This Is Byker
Our Story - Aly Smith applied to Awards for All for a volunteer manager. Roweena Russell joined the Byker team in September 2018. The Volunteer programme started right away and as the group formed people started to ‘produce’. Two of the volunteers at the centre Stephen and Tom started to share their art work. Stephen and Roweena met through the Byker tenants and residents association. Tom is a local artist and had an exhibition on at the centre. They both volunteered and started to produce what we call ‘visual prozac’. Stephen produced drawings of the estate and Tom designed Tee Shirts, Glasses and turned Stephen’s drawings in the beautiful greeting cards and prints.
The Byker Community Centre provided support - materials- space and a lot of encouragement. ‘This Is Byker’ is an expression of love for the Byker Wall as it stands, respect for the ideals of Erskine and Newcastle City Council in building the Estate and hope for the future of the estate and the people who make it the incredible place that it is.
Future plans; we aim to design, produce and sell This Is Byker products from our cafe gift
shop, in local outlets and retailers big and small. Every part of the process involves the community, learning and skills building and creating employment opportunities in Byker and Newcastle.
How can you help?
Tell other people about our campaign. Go to the #ThisIsByker tag on twitter and share our story. If you know of retailers large of small send them our way. It is the connections that can make the difference.
If you would like to stock The Is Byker we would be delighted to work with you. We will sell our products at a fair price to retail to ensure that everyone can afford to have some of the This Is Byker campaign in their lives.
Our campaign aims to build skills in our community, you can support this project by sharing your skills and know how with the people working on our campaign. Go to our online shop https://www.bykerca.org/this-is-byker-campaign or drop in to our centre to place an order.