Lights! Laptop! Action! Phoenix Natural Gas supports local performing arts centre move to the small screen

A leading local performing arts centre for young people is making the move to the small screen this week as part of a new online resource that has been developed to support, engage and encourage creative talent, with the support of Phoenix Natural Gas.

Youth Action’s Rainbow Factory in Belfast, is rolling out the red carpet as it premiers the Virtual Rainbow Factory in response to the impact of social distancing and lockdown measures for young people across Northern Ireland.

Offering a wealth of resources from drama, music and technical specialists through to live dance tutorials, the Virtual Rainbow Factory also features a Spotlight on Your Mind section to shine a light on mental wellbeing providing a platform for young people to engage, connect and share their feelings with daily tasks designed to help them do good and feel good while they stay home.

With over 500 members in Belfast and outreach programmes in Banbridge and Ballymena as well as resources for young people from Eastern European communities and projects for young people with a learning or physical disability, the move to the online platform gives a much needed boost to young people keen to continue developing their creative talents and provides a welcome break from the pressure of home schooling.

Maire Campbell, Artistic Director at The Rainbow Factory said: “With so many young people at home and unable to participate in the activities that they love we wanted to do something that would allow them to learn, have fun, connect with each other and feel part of a community again, and that’s what the Virtual Rainbow Factory is all about.

“We have designed the site so its accessible for any young person between the ages of 10 – 25, with access to live classes and chat forums available after verification. We’re delighted to raise the curtain on this as our latest production and to be offering access to the site and all its content for free thanks to the support received from Phoenix Natural Gas.

“We have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback to date from our members who have worked with us in designing the site which has shown us just how much of a lifeline it will be to so many young people.”

Jonathan Martindale, Director of Sales & Marketing at Phoenix Natural Gas said: “Supporting communities has been at the heart of Phoenix Natural Gas since its inception and we’re proud to play our part in supporting young people at this time by providing access to a creative outlet where they can learn new skills, connect with each other and be supported in looking after their mental wellbeing in these unprecedented times.

“We’re delighted our support has helped fuel the development of the Virtual Rainbow Factory and hope to see young people of all ages and backgrounds get involved and extend the network of members right across Northern Ireland.”

The Virtual Rainbow Factory officially launched on Friday 1 May with a wealth of different activities and resources for young people available online.  For further information on The Virtual Rainbow Factory or to become a Rainbow Factory Member see:

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