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From prison to playwright
Micky Dacks, I4YPC (Innit for Young People Charity) and Salford Loading bring education and artistic opportunity for young people to Quayside MediaCity
Salford Loading, the collaboration between visual arts charity The Art House and Quayside MediaCity, has welcomed Salford-based charity I4YPC through its doors to deliver its diversionary arts and education programme for young people.
Founded by Micky Dacks, l4YPC’s sole focus is tackling the increasing number of high school exclusions and the paths many young people can go down once this happens – something Micky experienced first-hand.
After being permanently excluded from school at 13 and left to roam the streets, Micky soon found himself gravitating towards gang life, eventually ending up with a custodial sentence. But rather than becoming institutionalised and another statistic as many others do, Micky was steadfast in his desire to tackle what he saw as a gap in the education system and prevent others from going down the same route as he did.
One of those diversionary tactics is the charity’s own musical production ‘Innit’ – a real-life tale of working-class life in Salford, dysfunctional families, teenage antagonists, and the decisions faced at forks in the road.
Through Salford Loading, Micky and the I4YPC team are currently hosting auditions at Quayside for the 16 roles in the musical, which for the first time ever will enjoy a two-week run at The Lowry in MediaCity this September 2023. What’s more, to reach as many young people as possible with the play’s message, tickets and public transport to the theatre will be free of charge for 1,200 of Salford’s young people between the age of 12 and 16.
The former retail turned creative space is also running acting, drama, choir, and art workshops for everyone from young people to parents and toddlers to drop in, have fun, and build their confidence in new creative forms. The charity is also providing a platform for young people to display their artistic creations and even sell them.
Micky and the team have already welcomed more than 400 young people through its doors in the two weeks it’s been open. He says: “The response to our new space and being more visible through Salford Loading has been immense – it’s an incredible partnership that The Art House and Quayside MediaCity have embarked on.
“The teenage years are such a turbulent time for many young people and a lot do veer off on the wrong path, not always through their own fault or because they’re inherently bad – just look at me; I made mistakes but I’ve always felt that the trajectory I was on could have changed if I’d have had the right arm over my shoulder at the right time.
“That’s what this charity, this musical, and these workshops are all about – connecting with young people when they need guidance. We’ve already received so much great feedback that a lot of our visitors have calmed down and found new direction since coming to our workshops. This is something I’m so passionate about and all of us at the charity appreciate the support of other organisations to be given a platform to help others.”
Salford Loading’s aim is to provide opportunities for artists, collectives, and social enterprises within the local community to grow their fledgling business or community initiative within a retail environment.
The initiative builds on the success of a number of other projects, one of which saw pop-up gift shop Flock and Gaggle open at the Quayside centre in February, which continues to showcase products by local makers and artists and operate a series of creative workshops for the local community.
Find out more about The Salford Loading project and spaces available here: https://bit.ly/3YyErt0.
For more information about I4YPC and Innit, visit https://i4ypc.org.uk/.
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