Gifted Young Gravesham is back; a variety talent show aimed at young people, by young people, for everyone.

 

Based in Gravesham borough, the project was first set up in 2008 by The Grand, a healthy living centre situated in Gravesend town, and a group of young people who wanted to change the perception of young adults in the media. They knew not all teenagers were like their representatives in the news in the late noughties, therefore they launched the talent show to present the ‘best, young, gifted’ teens they could find. What’s more, they made it a complete youth-orientated event to show that young adults were responsible, dedicated and impressive people; for example, the technical team behind it were youngsters from Gravesham schools and those who raised funds were part of the Youth Committee.

 

Hundreds of teenagers applied for the event after ambassadors went to every school in the area to get people to audition. There were Bollywood dancers, jugglers, singers and even African drummers. After many anticipating months had passed, the live show was met with great enthusiasm - the audience 700-strong and even containing scouters from performing arts schools to see if there was any talent they were interested in.

Due to this, the first event was a complete and utter success and GYG became a proclaimed project. Many of those involved won awards; for instance Saint Georges C of E’s tech team won the Triangle Award, it received celebrity notification; with Sir Richard Branson expressing his love through a hot air balloon ride, and it also launched again and again in both Gravesend and Dartford over the past eight years.

 

Now roll on 2015 where the amazing talent show is back in good old Gravesend, bigger and better than ever. This year the talent show is not only focusing on destigmatising the negative conceptions of young people, but it is also promoting mental health awareness.

 

Speaking to a member of The Grand staff, Jackie Coupar, she explained how big of an issue mental health is in Gravesham right now. As we all know, recently mental health has developed from being a taboo subject to one that is recognised and supported by many people and organisations, therefore GYG want to help promote it to support all of those in Gravesend suffering from mental issues and to allow for those disassociated with them to acknowledge them too. To put this into perspective, the project want to draw attention to mental health because even in a single Gravesham school there are three residential councillors a week to talk to students. A massive issue that needs to be tackled.

Consequently, this year, as well as the talent show, there will be an art competition where entrants have to design a poster on mental health that will be used on the side of buses, in shop windows and even in a projection on Bonfire night in November – the month of the talent show final. There is a £100 cash prize for the winner and £50 for two runners up from either age category; the main winner will go on stage to talk about mental health before the live talent show starts.

 

The talent show itself will soon be holding auditions led by the GYG committee - made up of the Gravesham Youth Council, the SAFE committee (who focus on mental health) and other groups of teenagers - to find the most outstanding talent in the area.

GYG is an amazing opportunity that allows young people to showcase any talent and even have the chance to be recognised by celebrities and performing arts and career schools. Keep an eye out in The Grand and in your schools and colleges for information to audition. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, do you have what it takes to win?

 

Emma Cooper
Saint Georges C of E School