‘Life-changing’ Leeds MAP charity celebrates the past as it looks to the future

Visitors buying bags on sale at the party. 'Picture: Gerard Binks Photography
Visitors buying bags on sale at the party. 'Picture: Gerard Binks Photography
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CITY creatives, former students and supporters came together to raise a glass, and a tune, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of a charity which gives excluded children a second chance - with “spine tingling results”.

MAP (Music and Arts Production) Charity, which is based at Hope Foundry on Mabgate, held a huge party at the Corn Exchange on Saturday, with live DJs, food prepared by Salvo’s restaurant and the Real Junk Food Project, and spoken word poetry.

Former student Taylor Hogan puts up work by MAP student. Picture: Gerard Binks Photography

Former student Taylor Hogan puts up work by MAP student. Picture: Gerard Binks Photography

The afternoon of “inspiration, art, music and togetherness” was a chance for current and former students to get together with the charity’s friends and supporters to toast the last ten years, but also look to the future.

The charity’s communications manager Raf Bogan said: “It’s been a really important year for the charity and we’ve made fantastic progress thanks to the hard work and support of our team, volunteers, trustees, donors and supporters, so the Community Day was the perfect chance for every one to get together and celebrate these achievements.”

MAP is currently trying to raise £2.4m to buy and renovate the Grade II-listed Hope Foundry, which will go up for sale when its lease expires next year, and has been working with its neighbours in Mabgate, Leeds City Council, its landlord and investors to “drive forward” its plans.

It is on track to reach its target of £400,000 for the first phase of fundraising and Saturday’s events raised a further £3,000 selling handmade gifts, food and drinks.

Lawrence Burton on the deck. Picture: Gerard Binks Photography

Lawrence Burton on the deck. Picture: Gerard Binks Photography

MAP offers youngsters at risk of exclusion from school the chance to gain qualifications in creative media and design, maths and English.

MAP Ambassador, historian Robert Dyson said he thought its methods could be a template that could be rolled out across the country to “successfully link challenging children with the arts”.

He added: “MAP Charity gives excluded children a chance to get back onto the straight and narrow by reaching out to them in an uniquely innovate way – with some astonishing and spine tingling results.”

Former student, filmmaker, Taylor Hogan, said: “MAP has changed my life and I know it’s changed others as well.”

AMONG those performing at the event were former student AJ, who delivered a powerful spoken word piece looking at the stigma of being labelled a ‘bad kid’

In the piece, which received an eruption of applause, he said: “It’s like everyone’s stuck in this same cage.

“Where you’re meant to act, walk and talk the same way.

“And if i was to change I’d never be the same.

“I ain’t tryna be a robot; I was born with a brain.”