Talented teenage artist illustrates key document

Talented teenage artist illustrates key document
27 March 2018

An award-winning artist has created a series of stunning illustrations for Darlington’s new Children and Young Peoples Plan (CYPP).

Jonathan Raiseborough was invited to design the front and back covers of the CYPP, which has been produced by Darlington Borough Council in collaboration with children and young people, young carers, health professionals, the police, the voluntary sector and schools.

The CYPP has been eeople and will be reviewed each year between now and 2022, to identify key actions based on children and young people’s needs.

Council staff first met Jonathan, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, in 2016 when he was presented with a Vibe Award in the ‘achievement against the odds’ category. He was then invited to create a series of illustrations for a children’s novel about overcoming prejudice, written by children’s author and former Northern Echo editor Peter Barron. This work saw Jonathan win the accolade of Ambassador for the North East Autism Society (NEAS).

Jonathan was among a group of CYPP stakeholders who gathered to mark the launch of the plan at Longfield Academy, in Darlington, on Friday (16 March).

Councillor Cyndi Hughes, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “As the CYPP was being developed and discussions took place around how the plan would look, it was suggested that it would be good to include children and young people in the design. It seemed a natural fit to ask Jonathan if he would like to create some designs of Darlington landmarks that involved children and young people. Jonathan was delighted and sent us six draft illustrations. It was difficult, but we managed to select two favourites – one which will feature as the front cover and one which will feature as the back. 

“We have many talented young people in our borough who simply deserve the chance to prove themselves and only need a hand up. I hope Jonathan’s success will give a boost to other young people and a nudge to employers to look for opportunities to develop and nurture young talent.

“I am delighted to hear of Jonathan’s success as an illustrator and wish him all the best with his chosen career.”

Jonathan said:  “I think it’s incredible all this has happened – that there is a book with my drawings in it and the CYPP features my illustrations on the front and back cover. My ambition is to be an illustrator, so to have this experience is amazing.”

A further launch event for the CYPP, aimed at children and young people across the borough, will take place at the Dolphin Centre on Wednesday, 11 April. The CYPP is available to read online at www.darlington.gov.uk/cypp

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