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Former Young Offender turns his life around with DJ project in Hull

31 March 2008

Lee on the decks A DJ project in Hull which offers support to young people looking for a future in music has been hailed a success after one young person has turned his life around through taking part.

Former young offender, 17 year-old Lee Boyce, has been a regular attender of the DJ element of the Youth Music Mentors scheme run by Music4U the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone.

The scheme which was funded by the DCMS via Youth Music, aimed to get young people involved in music making by providing one-to-one and group mentoring sessions with peers, musicians and the music industry. The project was set up to help tackle antisocial behaviour and raise aspirations among young people.

Lee took part in six months of DJ weekly workshops led by professional DJ Brian Barrott who is based in Hull but has performed Internationally. Brian took participants including learning the basics of vinyl mixing then built on this to introduce more advanced techniques leading up to set-building and performance skills.

Other young people have benefited from the scheme but Lee's talents and commitment have particularly shone through. Now Lee, who specialises in Drum and Bass music, is preparing for his first live gig which will take place at the Creative Voice showcase for young people on Monday 14th April at the Lamp venue on Norfolk Street in Hull from 7pm.

Lee said of his time on the scheme: 'I've been learning to music, making the records sound real nice together. I used to be in and out of trouble and music has turned my life around. Hopefully I'm heading towards opportunities for later on and the future. The Music4U project has been an excellent opportunity. If you are into music, I strongly advise you to go for it.'

Brian, who has been Lee's music mentor throughout the scheme said of Lee's achievements: 'We've been able to help him leave behind his negativity and become a much more positive person through the music'.

Youth Music Mentors project co-ordinator, Samantha Sumerfield of Music4U said: "It has been a pleasure to watch Lee's transformation from the young person who first came to the project to the confident and talented character he is now. It just shows the things that can be achieved by young people in trouble given the opportunity and support to do so."

Lee intends to continue to develop his DJ skills and look for performance opportunities. He is also hoping to go to college now he has proved he can be a committed and reliable young person.

More information on Youth Music Mentors in Hull is also available on the Music4U website at and the project myspace at

Press Contact: Melanie Paris on 07931 391736 or Sam Sumerfield on 07968 558118
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Editor's Notes:
1. Music4U is the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone. Music4U is co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music working in partnership with the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire Councils. The Action Zones have been instigated and funded by Youth Music and are supported by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. More info is available at

2. Youth Music was set up in 1999 with £10m a year of Lottery funding received through Arts Council England. It funds and facilitates high quality and diverse music making for young people, particularly those living in areas of social and economic need and geographical isolation. Youth Music reached nearly 1,400,000 children and young people in its first five years. By 2010, Youth Music aims to have reached 3 million children and young people in a UK-wide strategy to support youth music making. For further information visit

3. Youth Music Mentors is a national mentoring programme to help tackle antisocial behaviour and raise aspirations among young people. The £666,000 DCMS funded programme will get young people involved in making music and provide one-to-one and group mentoring sessions with peers, musicians and the music industry.

The project is part of a wider programme of activities being developed to help meet the Government's Respect Agenda. Similar mentoring projects are being run, focusing on media (managed by The Media Trust) and sport (managed by Youth Sport Trust and Sport England via delivery agent Creating Excellence).

The Youth Music Mentors programme is being implemented by a number of delivery partners, working in 14 areas, including Youth Music Action Zones, Music Services, community music organisations and Gallery 37+.