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Project COFFE Supports Nottingham’s Young People at CRS

7 June 18 interview: Bridie Squires

Project COFFE is a new Nottingham charity that aims to empower young people through the creative arts. Last week, the organisation hosted its first event down at Community Recording Studio in St. Ann’s, so we hit up Danniebelle Gunter to see how it went...

Tell us a bit about your new charity Project COFFE…
Project COFFE is a new community organisation passionate about making a social change. We have a constitution focussing on issues that are affecting boys and girls from all backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths from birth to eighteen years of age, as well as their parents. We want to help support and educate parents around issues affecting children, and provide boys with positive role models to empower and motivate them to make better-informed choices.

We also want to work closely with young girls to empower and improve their self-worth by enabling them to love themselves, improve their confidence, and improve their mental wellbeing.

What kind of issues are young people facing at the moment?
There’s a lack of positive male role models for our boys, with only a few places that offer safe outlets. There’s a wide variety of sports activities for boys, but there needs to be more opportunities to engage in music workshops, gaming and social media, as well as learning about respect. Our girls are comparing themselves to unrealistic ideals; self-love and self-identity is low. We will work on projects, events, and workshops to empower young people and their families.

Tell us a bit about the Urban Jam Tour Family Day…
Together with Community Recording Studio, we organised a music and dance event. The workshops were the first step in building relationships, and were used as a tool of engagement for future work. We’ve had some really positive feedback, and everyone wants it to happen again.

We had local talent from Nottingham; Aye Nizzy, Dj Mio, Treamando and Urcreate, who volunteered to spend their time giving back the community. It was inspiring to the people attending, especially the children. In all, we had 78 attending and 35 of those were young people. It highlighted how much these kinds of events are needed in the community. Project COFFE stands for Creating Opportunities for Family Empowerment, and I think the event did just that. I really enjoyed working with CRS, they helped on the day of the event so much, they are a strong pillar in the St Ann’s community and it was nice to have their support.

How did the music and dance aspect help push forward Project COFFE's overall aims?
The boys found, identified and connected with positive male role models at the event, as well as being inspired to write lyrics and join dance schools in Nottingham. There was the opportunity for the boys to feature in Aye Nizzy’s new music video, which was very kind of him; it raises more aspirations for young boys. The young girls felt encouraged to do more creative stuff in the community too. There was also the opportunity for community organisations like the Nottinghamshire Police, to make connections with other organisations. We’re building a bit of a network.

Anything else you'd like to say?
I’d like to thank all the people that attended and also the volunteers, special mentions to Charise, Amanda, Samantha for the face painting  Michael Lines from Public Enemy Apparel, Tamika Martin from Ucreate, Coleen Francis from Freedom Arts, Kelvin Clark from Trinity Warriors Dance Academy. Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham Together fund, Renewal Trust community fund, and University of Derby Make a Change Fund.

Project COFFE will be doing Gingerbread Friendship coffee mornings for single parents. The next one is on Wednesday 4 July from 11.30am to 1.30pm, at Ugly Bread Bakery, on Market Street.

There will be another Urban Jam Tour Family day in September, which will include empowering workshops for both boys and girls and their families.

Project COFFE on Facebook 

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