Young Identity Project Director
Responsible to: The Chief Executive.
14 hours per week. Annual salary for hours worked: £10,820
To deliver the organisation’s Young Identity project programme
Project delivery on target, on time, and within budget
To set up and ensure the maintenance of efficient and effective
information management systems for the project
To ensure the effective development of the literacy and active
citizenship skills of children and young people who engage with
To develop effective team liaison and communication with
project staff and other partners from the education sector and
sustain a network of contacts among those working with
children and young people.
To develop initiatives to ensure that the project is effectively
promoted across the target areas.
To ensure that a safe environment is maintained for children,
young people and staff accessing the project.
To support the Fundraising and Development Manager in the
development of new income streams.
To line-manage the Project Administrator
To share in ad hoc office duties as they arise.
To ensure the efficient and solvent financial and administrative
Reporting management of the Young Identity project including the
production of regular financial reports (including budget to
actuals), programme reports (including target to actuals) and
undertake related planning.
To provide the Chief Executive and the Management
Committee with accurate and timely information to enable
appropriate decisions to be made on project evaluation and on-
Where the postholder is disabled, every effort will be made to supply all necessary
aids, adaptations or equipment to allow them to carry out all the duties of the job. If,
however, a certain task proves to be unachievable, job redesign will be given full
Essential Outreach & Motivation skills – ability to recruit, motivate and
sustain the interest of young people on spoken word creative
writing programmes (A & I)*
Planning skills – ability to plan, market and successfully deliver
a substantial number of young people’s spoken word events
per year (A & I)
Verbal communication skills – ability to communicate in a clear
and informative way and in particular to motivate disaffected
young people who may be NEETS (Not in Education,
Employment or Training) (A & I)
Poetry skills – knowledge of and substantial ability in spoken
word poetry (A & I)
Written communication skills – ability to write in a clear and
informative way (A)
Office management & administration skills (A)
Self motivated and ability to prioritise own workload (A & I)
Experience of handling budgets of approx 30k per annum (A)
Understanding of and commitment to equal opportunities (A & I)
Ability and willingness to work as part of a team (A & I)
Willingness to work occasional unsocial hours (I)
Desirable Substantial knowledge of youth work sector (A & I)
Substantial knowledge of arts sector (A)
Knowledge of financial planning (A)
Experience of building youth arts networks on a regional and
national level (A & I)
Knowledge of literature development activity in the region (A)
Some knowledge of the arts funding system (A)
Applications To apply: Complete application form and either email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or else post to Commonword, 6 Mount
Street, Manchester M2 5NS.
*A & I denote where evidence is sought for these attributes: Application form (A)
and/or Interview (I)
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON COMMONWORD
Commonword is a Manchester-based new-writing development agency and community
engagement specialist. It was established in 1977. Its objective is to help new writers
become more successful, and in particular to create opportunities and access for groups that
are under-represented in the fields of writing and publishing. Commonword has two sister
brands, which are Cultureword (working with Black & Minority Ethnic writers) and Crocus
Young Identity – A Commonword/Cultureword project
Young Identity was set up under the supervision of Cultureword, as a flagship group of
young writers in 2006. The group is comprised of 35 Black and Minority Ethnic young
people, aged 14-20 from deprived, inner-city areas. The young people organise
themselves to write and perform poetry and notably achieved acclaim in the USA poetry
slam, “Brave New Voices” in 2008 and 2009.
So far, the young people have come from South Manchester (Hulme, Moss Side,
Fallowfield) but Young Identity has been so successful that we now wish to roll the model
out to new groups of young people in other areas of Greater Manchester that experience
urban deprivation. It is this expansion of a proven project that is now the focus for Young
Identity. New areas targeted will be chosen from: Abbey Hey, Clayton, Old Trafford,
Ardwick, Cheetham Hill/Salford and Wythenshawe.
Project activities will include:
Peer mentoring, where existing Young Identity members will help recruit and provide
guidance to new participants.
The provision of spoken word & writing workshops by established, spoken word
artists & published writers and also young people themselves.
Participation in poetry slams, including the Cultural Olympiad 2012. Young people
will be actively involved in the administration, performances and production of these
Interaction and liaison with partner youth organisations such as youth services,
Manchester Libraries, Contact Theatre, Manchester City Art Gallery and the
forthcoming International Children’s Book Festival, run by Manchester Metropolitan
Why is Young Identity needed?
To illustrate the need for Young Identity, it is worth noting that The Department for Children,
Schools & Families supports the Every Child Matters programme. Its Youth Matters Green
paper, *Aiming high for young people: A ten-year strategy for positive activities, sets out the
Government's plans to “help teenagers, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds,
to take part in enjoyable and purposeful activities in their free time.” It identifies a need for
young people to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and
achieve economic well-being. Young Identity addresses these needs and also specifically
helps to, “*reduce the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or
training (NEET)” and it helps to tackle “antisocial behaviour and promoting respect among
teenagers for all members of society, including each other”.
The Regional Economic Strategy for Greater Manchester has also highlighted a need for
creating world class skills, ensuring the best transition to working life for all young people
and achieving economic inclusion. DCSF has highlighted a need for more young people
from disadvantaged areas to mentor and support their peers to bring together
communities, fundraise and also shape the local offer of activities/services for teens.
Young Identity meets these needs by helping to grow young people’s skills and by being
Who will benefit and in what way?
Young Identity seeks to offer disadvantaged young people, who are typically exposed to
the urban scourges of poverty, crime, drug abuse, teen pregnancies, social exclusion
and general lack of opportunity, better chances in life with better access to training and
development to improve their life skills. In the course of the project, we anticipate that:
150 new young people per year will benefit from improved literacy levels and
performance abilities as a result of taking part in Young Identity. Traditionally, they
may have failed in these areas in a school-setting.
Over three years, at least 450 young people through Young Identity will be diverted
from engaging in anti-social behaviour, thereby offering them better life chances and
making their urban environments safer places in which to live.
Each year, 20 young people will act as peer mentors, workshop leaders and project
managers, facilitating better communication between and active involvement with
young people from other areas and also enabling them to gain useful life and
150 young people per year will become engaged as partners with other
organisations, agencies and youth service providers, ensuring that young people
actively impact on policies made regarding young people.
Each year, 30 young people will take part in national poetry slams, competitions and
inner-city writing events; 10 of whom will take part each year in international slams.
All participants will acquire skills and improved self-esteem that should enable them
to find a footing in the adult world of work. They will have the opportunity to
demonstrate to themselves and others that they can lead healthy, productive lives,
despite their difficult personal circumstances.
To roll out this 3 year programme we are putting into position a Project Director and an
Administrator. They will work with Commonword staff. Commonword’s Artistic Dorector
who oversee the project. The Big Lottery Fund has awarded us £102,419 over three
years for this Project. A grant of £7,500 from the Youth in Action Fund has also been
Commonword is a not-for-profit organisation. The sovereign decision making body of the
company is its Management Committee. At present we are funded by: The Arts Council of
England, the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, Heritage Lottery Fund, British
Council and the Big Lottery