We've moved!

This donation page is on the old Big Give website. Please go to theBigGive.org.uk to find current campaigns and opportunities to double your donation.

If you have any queries on the changes, please email us at info@thebiggive.org.uk.

Project information

20 Stories High Participation Programme

Our Participation Programme aims to support young people living in inner city Liverpool by providing free access to 4 creative groups: Youth Theatre, Young Actors Company, Young Digital, and Young Writers. Led by professional artists, activities will develop skills, confidence and career prospects

January 2013 - March 2014

Charity information: 20 Stories High

20 Stories High logo
  • Need


    We come across young people with amazing energy, talent and stories to share. But they face barriers that stop them fulfilling their potential. Growing up in areas of high unemployment, crime and poverty, their aspirations and confidence are not allowed to flourish. They face prejudice, exclusion and lack strong role models. They have little information about opportunities to develop their skills and to get involved in activities they enjoy, which include drama, music and dance.


    We will provide free activities that will capture the imaginations of young people who have previously had no outlet for their artistic interests. They will have the opportunity to excel within high quality arts activities, developing confidence, self-esteem and transferable skills such as group work & communication. Mentoring and careers advice will be provided to all, with professional training for those who wish to pursue arts careers.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase access to high quality arts activities for young people in inner-city Liverpool


    » Provide 4 free creative groups for young people aged 13-25: Youth Theatre, Young Actors Company, Young Digital, Young Writers
    » Stage at least 2 major performances, 4 informal 'sharings' and produce 2 digital products (e.g. film, animation)
    » Run a programme of outreach workshops in partnership with local schools, youth centres etc, to reach young people who might not otherwise get involved
    » Support young people to experience professional theatre/ arts events through free supervised trips

    What success will look like

    Success will be engaging 150 young people in an arts activity, with at least 60% saying they have never taken part in anything like this before

    Aim 2

    Develop the skills, knowledge & confidence of young people aged 13-25


    » Provide high calibre professional artists to run the sessions, passing on specialist skills/knowledge and nurturing young people's own skills
    » Work towards high quality performances that young people can be proud of
    » Involve young people in the development of 20 Stories High's professional work, through workshops and attendance at readings/ works in progress

    What success will look like

    Success will be 90 young people demonstrating their new skills through a performance, digital activity or piece of writing, with at least 60 reporting an increase in confidence

    Aim 3

    Increase educational and employment prospects for young people living in inner city Liverpool


    » Guide 20 young people through the process of gaining an accredited Arts Award, including 2 at Gold Level (worth 35 UCAS points)
    » Provide one-to-one mentoring and careers advice to 100 young people
    » Provide professional training and support to 20 young people aged 17-25
    » Support young people to take part in arts festivals/ events, especially those taking place in college/university buildings

    What success will look like

    Success will be 15 young people passing their arts award, and 30 either gaining a place on further education/training or securing employment

    Aim 4

    Increase communication between young people from different communities


    » Recruit a diverse group of participants - at least 50% from BME backgrounds - through a programme of outreach with local schools and youth orgs
    » Facilitate debate about urgent issues affecting young people: during sessions, within performances and in regular 'dinner n debate' sessions

    What success will look like

    Success will be 60 young people saying they have met people they wouldn't normally mix with, as well as 20 saying they have gained a new perspective through debates/performances

    Aim 5

    Involve young people in the development, running and evaluation of the project


    » Facilitate a Youth Advisory Group, made up of young people from across the 4 groups
    » Train existing members in workshop leading skills, to support the running of sessions and outreach workshops
    » Involve participants in regular evaluation through one-to-ones, group feedback and questionnaires

    What success will look like

    Success will be 80% of participants contributing to evaluation, with at least 15 young people attending the YAG and 15 leading part of a workshop

  • Impact


    Many young people will continue to be involved in our projects and/or get involved in other positive activities. We aim to see all our participants engaged in some form of meaningful activity once they leave compulsory education, be it further training, employment or volunteering. Many young people will be inspired to pursue careers in the arts, and several will be offered employment with 20SH. We will monitor the ongoing progress of participants through questionnaires and regular checkins.


    As we offer FREE access to our Participatory Activities for Young People we rely on funding and grants; this can often mean our activities are at risk of either not taking place or having to charge, neither of which we want to happen. In the current financial climate and in the face of public funding cuts, we have increased our alternative fundraising, getting the Young People involved, as well as working on a tighter budget.


    Donors will be added to our ‘FYP’s list (funders, young people and partners) giving them special invites to all our sharings and performances, a copy of our end-of-year Participation Report, full annual report and accounts. Any major changes to the project will be provided via email.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,650

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,750 Skills sessions Sessional artists, space and materials to provide 52 skills development sessions
      £8,100 Youth Theatre annual show Artists, rehearsal, production costs and venue for the youth theatre annual production
      £8,100 Young Actors Company show Artists, rehearsal, production costs and venue for the young actors annual production
      £6,000 Young Writers Playwright, space hire, and materials to run a fortnightly writing project
      £3,000 Young Digital Digital artist, space and equipment for a weekly digital project
      £5,000 Theatre trips Cost of taking young people to experience professional theatre & other exciting events/opportunties
      £2,700 Other costs Outreach workshops, participant recruitment, volunteers, training and Youth Advisory Group costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Lankelly Chase Foundation £3,750 Guaranteed
    Liverpool City Council £1,000 Guaranteed
    BBC Children in Need £6,720 Guaranteed
    Arts Council England £2,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our offices, where much of the project will take place, are located in Toxteth - an area that is statistically younger and far more culturally diverse than the City as a whole (e.g. five times as many BME residents than the Liverpool average). Located close to the City Centre, the area is much loved by many, but continues to receive a ‘bad-press’ as a legacy of the 1981 Riots. There are poor employment prospects - with 37.6% out of work - and 60% of children are living below the poverty line.


    We target young people aged 13-25 living in the inner city Liverpool areas of Toxteth, Kensington and Picton - but those living in other areas are also welcomed. Some young people join our projects with a huge passion for performing arts, while some just want to ‘give it a go’ and others will come along because their friend told them it was fun! All are welcome as long as they demonstrate a commitment to the group through regular attendance, which we encourage with ongoing pastoral support

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have an exemplary track record of producing excellent quality theatre projects with young people, with particular expertise and passion for reaching communities who are under-represented in theatre. Since 2006 we have engaged over 30,000 young people, and in 2008 were chosen as a model of best practice by the Arts Council. We are funded as a Liverpool City Council ‘Cultural Contributor’, and an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Julia Samuels

    As Co-Artistic Director, Julia will artistically lead at least one Youth Theatre project, one Young Actors project and the Young Writers project.

    Keith Saha

    As Co-Artistic Director, Keith will artistically lead at least one Youth Theatre project, one Young Actors project and the Young Digital project

    Leanne Jones

    As Participation Manager, Leanne will oversee all projects, provide participant support & mentoring, deliver the Arts Award, manage staff & volunteers

Youth Theatre performance 2008

Youth Theatre performance 2008

The impact on my students has been amazing. They are overwhelmed with the opportunities and have become role models for younger students.

Kath Bulmer - Teacher