#ThisIsDerby: Nurturing Derby’s Young People


21 August 2020

#ThisIsDerby: Nurturing Derby’s Young People

Since 2018, QUAD worked has worked in collaboration with Derby digital marketing agency, Frogspark and creative studio Firecatcher to help young people in Derby develop essential life skills.

With the help from Frogspark founders Rob and Liam, and Sam and Tom from Firecatcher, QUAD led a number of workshops and have worked with 16 young people who took on the task of planning, designing and building the #ThisIsDerby website. #ThisIsDerby is a unique collaboration of sport, arts and cultural activity supporting the development of essential life skills of young people.

#ThisIsDerby is a key project tackling this issue led by Derby County Community Trust, Derby’s Cultural Education Partnership and Derby Sport Forum. We are empowering young people to improve essential life skills such as resilience, emotional well-being and employability. The project supports the work of the Derby Opportunity Area, which aims to increase the number of children achieving a good level of development, improved attainment in schools and benefiting from a broad range of experiences. The This Is Derby website was made by young people, for young people.

#ThisIsDerby’s web team attended fortnightly workshops at QUAD to understand how to design a website. They made decisions about who and what the website is for, content, language and the navigation. These workshops included everything from defining key pages, to creating a sitemap, learning code and front end design. Overall, the young people learnt many aspects of web design and development, creating a very vibrant and visually stunning website, they’ve done a great job!

QUAD secured additional funding in partnership with Derby County Community Trust  to extend the programme into a second academic year and develop two new pages on the environment and wellbeing, at the request of the web team. This year the web team have, so far, worked with Dave Wells (Green Party), Sue McFarlane (sustainability expert) and Kat Wheeler (student climate striker) and staff from Rolls Royce to explore the topics of the environment and wellbeing. They have continued to work with Frogspark and Firecatcher to design the page styles and content for these pages. They will continue on the project once QUAD re-opens.

With the additional funding, the programme was also extended to work with Horizons 6th Form and St Martins School, and Pear Tree Junior School to create visual content for the environment and wellbeing pages. School children and staff from the two schools have, so far, worked with artists Helen Jackson, Abbie Canning, Karen Logan and Sam Jordan, sustainability expert Sue McFarlane, and mindfulness and yoga expert Carrie Meadows to create artwork and films to populate the new pages. The project will continue when each school feels it is safe to do so. A series of short mindfulness videos created by students from Pear Tree Juniors is available to view on QUAD’s YouTube channel.

Since the creation of #ThisIsDerby and their website, they have managed to engage with over 2,000 young individuals across a whole host of different experiences and activities. It’s been a great initiative we’ve been proud to be involved with, we’ve really helped these creative young people develop their skills and confidence by taking part in these extra-curricular activities.

If you’re a Derbyshire-based business and would love to get involved to support the next generation through arts, culture and sport then head over to #ThisIsDerby, to see how you can help to support the Young People of Derby. The MD of Frogspark Rob Twells said

“Working with QUAD was a fantastic experience. Everything was organised perfectly and knowing you’re putting your skillset to good use by educating others is a fantastic feeling. I would urge any local businesses to get involved with the QUAD where they can. We’re all looking forward to carrying this project onwards and upwards to help further support a greater amount of young people in Derby. We really want to see a city where the younger generation is thriving to the best of their ability regardless of their circumstances and upbringing.”

QUAD is a registered charity.