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Second Wave Centre for Youth Arts

Girl standing in a circle of people

Second Wave Centre for Youth Arts based in Deptford, South East London is an incredible example of what can be achieved by volunteers. Since 1982, Second Wave empowers young people to engage in youth-led creative outreach projects including workshops, performances, community forums and debates which explore the power of ideas and language. 

Learn more about the incredible work of the Second Wave Centre for Youth Arts.

Read the video transcript

Second Wave is proud to receive… The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Cheryl Brown
Hi there, my name is Cheryl Brown and I’m Chair of Trustees at Second Wave. We are a youth arts charity based in Deptford South East London. Since 1982, Second Wave has been offering young people a safe and creative space to develop their skills and confidence. It is amazing for us to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of our work. At Second Wave our young volunteers use their creative skills to support other young people. They are the next generation of community leaders. Our young volunteers give back to their community in different ways for example speaking out against hate crime, delivering outreach and partnership work and during the covid crisis supporting vulnerable young people. Now I’d like to introduce two of our young volunteers, Evan and Precious.

Hi, my name’s Evan, I started coming to Second Wave when I was 12 years old and I love doing drama and being a part of the production.

Hi, I’m Precious, I joined Second Wave when I was 12, I’d just moved to London from Ireland and I didn’t know anyone.

I started volunteering on Saturdays when I was 15 years old, helping out with things like hospitality and welcoming young people. Later on, I started working with the tutor, planning sessions and later delivering games and writing with the group. I enjoy talking to and supporting young people because they can be dealing with some difficult things in their young lives like being bullied or having problems at home. When I first came to Second Wave as a 12-year-old young leader, they showed themselves as a role model and also being able to understand the common issues of a teenager making me feel comfortable enough to be able to open up to them so as a young leader I try my best to replicate those traits. So that the kids of this generation can feel the same way. The Queen’s Award means a lot because it shows our hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed and because of it I have a sense of gratitude towards myself and my team.

Coming to Second Wave on Saturdays opened things up for me and gradually I built my confidence and started to make friends. When I was 15 I began volunteering and helping with leading workshops with the Police and young people and I learnt a lot. I also attended community meetings where I could put young peoples’ views across and be heard about important issues, learn our rights as young people and educate others. As I volunteer I’m able to support young people who may be dealing with difficult things such as bullying. It’s important to me to be able to address issues about the Police and young people. To make young people’s voices heard and to make our community safe.
I’d recommend volunteering to others because it allows you to form a passion without a financial reward. Receiving the Queen’s Award means a lot to my group because it shows our efforts make a difference in our community and the lives of young people are not going unnoticed and it motivates us to do better.

Cheryl Brown
I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of all the trustees, volunteers and members of Second Wave. They have shown such dedication in serving our local community over many years.

Text on Screen
A BIG SHOUT OUT to our volunteers, members, staff and partners who help us to deliver our work with young people in the community.

“Second Wave is a place to make new friends and build your confidence. It’s a place of creative freedom where I can be myself and show my individuality – be both different and in unity.”
Peace Ejedenawe, Second Wave Participant

“Our students thoroughly enjoyed Shadow Games Sessions. The way the learning materials were presented (by young actors) was really impressive. Our students really gained a lot from the classroom discussion (on grooming)…”
Mary O’Brien, Deputy Head Langdon Park School

“The best reflective practice I ever saw was between Second Wave and the Territorial Support Group. Both the Police officers and young people got so much from it… I am a huge advocate of it…”
Chief Inspector Jack Rowlands.

To find out more about our Young Leaders programme visit.

Copyright Second Wave Youth Arts 2021. All rights reserved. ‘On and On’ Instrumental by Erykah Badu.