Huddersfield-based community organisation Conscious Youth CIC has announced a new collaboration with Kirklees Year of Music 2023 to consult with young people of Kirklees to co-design a young people’s programme. 

Conscious Youth have been commissioned by Kirklees’ cultural change programme to research the impact of music on young people across the region.

The youth-led organisation will be surveying young people to gather insight into what they would like to see and hear from the year of music, as well as revealing what genres, artists and music initiatives are important to them.  

The consultation work falls under Conscious Youth’s ‘Voices to Action’ campaign which is a youth-led social action to highlight the lived experiences of black and minority young people living in Kirklees.

The campaign provides a safe and accessible platform for all young people to talk openly about race, culture and identity. Young people are working alongside local institutions and organisations to improve services, create opportunities and break barriers. 

As part of the work, Conscious Youth with be visiting local colleges and schools to gather insight, including Greenhead College, Huddersfield New College, Kirklees College (Waterfront), Kirklees College (Springfield), Shelley College, Mirfield College, Brunswick Centre and Brian Jackson College.  

They are also calling on all music creatives alongside young people aged 16 to 24 in the area to share their thoughts, experiences and ideas for Kirklees Year of Music 2023. You can join the discussion by completing the online survey here.

Clr Will Simpson (centre) at the launch of Woven in St George’s Square

Kirklees Year of Music in 2023, is a unique, place-based, transformational cultural change programme that strengthens the music ecology of Kirklees from its roots, including education, health & wellbeing, the night-time economy, music tourism, aspiration and skills, and inclusion, with a view to tackling poverty, reducing inequalities and inequity and developing an inclusive economy.   

The year of music programme aims to harness the universal power of music to bring people together, improve health and well-being and put Kirklees firmly on the global map as a place where great music can be made, played and enjoyed. 

Serena Johnson and Sophie Simpson, co-founders of Conscious Youth, have been working across Kirklees since 2016 to reach young people in their community.  

The organisation’s approach is to start conversations with young people about their skills and passions, before developing a plan around those conversations and working with young people to help them achieve their goals. 

Director of operations Sophie Simpson said: “We’re really excited to be working on this consultation project with the team behind Kirklees Year of Music 2023. The dedicated year of music is going to be an amazing and different initiative that’s really going to bring communities together and show the world what Kirklees has to offer. 

“It’s so important that the project and its activities are led by the people of Kirklees and young people are a key part of that audience.”  

Clr Will Simpson, Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, added: “Our Year of Music is about celebrating who we are as a district, standing tall and being proud.

“Much like our Woven festival, this is an initiative that is being instigated by Kirklees Council. But it is not owned by the council. It is about our communities, our heritage and our future. 

“We’re delighted to be working with Conscious Youth as part of the project as we feel it’s essential to hear from the younger generation on what music means to them and what they want to see in the region.” 

Find out more about Kirklees Year of Music 2023 here: