And the winners are……

An innovative youth employment programme led by b-side with other arts and culture organisations in Dorset has won the Southern Region 2016 TPAS award for Excellence In Employment, Skills & Training and shortlisted in the National TPAS Awards to be announced later this year.

The b-roads youth programme worked with some of the most hard to reach disadvantaged, disengaged and socially excluded young people from West Dorset between 2013 and 2015.  Over 140 young people engaged with the programme through a range of creative activities, courses, mentoring, jobs and work placements.

Alan Rogers, Executive Director of b-side, said: “b-side are really proud to have led this collaborative work, which meant so much to young people trying to get a foothold in employment and improve their skills. Our partners, Synergy Housing have been fantastic to work with – open, collaborative and experimental, yet able to give guidance which truly enabled us all to address shared priorities” 

The aim of b-roads was to develop young people’s employability skills and networks, find work placements, internships and apprenticeships, raise their confidence and self-esteem, signpost careers in creative industries, grow expertise across creative, business and marketing skills.

The TPAS Awards showcase compelling and inspirational success stories of tenants, landlords and contractors working together, b-roads was the only project nominated that delivered skills and employment through the arts.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “Huge congratulations to b-side and all the partner organisations in Dorset for winning this award.  This is a great example of collaborative working across different sectors and shows how arts and culture can have a real impact on people’s lives in many different ways.”

b-roads was commissioned by Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), an Arts Council Bridge organisation and Synergy Housing, part of the Aster Group.

For more information on b-roads and to download the final report click HERE