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VIBE is an asset-based charity that was formed in 2015 to provide a 
communal safe space for young people [members] with an offer that 
engages them in creativity to help build resilience to the challenges 
they face.  

Although VIBE members include young people aged 11-24 who may 
have experienced traumatic episodes in their lives. such as: asylum 
seekers/refugees, looked-after, self-harming, self-medicating, autistic, 
bullied and abused our aim is to identify and enable them to develop 
their individual assets rather than focusing on their needs and problems. 

Promoting and building resilience in young people through creativity is 
key to VIBE’s model of improving mental wellbeing. Resilience does not 
mean being immune to stressful situations rather overcoming and 
dealing with them. Developing the ability to navigate, overcome and 
recover from adversity is a key ingredient for happiness, success and 
satisfaction in life. 

Members are encouraged and supported to work alongside 
professional artists and technicians to develop their creativity in 
whatever areas they choose, across the whole spectrum of the arts.  
SWCT HUB has facilities and facilitators to encourage and enable 
members to share what they create in their own way, when and with 
whom they choose.  

Members are given the opportunity to gain qualifications including Arts 
Awards, to access further and higher education and to seek 
employment and training. 

Members are given a voice and the wider community are encouraged 
to listen through local print media, social media, website, exhibition, 
public performance, and VIBECAST. 



Alison Cooper

Alison Cooper is a musician, composer, visual artist and museum curator. Her experience as a creative educator, community worker and project manager has brought together a socially engaged practice combining these unique elements.

Seeking to develop new understandings between narratives of landscape, material culture and human interaction is a key influence on the work she creates. Influenced by the intriguing nature of archive and museum collections Alison works to bring a fresh understanding to historic narratives which can never truly be replicated, only re-visioned. The collection of personal narratives, studying of archives, folklore and material culture are central to achieving this.

Performing and releasing music under the name Magpahi, she has toured UK and Europe and has numerous releases via Twisted Nerve, Bird Records, Finders Keepers Records, Folklore Tapes and A Year in the Country. As a visual artist she also works in a variety of mediums including photography, printmaking, animation, textiles and has a foundation course in herbal medicine.

Recent clients include BBC, In-Situ (Pendle), Gallery Oldham, Touchstones Rochdale, Barnardo's, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, Yorkshire Sound Women Network, South Square Gallery and The Whittaker Museum. Alison is has a full DBS and is qualified to run Arts Award (Trinity College London).

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VIBE AC Singing in Black Background_1258

Steve Cooke

Steve is an experienced educator and creative arts columnist:

Curator of the ‘All Across the Arts column. Alongside the AATA family of writers writing articles, interviews, previews and reviews covering local to global creative artists of all genres A column published in print twice per week in the Rochdale Observer, Heywood and Middleton Guardian and quarterly in Style Magazine; Digitally on and shared across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin and 

A 30-year high school teaching career 1974-2005. Assistant Head teacher of a performing arts school responsible for achieving its specialist school status. Speaker at education conferences and training programmes. Member of government advisory groups. A level Sociology teacher with a MA in Education

A member of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Olympic Truce Stakeholders Group 2010-2012.  Achieving 2012 Olympic Truce status for a Greater Manchester peace-related project registered on the International Olympic Committee Extranet.

A trustee of Your Trust, member of the Rochdale Refugees and Asylum-Seekers Multi-agency Forum and Rochdale in Rainbows Steering Group.

A Justice of the Peace for Greater Manchester sitting 2007- 2018.

Curator of the Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival Fringe Writers’ Showcase.

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Seamus Kelly

Seamus Kelly has been a member of the Vibe/SWCT team for five years specialising in supporting young people through creative writing and is currently supporting a group developing Vibecast, a recorded and livestream opportunity for the members to share their artwork, photography, music, creative writing, and reviews to a wide audience.

Seamus is a poet, writer, photographer, and artist and has worked as a writer since 2015. He has performed his work across greater Manchester and beyond including high profile performances at the Eroica Festival in Derbyshire.

With 14 years of teaching in colleges, high schools and special education he has also developed an extensive range of workshops for writers and artists Seamus has facilitated and delivered workshops on a wide range of topics for schools, libraries, writing groups, and community organisations.

Seamus was the originator and one of the commissioned poets for Connect2 Poetry, creating a poetry trail around Rochdale's extensive Connect2 network of walking and cycling routes.

As an environmentalist, with a degree in Ecology to go alongside an HND in Graphic Design and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education Seamus is a rare combination of scientist and creative; prone perhaps to thinking (and talking) too much.

His first short collection of poetry “Thinking Too Much” is filled with poems inviting the reader to think about life, family, nature, politics, justice, peace, and society. Prominent Yorkshire poet James Nash said of Thinking Too Much “Seamus Kelly’s poetry is the poetry of journeys and places. Sometimes that place is the past and sometimes it is where nature and people intersect. But always it is written with a kind of passionate precision, and with great humanity”

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Parvez Qadir

Parvez is a creative facilitator who is passionate about working with people from different walks of life, helping them to share their stories by providing them with a platform to be heard. I have facilitated and produced a range of creative projects from live theatre, film, and animation with a range of diverse young people from all different types of backgrounds and delivered in a variety of settings including theatres, schools, colleges and community groups. 

​Working as a professional actor for more than 15 yrs, being involved in a two-time Bafta award winning Drama series has given him the confidence and skills to work with film and stagecraft. Coming from a South Asian heritage, second generation, has shaped Parvez and his experiences and provided a belief that he wants community to always be at the heart of what he does. His background as a teacher has given him skills to create a safe, nurturing environment to explore and create drama, build, and nurture imagination. 

Parvez’s recent work includes the Royal Exchange Theatre and M6 Theatre where he delivered ground-breaking and award-winning creative projects. Part of his success is that he is am a firm believer in partnership working and creating legacy work that can sustain itself long after he completes a project. Parvez has received the award of 'Best Cultural Facilitator' for two years running and won 'Artist Of The Year 2018'in the Rochdale Cultural and Sports awards.

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John Cooke

Born and lived in Rochdale nearly all his life.

Spent 12 years in the British Army then spent 12 years in the IT industry designing large databases for banks and insurance companies.

Travelled extensively.

Currently - artist and photographer.

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