered with LEEDS2023 to expand the number of young people we could work with. Under the banner Lift The Lid: 23 Voices, we co-hosted two courses in podcast-making and journalism, providing 23 participants aged 16-25 with skills and confidence in media creation, with a focus upon self-expression and discovering the city’s year of culture.

Following each 10-week course, the participants worked independently to create their own articles and podcasts, exploring subjects that struck a chord with them as individuals. While some chose to feature events from the LEEDS2023 events programme, others explored topics as diverse as busking, Leeds’ pop heritage, and the council-run youth activity scheme, Breeze.

You can listen to the podcasts here or via the media player below.

I'm really grateful I was chosen for this because it gave me an insight into podcasting, which is something I never would have done!

Lift the Lid is a Creative Lives project delivered in partnership with BBC Radio Leeds and funded by the Mohn Westlake Foundation via the Leeds Community Foundation. Lift the Lid: 23 Voices is delivered in partnership with LEEDS 2023 with support from Studio12.