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Spotlight to shine on Cumbria's young people

April 19, 2012

The skills and talents of young people across Cumbria are being celebrated in a major three-year campaign.

Celebrating Youth - a county-wide initiative aimed at promoting activities for children and young people and recognising the contribution they make to the county's communities is getting underway now with an official launch event to follow this summer.

The campaign will be aimed at young people the length and breadth of the county - from Lindal to Longtown, Appleby to Aspatria and everywhere in between - a whole host of youth activities will be promoted under the Celebrating Youth badge.

Led by Cumbria County Council and involving a range of other partners including Carlisle Youth Zone, Inspira (formerly Connexions) and the police, Celebrating Youth highlights what's on offer for young people and will help get them involved in new interests.

And to publicise the initiative and give it visibility around the county a new Celebrating Youth logo and brand has been created with the help of two teenage designers - Jason Higgins and Kyle Clark - and the county's youth councils in all six districts.

The logo is going to be used on a range of publicity materials including posters, letter heads and websites to promote the wide array of youth activities available around the county and can be used by organisations signed up to the Celebrating Youth concept.

Jason and Kyle, who are both from Carlisle, attended a workshop with the Celebrating Youth project team and came up with possible concepts for the logo.

They eventually settled on the paint splat design and worked with Cumbria County Council's design studio to bring their ideas to life.

Jason said: "We wanted to design something simple that other young people will like and I think what we've come up with does that.

"I've really enjoyed working on the project and being involved with something big like this has been really rewarding."

Celebrating Youth is being launched in 2012 to coincide with the opportunities for young people presented by the 2012 Olympic Games with a focus on the themes of celebration, aspiration and ambition.

Cumbria is even holding its own mini Olympics when the School Games take place this summer, which is one of the many activities falling under the Celebrating Youth umbrella.

The first of a series of Celebrating Youth events has already launched with a project giving eight young Cumbrians the chance to become trained professional photographers and possibly play a part in snapping the world's greatest sporting spectacle.

The lucky eight, who are all aged between 16 and 19 and not in full-time education or employment, are getting a two-week masterclass in May from renowned photographer John Cole.

And this training might lead to some of the eight working alongside young people from around the UK to photograph this summer's Olympic Games in London as well as having their work displayed in exhibitions around Cumbria and nationally.

This exciting project called Wembley to Cumbria is being delivered with the international Wembley to Soweto photography project.

Cumbria is one of only a handful of areas in Britain chosen to take part in the project that will see young people trained in photography to give them the opportunity to gain employment skills, capture their communities in pictures and increase the public perception and positive image of young people.

When their training is complete, the Cumbrian snappers will then be tasked with capturing a variety of events in Cumbria in 2012 including the School Games in June.

A major launch of the three-year Celebrating Youth initiative is set to take place at Keswick's Theatre by the Lake in July.

Councillor Eddie Martin, leader of Cumbria County Council, said: "Celebrating Youth is a fantastic initiative that will give children and young people across the county some of the credit and recognition they deserve. Cumbria offers opportunities in all spheres of life which match and extend the aspirations and ambitions of our young people

"Cumbria is a great place to grow up and our young people contribute an enormous amount to their communities so it's only right that this is recognised.

"Whatever your interests, hobbies and passions might be, there really is something for everyone in Cumbria and Celebrating Youth is all about shining the spotlight on what our young people achieve and what's out there for them."

Councillor Oliver Pearson, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member for communities, said: "2012 is a really exciting time for young people up and down the country with all sorts of Olympic themed events taking place and while Cumbria might be more than 200 miles away from the Olympic stadium, the county is really getting into the Olympic spirit with Celebrating Youth.

"Having a range of partners from communities across Cumbria joining forces to celebrate our young people is an excellent initiative and we aim to take this momentum forward over the coming years to ensure a lasting legacy of ambition, aspiration and opportunity in Cumbria."