Young poets, rappers and comedians took part in a spoken word battle at a celebration to mark a community trust giving half a million pounds to good causes.
East Brighton Trust held a party at The Bevy pub on Friday 10th March to celebrate giving half a million pounds in grants to good causes, reached after almost a decade of work in the area. The event was the perfect opportunity to showcase a number of projects they have funded over the years.
The Mayor of Brighton & Hove Councillor Pete West joined Trust directors and staff to meet groups who have benefitted from East Brighton Trust grants. Everyone was treated to food from The Bevy kitchen and community chef as well as performances from local dance groups and a headline turn from participants in the Youth Poets vs MCs vs Comedians programme.
The programme helps youngsters express themselves in words through rap, poetry and comedy and delivers workshops, assemblies and performances across the city. East Brighton Trust is currently supporting them with funding for 3 years, enabling them to expand their reach into East Brighton. The funding is helping to pay for workshops at Brighton Youth Centre where professional rappers, performance poets and comedians coach the young performers, leading to performances at the annual B.Fest on The Level each summer.
Youth Poets vs MCs Project Manager Michael Parker has said of the funding: “We’ve run our training day and delivered 7 assemblies in the East Brighton area, including two at BACA. The EBT grant has been useful in paying artists to perform at these events in the East Brighton area, and to help in informing young people of our project.”
Party guests enjoyed dressing up and having their photos taken in the Gladrags community costume photobooth, and had the chance to find out about some of the organisations working in the East Brighton area. These included the Resource Centre, The Bridge Community Education Centre, The Green Centre, The Brighton & Hove Youth Collective, the BACA Bike Club and The Woolly Umbrella.
To mark the special occasion, East Brighton Trust directors had enjoyed a fish and chip lunch earlier in the day with the Friday Friends, a lunch club for seniors held weekly at The Bevy. Entirely volunteer run, the group collects up to 50 elderly residents of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean from their homes in the community bus. They then enjoy lunch, bingo and a raffle as well as the chance to socialise and catch up with each other.
BACA Digital Media students were on hand during the day, filming volunteers, staff and pub regulars in order to make a series of short films.
The Mayor said on his Facebook page “There was a lot of wonderful entertainment and activities laid on for the evening, which was all great fun and also gave a taster of what the money and moreover the hard work and commitment of people in East Brighton has helped achieve.”
And East Brighton Trust director Sean Hambrook said “Our party to celebrate giving £500,000 in grants was an absolute joy! The young, and not quite so young people from projects we’ve funded all enjoyed a fantastic evening and put on a superb show for everyone at The Bevy to enjoy! From Poets vs MC’s to break-dancers everyone had a wonderful evening! Here’s to reaching £1 million!!”
Though the party is over, the work of the Trust continues – they are looking for potential new collaborations and partnerships and are encouraging local people and groups to get in touch if they have an idea for a project that will enhance the wellbeing of people in the area. To find out more, visit www.eastbrightontrust.org.uk.