Stand out in Darwen

Stand Out In Darwen

£450k campaign launched to Inspire Communities

A new campaign to inspire youngsters in Darwen was launched at the town’s Library Theatre with musicians, speakers and even cheerleaders on hand to motivate the audience of students, parents and teachers.

Stand Out In Darwen aims to support young people in achieving their potential by drawing schools, community organisations, businesses, parents and the wider community to work together.

A partnership between Darwen Aldridge Academy (DACA), Blackburn with Darwen Community and Voluntary Service and Blackburn with Darwen Strategic Partnership, Stand Out In Darwen has secured £450,000 from the Inspiring Communities government grant programme.

The launch event was to inform parents and students of ways that they can get involved in Stand Out In Darwen and shaping the future of the town’s communities.

They were treated to a performance from DACA year 10 musicians and a demonstration from local cheerleading squad, Cheer Valley as well as an inspiring speech from local lad turned entrepreneur and voluntary worker Johnny Magee.

Jude Smith is co-ordinating Stand Out In Darwen at DACA. She said: “Darwen is one of just 15 neighbourhood partnerships across the country to have been awarded Inspiring Communities status.

“Darwen is a wonderful place to live and work, and that is the message we want to share with our young people.

“Opportunities exist here and we want to reiterate and reinforce this to our young people.”

Inspiring Communities follows a Government study by the social exclusion task force into the aspirations and achievements in deprived communities.

Unsurprisingly, the study showed that parents are the most important influence on young people’s aspirations.

However, the study also demonstrated that young people’s ambition is also significantly influenced by the people around them and the place they live.

Brendan Loughran, Principal at DACA said of the programme: “Stand Out In Darwen will provide inspiration, advice, guidance and connections – our young people can succeed with the right support.”

The first stage of the campaign, which begins in the coming weeks, will see Stand Out In Darwen splashed across the town; on posters, in shops, through leaflets and with an online portal to engage young people and their families.

The campaign will use role models who work, live and went to school in the town, to provide inspiration and advice.

Brendan added: “Local role models are key to this campaign – they are part of the fabric of the town and they are succeeding thanks to ambition, hard work and support.

“All our young people and their parents can see for themselves just what can be achieved.”

As the Stand Out In Darwen programme progresses, it will promote closer partnership working so that local organisations act as a team to offer better opportunities and support to Darwens communities allowing residents of the town get involved and take more responsibility for their futures.

A Darwen Central Neighbourhood Panel will be established to lead the programme, made up of members of the community and parents, and supported by Groundwork Pennine Lancashire and Bootstrap Enterprises.

For information of how you can get involved in Stand Out In Darwen or to register your interest in the programme please visit