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MP encourages families to join innovative arts programme

Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth is helping spread the word about the biggest children’s project of its kind in the UK – happening right here in the city.

Mr Ashworth has given his support to the latest recruitment drive from Talent 25, run by Arts Council England and De Montfort University.

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Talent 25 is an innovative research programme which aims to find out what effect creativity, culture and quality early years activities can have on a child’s development. The Talent 25 team is looking for Leicester families with babies aged under 12 months in September to join artists for regular sessions including messy play, music, singing and more at venues across the city.

Researchers contact families every six months to hear about their experiences. All activities are free.

Mr Ashworth has written to constituents across Leicester South to let them know about Talent 25 and is planning to attend a session when they resume in the autumn.

Mr Ashworth MP said: “I really encourage people to get involved with Talent 25. The sessions are great fun, you get to meet other local families and, most importantly, your child has a good time and will also benefit from the sessions.”

Lead researcher Professor Bertha Ochieng, Professor of Health and Social Care at DMU, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Mr Ashworth and look forward to being able to introduce him to our families and artists as soon as we resume sessions.

“Families who are already taking part tell us that they believe their babies are benefiting from the activities in terms of having a happy and enjoyable experience.”

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Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive at Arts Council England said: “Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not. Every child has the capacity to be creative and opportunities to realise this potential should be equally available. We hope that Talent25 will help us to better understand what might make a difference to young people’s talent development and cultural engagement.

“We’re delighted that Jonathan Ashworth MP has recognised this value and is encouraging local families from his constituency to join in and discover the amazing impact creativity can have on us all.”

Talent 25 is currently working in several parts of Leicester including Wycliffe and  Spinney Hills wards, in Mr Ashworth’s Leicester South constituency plus Thurncourt, Hamilton and Humberstone and Fosse council ward areas,   which come under Leicester East and Leicester West. More areas will become eligible in the coming months.

If you would like to sign up or find out more, please visit the Talent 25 website at  or email the Talent 25 team at

Posted on Wednesday 22nd July 2020

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