AN "innovative and ambitious" project to help young people deal with mental health issues celebrated its first year with a showcase evening of film music and dance.

The ICE Project is a £200,00 three year scheme run by Artswork, Hampshire Cultural Trust and Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

In its first 12 months 100 vulnerable young people have worked with 20 health, youth and arts partners across Hampshire to learn instruments, write songs and choreograph dance pieces.

Now they have wowed the crowds with an evening performance and an exhibition at one of Hampshire's popular arts venues.

The night at the Point saw young people take to the stage to show off their new skills - which included writing lyrics and music, playing instruments, recording their own song in a professional studio; scripting, acting in and producing films about the effect of a close family bereavement on young people; a dance piece around the word ‘worry’ choreographed and performed live by young people from Hampshire Fostering Network and Lakeside School in Chandler’s Ford.

Each project had three phases - inspire - an inspiration point, such as a trip to a cultural venue; create - a participation phase such as regular workshops with professional artists, musicians or cultural practitioners; and exchange - showcasing opportunities, such as performance, exhibitions or online sharing of work created.

CEO of Hampshire Cultural Trust Jane Owen said: "The ICE Project has been hugely ambitious from the outset. But having seen this tremendously powerful and moving celebration evening, the scope of that ambition has been entirely justified. The progress that the young people involved have made through participating in ICE is testament to the hugely beneficial effects that art and culture can have on wellbeing. We look forward to taking even greater steps together over the project’s next two years."

Jane Bryant, Artswork Chief Executive, said: "At Artswork we see first-hand how valuable high-quality arts and cultural experiences can be for the mental health and wellbeing of young people. We have been delighted to co-invest in the ICE Programme and thrilled with the results in this, its first year."

Helen Dove, Innovation & Participation Lead for Hampshire CAMHS, added: "This project was very much a leap in the dark for CAMHS. Although we have always recognised the positive psychological benefits that art and culture can have on wellbeing, this is the first time that we have engaged in a partnership to take the concept forward as a formal part of the work that we do with young people. We are incredibly proud of the creativity, honesty and boldness expressed by young people across all the groups and sincerely hope that each individual will continue to participate in arts activity as it appears to have been so beneficial to their emotional wellbeing."