Young people in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire used the creative arts to make a splash in their beloved seaside town.
“We identified litter as a huge problem for the town, made worse by the ebb and flow of tourists. There is a lack of ownership and responsibility for how the sea front looks. We wrote a poem called Mabo about what it’s like growing up in a town where there’s nothing to do and nowhere to go.
“We carried out a high-profile litter pick around the town to raise awareness, and were surprised by the number of people who passed by without commenting on what we were doing.
“To get people’s attention, we worked with a local graffiti artist to create graffiti boards reminding visitors to pick up their rubbish and the effects of plastic pollution to life in the sea. We sought permission to add these to derelict walls along the beach front – it was really hard just finding out whose responsibility the walls were as everyone we asked said it wasn’t them! Eventually, we discovered they’re owned by the Environment Agency, and we’re now waiting for permission from them to attach the pieces of art.
“The young people gave grown in self-confidence. They can stand up for themselves, talk to people at more senior levels and are more resilient through learning it doesn’t always go your way the first time. They are more aware and positive that they can have an impact locally.”
Georgina, YMCA Youth Worker
“We also wrote, designed, and recorded a short music video aimed at local primary children, encouraging them to pick up litter to help local wildlife and make the environment nicer for everyone. We used the same fish cartoon characters in both the graffiti art and the video.
“After this, we met a local councillor who was very supportive of what we’re trying to do, and he invited us to be part of another initiative which involved painting enormous murals on the sides of a huge shipping container placed on the sea front which will contain information for public consultation regarding regeneration plans for the town.