Monday, 23 March 2015


I was at Firth Park Academy very early this morning for a meeting with Zeena Rashid and colleagues who have been developing the Cultural Ambassador programme at the school. It was great to work with Zeena, Matt Bray Social Inclusion Manager at Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme, Sophie Lejeune, Neighbourhood partnerships manager from  Sanctuary Care and Graham Moore, Youth Partnership Coordinator at Sheffield Museums.
The Cultural Ambassador pilot has been an extraordinary initiative brilliantly led by Zeena Rasheed working with a group of stockholders and partners who are all passionate about getting young people involved and participating in cultural activity.

We know that the arts and sport are critical elements in developing skills like teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking and that at their heart they have developing character, resilience, determination and hard work. We also know that no single organisation can deliver the breadth and richness of the cultural sector in Sheffield on their own and Zeena has been keen therefore for arts, culture and sports organisations to team up and work with her to deliver an ambitious ambassador programme. 

The Firth Park Cultural Ambassadors programme has been co-created with partners using the 'Made in Sheffield' approach and skill set and this morning we were planning the graduation ceremony for the first group and the extension of the programme hopefully to more schools and more students next year.  In a world controlled by the DfE and OFSTED it is wonderful to see a school that is striving for excellence in everything they do and being really ambitious by providing programmes that include music, film, theatre, comedy, heritage, museums, art and design, literature and sport. 

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