Backstage at The Lowry: Joel Weaver, Senior Project Co-ordinator – Inspire to Aspire

My name is Joel Weaver, I’m the senior project coordinator for the Inspired to Aspire program working from our community and education department here at The Lowry, I’m also the self-appointed Lowry Quiz Master which we’ll talk about later.

Inspired to Aspire is an employability project aimed at helping 14-19 year olds from Salford. The initiative sets out to use the inspirational environment and people of local organisations like The Lowry to encourage and nurture aspiration within disengaged young people and provide formal and informal entry routes into employment or education.

I’ve worked at The Lowry now for just over two and a half years and I’ve loved every minute. I first came to The Lowry on a three month secondment from Salford Foundation, I’m presuming it went well as I’m still here, haha!

My job is really varied, interesting and super beneficial to our service users, my day to day role includes meeting up with young people either at The Lowry of anywhere across Salford and helping them move forward in their employability journey. This can involve anything from working on a CV’s or interview skills right through to attending workshop from providers such as Nando or referring course run by the FA, as skills and confidence grow we then help them to access career relevant work placements at any one of our connected businesses.

This bring nicely onto the other side of my job which is working with all our referral agencies and work placement providers. This bring a really nice mix of experience to my role as I get to meet and see some really interesting business from around Salford and connect them into the work we do. It’s really great when we can link Salford based business directly to Salford young people.

Being at the Lowry has also been a real highlight for me personally as it’s allowed me experience so many different types art & exhibitions while I’ve been here, two of my highlights have been seeing War Horse for the first time, and I also got to meet Ben Eine (UK’s Leading Graffiti Artist) and watch him produce an 82 meter piece of art over seven days on one of the exhibition spaces in our gallery, it was mind blowing.

I love what I do and getting to see our young people grow and develop into stronger and confident young adults with new prospects and opportunities.

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