Silver and Gold Arts Award success!

Photo: Silver and Gold Arts Award success!

We have some very exciting Arts Award News!

Even during Lockdown, our incredible Passing the Baton Young Leaders continued to work on their Arts Award journeys. We have two Silver and a Gold to celebrate! Not an easy thing to do whilst they were not able to meet, deliver workshops or perform in the ways we usually do at DIY.

Gold Arts Award is a Level 3 qualification, Silver is a Level 2 qualification.

These Arts Award journeys have not been a straight-forward or linear journey. Scott, Amy and Adam have had to rethink everything they know about their arts practise and leadership to suit the limitations of Lockdown.  All three have shown real resilience and commitment and have been able to adapt their practise and learn new skills including filming, editing, online marketing, hosting a radio show and a film premier on YouTube.  These require different skill sets to those used within DIY’s usual face to face sessions. All of this new learning has been done against the very uncertain backdrop of living during a global pandemic, with a huge change in routine and reduced ability to connect and engage with others.

Congratulations to Adam Leech!

Adam has successfully completed his Silver Arts Award!!!  Adam is a DIY Young Leader and for his Arts Challenge focused on developing his music technician skills. He worked closely with professional musician Sarah Atter, and learnt how to record sounds using an iPad and a Tascam. For his Leadership Challenge, Adam supported the Youth Drama Group, co-leading weekly sessions and arranging the catering and advertising for a public sharing event.  When the planned ‘Circus Tricks’ celebration event in March was cancelled due to Covid-19, Adam adapted his challenge. He began to support fellow Young Leader Scott Lawrie, and created posters and Facebook adverts promoting Scott’s Radio Show on Facebook Live.

It feels good to get my Silver.  I put in a lot of hard work.  It was difficult doing it during Lockdown.  Big thumbs up from me!”

Congratulations to Scott Lawrie!

Scott, one of DIY’s Young Leaders, has successfully achieved his Silver Arts Award! This is an incredible feat, and particularly worth celebrating as Scott completed his portfolio whilst in isolation during Lockdown.

Scott plays the Ringmaster in DIY’s show ‘Circus Tricks’, and for his Arts Challenge developed his hosting and presentation skills. These were very necessary to keep the rest of the circus characters in check!! For his Leadership Challenge, Scott was preparing for the ‘Circus Tricks’ performance, scheduled for March. He was also working with others to arrange the catering, evaluation and presentation on the night. When the performance was cancelled, Scott quickly adapted his challenge and took to the ‘airwaves’. ‘Scott’s Radio Show’ was a weekly feature on Facebook Live. During these sessions Scott developed his DJ, communication and broadcasting skills – playing music to make us all smile during Lockdown.

The news today was amazing.  I passed my Arts Award with flying colours and I was a little bit worried about doing it from home and everything but it seems to have paid off and I’m going to get a lovely certificate at the end of it.   I feel a bit emotional at the moment.”

Congratulations to Amy Carter! 

We are thrilled to announce that Amy has achieved her Gold Arts Award during Lockdown! This is a huge achievement, and the first DIY member to ever achieve the Gold Level Award!!

Amy adapted her challenges so that she could continue to work on her Arts Award during the Covid-19 Lockdown. She completed most of her portfolio whilst in social isolation.

Amy collaborated with professional film-maker Hilary Easter-Jones to create a series of films including the ‘Freedom and Confusion’ Film which is part of DIY’s performance Following Patient 36. It is Amy’s response to thinking about those who, after living their lives confined to an institution, were suddenly sent out in the world.


Amy also created a ‘Top Tips’ film which she used to support other DIY members to capture good quality footage whilst at home.  This footage was used to create ‘I Wish Everything Was Back to Normal: DIY’s views of Lockdown’, and Amy organised a YouTube premier to share this film with the public. This has now been viewed on You Tube over 300 times!!

Before Lockdown, I only went out once to film – and that was a practise – we were supposed to be going out more, but then Lockdown happened, so that practise was the only footage I had and I used that to do the film!! 

Gold was hard because I was on my own doing it!  If other people had the opportunity to do it, I say go for it, but not just at home alone – it’s hard.

I feel fantastic – I put all my work into it I feel really great.  I made Hilary work and she made me work!!

We are very proud of our Young Leaders

Visit DIY’s Young Leaders page to find out more about this initiative and how the group is adapting their work with young people and schools during Covid-19.

I have been really impressed by Amy, Scott and Adam’s determination, patience and creative responses to the challenges they have faced. It’s been a real joy to support them and I am thrilled that they have all achieved their Arts Award qualifications. Well done!
Hebe Reilly, Youth Arts Coordinator

Arts Award

DIY has found Arts Award to be a particularly appropriate and effective framework for creative practice with young people with learning disabilities. It is designed to be accessible to young people with a range of abilities, backgrounds and individual learning styles. Because it measures and supports each individual’s personal progress, it is ideal for young people who face barriers to learning or who may not be able to access other qualifications. Young people can collect evidence for their Arts Award in a range of formats, meaning that non-verbal or less confident communicators can be supported to achieve the qualification.

Our thanks to:

Hilary Easter-Jones and Sarah Atter for sharing their specialist knowledge to support our Young Leaders to achieve their Awards.

To You Can Youth Club, our partner in delivery.

And of course to our funders for this work:

logos of DIY's funders for this work: The National Lottery Community Fund, Youth Music, Salford CVS and Salford CCG.