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Young people launch petition to save music project in Mill Hill
HUNDREDS have signed a petition against the planned cuts to services at a youth centre in Mill Hill.
Young people at Canada Villa Youth Centre in Pursley Road set up the appeal to help save the music project, Rithmik and in just two days they have over 300 signatures.
Barnet Council plans to reorganise youth support in order to save £1.65 million from the children’s service budget, which could mean the centre loses staff and Rithmik programmes would be cut.
The project is for young people aged between 13 and 19-years-old and provides sessions in music production, lyric writing and studio recording.
Kevine Bikebi, 16, has lived in Mill Hill for eight years and has been a part of Rithmik for nearly two years.
She said: “Since I came here I’ve learned so much about music and whereas before I just used to like hip hop and R&B, the project has opened my eyes to all different genres like soul, drum and bass and jazz.
“Music is my life and Rithmik is like a second home – if we were to lose it then I’d feel like a part of me was missing.”
Nelson Esteves, 20, has attended the centre for around three years and as well as taking part in the project he aims to inspire its younger members with his positive lyrics.
He said: “When I write and when I rap, it’s about positive things – it’s about showing the kids they have the opportunity to be whatever they want to be if they put their mind to it.
“The project has done so much for me and it can do a lot for others too - it keeps kids of the streets and gives them something fun and worthwhile to do.”
Councillor Andrew Harper, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for education, children and families, said: “The proposed restructure of our youth services, including Rithmik, will allow us to be creative and find new ways of working with our partners, including the voluntary sector, to offer a more targeted range of activities for the borough’s young people.”