Local young people exhibit artwork at Derby County as part of national youth programme

26 April 2023

Work created by dozens of Derby Saturday Club members – including poems, protest banners and hip hop raps - took centre stage for match day at Pride Park Stadium’s Community Corner on Saturday 22 April.

The University of Derby launched the Society & Change Saturday Club in the city in March. It is part of the National Saturday Club network, which offers young people a unique free opportunity to explore subjects they love, to build new skills, discover their talents, meet new people, and to find out more about future study and career possibilities. Weekly Saturday classes are led by tutors covering a breadth of exciting and engaging topics including social justice, youth voice and protest. 

The Derby National Saturday Club is led by the University in partnership with Derby County Community Trust, Artcore, Derby Theatre and Derby City Council Family Hubs.

In partnership with Derby County Community Trust, S.H.E.D – Social Higher Education Depot – was set up at the football club’s Community Corner on Saturday as an exhibition space, welcoming over 29,300 fans. Baby People, a Derby-based music and arts development organisation, supported the event by working with the young people to produce raps.

Created in 2019, S.H.E.D is a research and innovation space that engages with lifelong learning and teaching through creative industry and cultural practice. S.H.E.D can adapt to multiple situations and designs, supporting diversity and bringing people together from a range of communities and disciplines.

S.H.E.D is delivered by Designing Dialogue, a spin-out company from the University. S.H.E.D On Air!, a co-designed setup of the platform created specifically to support Saturday Club members in Derby, will now be used to regularly showcase the creative and artistic talents of the region’s young people.

A group of people sitting outside a shed
Members of the Saturday Club and S.H.E.D at the Derby County match.

Attending the event was Derby Saturday Club member Jasmine. She said: “Today we have done some rapping in a studio – it was nerve-wracking but fun. I wrote a poem and rapped it out – it sounded really good, edited with music. The Saturday Club is opening up doors to things I’ve never done before.”

Fellow club member Alfred added: “It’s great having everyone who supports Derby and Burton see my work.”

David Ashman, Curriculum Coordinator for the Creative Arts at Littleover Community School, visited the event. He said: “What amazed me today was coming into the shed and seeing the young people’s work and the immense pride that they had about what they’d created, being able to talk about their work, and being able to see it in a public space being looked at and discussed.”

Kirsten Whitehall, Derby Saturday Club Manager, said that she was proud of the Saturday Club members: “Each week, they come full of a sense of play, vibrancy and the desire to have a go. It has been a real privilege to witness each member grow and develop. The members have worked collaboratively to create lots of different pieces of work. After our match day exhibition we have another at the University of Derby before taking it on the road to London, to meet with all the other clubs from around the country. It feels fantastic to be part of the National Saturday Club bigger picture.”

Dr Rhiannon Jones, Associate Professor (Civic) at the University of Derby and CEO/Founder of Designing Dialogue, added: “The S.H.E.D team – staff and students at the University – have come together to support this installation to champion the future leaders in our region and celebrate their hard work. We recognise that young people are the future of Derbyshire and creating opportunities for them to showcase their talents and support their journey and passion for life-long learning is paramount.”

Jo Wilkinson, Inclusion Manager at Derby County Community Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with the University and the Saturday Club on this exciting project. S.H.E.D is a fantastic platform for young people in our city to ensure their voices are heard and it links so perfectly with the Saturday Club’s work to understand and listen to the needs of young people.”

Find out more about the Derby Society & Change Saturday Club

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