Collage Voices continues to inspire young people

In our recent survey parents have responded positively to how Collage Voices has worked with their children during the pandemic. Whilst it has not been possible to engage with every young person in our Saturday Voices programme, the efforts we made have been welcomed and there is a high level of trust and partnership between the parents, young people and Collage which is a great building block for the future.  Collage Voices is now exploring what changes need to be made for provision to restart.


· Collage Voices has made a positive impact on young people’s lives when it has been able to engage with them on-line through the pandemic.
Voices Parent's view
· Some young people have not joined the on-line sessions because of anxiety issues, others have been excluded by lack of access to the internet or

· Young people have mixed attitudes to going back to school – some are keen, some keen to see friends but for others it is a source of anxiety.

· The families trust Collage Arts to put in place procedures that will allow face-to-face sessions to resume in the Autumn in line with the best practice available

· Collage had to revise all of their safeguarding policies to address on-line working and to support participants in face-to-face sessions when they resume.

Since Easter, Collage Voices has been offering weekly sessions for the young people who normally attend Saturday Voices. In addition, one-to-one sessions and loan equipment have allowed the digital music crew to keep producing. We have also offered a backstopping service to counselling and support for participants and families.
Working on Zoom was no substitute for the face-to-face sessions. As a community we had to content with online burnout, not wishing to have too many planned activities, and genuine security concerns about on-line delivery. Collage moved swiftly to address the security concerns, with revised safeguarding procedures and staff training. And we set up a WhatsApp group so parents knew exactly what was happening.

Andry Moustras, who heads up our work on outreach and schools liaison at Collage Voices, said: “’What is clear is that our work via Zoom has had a positive impact on many young people. In some cases, we have been able to go further and loan equipment and provide additional tuition. For young people we are reaching this is great. But we know that for various reasons such as underlying mental health conditions and educational needs, Zoom sessions are not the answer for everyone. We also know that some young people struggle to get access to the internet because they are on the wrong side of the digital divide. So, it is really encouraging that the parents we spoke to trust us to resume face-to-face sessions in September. This will be subject to us getting in place the cleaning regimes and new organisational arrangements to maintain social distancing. We will be sharing the details of how this will work before the start of the new term.”

Download a copy – Collage Voices parents survey July 2020