ArtsTrain – MyTime Active

ArtsTrain - MyTime Active - shortlisted for Best Arts Initiative in the NCA's Hearts for the Arts Awards 2020.


Mytime Active’s ArtsTrain programme provides pioneering creative music opportunities for young people (YP) in under resourced areas of outer/South East London. The programme has supported over 2000 YP facing challenging circumstances, including those in the criminal justice system, young refugees, carers and YP with complex and profound disabilities. ArtsTrain provides a safe creative space for young people from different musical and social backgrounds to come together and create outstanding original music.
The programme was set up in response to the findings from a Bromley based borough-wide piece of youth-led consultation. This identified limited access to arts and culture for young people from low-income families. ArtsTrain challenges the culture of privilege that exists around music and music education – in 2018, 68% of the project participants had never engaged in music-making opportunities outside of school and just over half of the participants were in receipt of Free School Meals. The programme also provides activity in settings with high levels of educational inequality such as Pupil Referral Units and Mental Health units. ArtsTrain also work closely with a network of 40+ partner organisations to identify and refer young people facing challenging circumstances.

What the judges had to say:

‘An excellent initiative, meeting the need of 4,000 young people to access creative opportunities. A variety of partnerships were developed to deliver the service. This is a highly impactful project and some excellent data provided to highlight the strong outcomes.’

‘ArtsTrain shows us what it means to give young people a creative and artistic voice. It has been in it for the long haul, changing lives and raising expectations every step of the way.’

Photo credit: Keith Sykes