MUSICAL youngsters have had their dreams come true thanks to a helping hand from a community-spirited enterprise group.
UK Steel Enterprise has provided £1,500 from its Community Support Fund to give 20 disadvantaged young people from in and around Hartlepool the chance to develop their creative talents with help from the experts.
And now, they are doing just that at a week-long Dream Academy Project, which started on Monday and is organised by the Red Dreams charity.
Youngsters, aged between 11 and 18, are working with musicians, songwriters, vocal coaches, choreographers, a film-maker and a photographer.
They are composing a piece which they will perform for an audience of guests, family and friends.
The rehearsals and the final performance will be filmed so that everyone involved will have a DVD of the project to keep as a permanent reminder of their work.
Red Dreams was set up in 2007 by Dawn and Ian McManus in memory of their son Kyle who was a talented young songwriter, musician and actor.
Kyle died aged 16 after being struck down by a brain tumour while out with his friends.
Since the tragedy, the cause in his memory has grown dramatically.
Dawn said: “We have grown fast in the past six years but without support like this from UK Steel Enterprise our work just wouldn’t be possible.
“We were blown away when they offered us £1,500 as it’s allowed us to provide this whole week for 20 talented young people.
“They may be disadvantaged through unemployment, physical or learning disabilities, being in care, financial problems or having to be a carer and affording such an activity would be difficult for them.
“They are having a wonderful week, not only developing their creativity but also boosting their confidence, self-esteem, discipline, teamwork and communication skills.”
Nicholas Davies, 13, from Hartlepool, said: “I am learning such a lot and I’m sure it will all help me in the future as well.”
Simon Hamilton of UK Steel Enterprise, the business support subsidiary of Tata Steel, said: “It is impossible not to be impressed by Red Dreams and the work that Dawn and Ian are doing to give young people such a great opportunity to develop their creativity.”
He added: “Our Community Support Fund was set up especially to support projects that provide opportunities for people living in our steel areas. We are delighted to be able to help.”