NOW Festival Sefton 2018 was the first time young people from Sefton got the opportunity to perform in the festival. After 2 successful years of engaging young people from Liverpool, it was felt the festival could go further and it did!

Headed up by MYA’s SPACE (Sefton Performing Arts and Creative Education) team, the young people of Sefton started to create music, dance, drama and film pieces all around the theme ‘My Education, My Mental Health’.

Education is something that every young person experiences. Education plays a key role in a young person’s development and supports their resilience. For many young people their education has been a positive experience where they have been able to grow in confidence and develop skills. However, many have struggled with their education and for some, school has utterly failed them. With young people experiencing higher levels of stress and mental health issues rising, the young people of Sefton had a lot to say about the theme.

The topics Sefton young people managed to cover ranged from bullying, body disorder education, stresses of growing up, exam stress, LGBT & education and many more. Each piece was individual and used different disciplines. The key message that was felt in the NOW Festival Sefton 2018 was that everyone learns differently. In the words of Albert Einstein, ‘Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life believing that it is Stupid’. The young people of Sefton used creativity and education as a tool to make their voices heard and teach the audience about their own experiences.

Quotes from the night

“I thought the NOW Festival was fantastic! I felt very proud of Sefton Young People shouting out about mental health. The pieces were thought provoking and entertaining whilst really showing some key messages. I am already looking forward to next year. ”

Cllr Dave Robinson, The Mayor of Sefton

“NOW Festival Sefton 2018 was brilliant, the young people were so enthusiastic and great performers too- we have real talent in Sefton. I felt very proud of them al and credit to them standing up in front of such an audience, must have been nerve wracking!”

Cllr Dwayne Johnson, Sefton Council