14 young people from Rotherham, aged 16 to 25, have been recruited to help drive Rotherham forward as part of the borough’s ambitious Children’s Capital of Culture 2025 programme.

The next cohort of Children’s Capital of Culture trainees have been announced, and they are now working with three change-making organisations in Rotherham to deliver more public events and help shape the vision for their future hometown, while gaining life-enhancing skills and experience in the creative industries.

Sophie Ellingham, Lottie Howe and Maria Sofragiu have all joined FLUX Rotherham on a one-year contract as Festival Makers. Their first project was as WOWsers helping to shape the programme of the forward-thinking WOW – Women of the World Festival in Rotherham in June (pictured on the cover). The young team are now hard at work planning a series of creative summer events that will engage young people and marginalised groups in Rotherham, and give them a taster of what becoming Children’s Capital of Culture in 2025 will be like. Experienced creative mentors are working with them to help turn their ideas into reality.

Nine trainees have also joined Wentworth Woodhouse on a 14-week training programme, where they are learning advanced digital, photography, film, editing, producing and acting skills and organised an immersive House of Future Creatives event at Wentworth on 21st June.

And following the success of last year’s training programme, three trainees from the 2022 cohort have now been recruited as Engagement Assistants for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in 2023, with increased responsibility. Artist Adrian, marketing graduate Christopher and actress Abi are all working part-time at the Council to support in spreading the word about Rotherham becoming Children’s Capital of Culture in 2025, delivering participatory workshops and flagship projects to bring more art and culture to the borough.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Councillor David Sheppard, adds: “The ultimate goal of Children’s Capital of Culture is to support more children and young people across the borough to create a bolder, more ambitious and creative future for themselves, increasing overall pride and aspiration in our borough and nurturing a skilled young workforce that can make a real difference to Rotherham’s future.”

The paid training programme has been made possible thanks to funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.