ELEVATE gets Royal seal of approval

24 June 2022

Written by: Lambeth Council

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A Lambeth Council supported project to help young people make their creative mark has welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Brixton House as part of Windrush Day commemorations.

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ELEVATE gets Royal seal of approval

Prince William and Kate paid a visit to ELEVATE where they spent almost an hour speaking to the founders and young people cutting their teeth in the creative arts.

The programme works with those under 30 across a range of creative sectors from music and fashion to theatre, art, and design. Its objective is to open-up these industries to be accessible to all young people in the borough.

ELEVATE works in partnership with other local organisations to support young people realise their creative dreams, bolster their confidence, and help them succeed from its new base at Brixton House.

During the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they met with ELEVATE founding members Letitia Johnson and Benna, as well as a small group of young people from the project.

It included practical demonstrations by local ELEVATE partners, including a filming and interview area with Iconic Steps and a digital arts space with Oxygen Arts.

Ms Johnson, founding member of ELEVATE and a creative writer, said: “We discussed what we are doing and our experiences working in creative fields in Lambeth and how difficult it can be to break into these areas.

“We also spoke about the importance of supporting young people to feel confident and how it is never a waste of time to pursue your creative dreams. If you want to make a film or go into digital arts, you can do that without feeling any shame if you don’t make it.

“The Duke and Duchess were full of questions about what we are doing and about Brixton House as well. They were super-interested in our work and want to see what we do in the future.”

The visit was part of wider national commemorations for Windrush Day 2022 and followed the unveiling of a new statue at Waterloo Station.

ELEVATE founding member Abstract Benna, a writer and spoken word artist, said: “A lot of our young people have a chance to be creative and make their art, but do not have a chance to showcase their work outside of their community.

“This was a good chance to do that, especially with two members of the Royal family who showed such an interest in what we do. We spoke about Windrush Day and how it gives us a chance to reflect on the Windrush generation.

“Everything we do with our own talent or skills has been done with the guidance from the older generation and informed by the struggles they went through.”

For more information on ELEVATE visit https://elevatelambeth.london/and is also recruiting a careers programme manager.