Birmingham Hippodrome’s newest cohort of Young Advocates are a group of 14–22-year-olds from the West Midlands who will support and influence the Hippodrome’s work with and for young people.

The Young Advocates will focus on individual development as well as working on a collective vision for Birmingham Hippodrome’s future, feeding back to the organisations senior team and Board.

Alongside working closely with the Hippodrome to programme and produce events for young people, the Young Advocates will receive training, mentoring and access to a range of different opportunities within the arts industry.

Mathilde Petford, Young People and Community Manager at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “This is our third and biggest cohort of Young Advocates. We had almost 50% of last year’s group wanting to stay on the programme so we have a lovely mix of experienced and new young people.

This group come from all over the West Midlands and are particularly interested in access and inclusion in the arts. We have writers, dancers, actors, costume designers, musicians and more! The Young Advocates will work closely with Hippodrome staff and Board to help shape the future of the organisation, supporting us in our delivery of our new five year strategy.

I’m pretty certain we have some future leaders in the group, so watch this space!”

Meet our new team of Young Advocates and find out why they applied for this special programme:

I consider the Hippodrome my second home. I am so happy to be part of the Young Advocates again, as I loved the range of opportunities that we got up to last year, including speaking in front of the CEOs of Arts Council England, BFI, and The National Lottery.

In the past year I have been studying psychology and getting involved in research assistant positions in neuroscience. However, I also have a passion in the arts, as being part of a multi-cultural community shaped my childhood. I joined the Young Advocates to speak for youth who don’t have a voice that’s heard often within the arts.

I have been part of the Musicals Youth Theatre at the Hippodrome for 7 years. I chose to apply to be a part of Young Advocates as I want to help improve the number of opportunities out there for young people.

I’m from Durham originally but moved to Birmingham for university and now I live and work here! I did my degree in Speech and Language Therapy and now I work as a Speech Therapist in primary schools and love it. I applied for Young Advocates to give others the same opportunities I had, to fall in love with theatre and feel that they belong.

My main passion is theatre, I love the buzz it gives you when you see a show. I attend Musical Youth Theatre at Birmingham Hippodrome which is great for building confidence and a brilliant introduction to theatre.
I applied to be a Young Advocate because I want to learn and experience as much about theatre as I can, and it will be great to try and introduce other young people to the joys of performance.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve ran a musical theatre club within school, performed in the West End and most recently, co-organised and directed a “Night of Shakespeare” showcase. I applied for the Young Advocates programme because firstly, I admire the Hippodrome and its projects but also because I’d love to learn more about theatre in a professional setting.

I’m currently studying Musical Theatre, alongside English Literature at A Level. I have a passion for performing and have recently taken a specific interest in teaching and choreographing, as I love to watch younger children find their passion for the arts. I applied to the Young Advocates as I want to have an impact on how people perceive creative arts and how accessible it is in Birmingham.

I have attended Stagecoach Solihull for 7 years, which is where my passion for acting blossomed. I am currently studying a level 3 diploma in acting. I applied to join the Young Advocates to further my understanding of theatre and experience everything on offer. I am particularly intrigued by the work of the lighting department, and I am looking forward to making new friends and playing an active role as a Young Advocate.


Originally interested in wardrobe design before branching out into other areas, I studied Fashion and Textiles at Nottingham College, and have worked on shows for the Nottingham Shakespeare Company. Now studying Drama and Theatre Arts in Birmingham, I have a particular interest in making classical theatre accessible to all, especially young audiences. I’m also the president of my university’s classical theatre society.

I’ve grown up in the West Midlands and accessed performing arts through school and the Hippodrome.

I believe that being a part of this group will be incredibly invaluable for me, boosting my confidence and help me to understand more about the industry. I’m excited to learn about all the different aspects of theatre. I’m interested in art, design and architecture as well photography, history and the performing arts and am excited to see where my interests fit within the programme.

I am nearly 21 years old and I have lived in Birmingham my whole life. I am autistic and have struggled to find a place where I feel at home, but I’ve always found theatre very welcoming.

I applied because I think it’s going to be an amazing opportunity. I really want to make a difference within the industry and make it more accessible and inclusive so more people can find a home within the theatre.

I am currently part of Stirchley Youth Theatre and have been for a few years, I have also attended a film club at the MAC where we made our own short films. I applied to the Young Advocates because theatre has always been a huge part of my life, especially at the Hippodrome. I hope the Young Advocates will give me opportunities for more experience in the different areas of an active theatre, along with making new friends and giving back to the community.

I was a member of the first cohort of the Young Advocates. Before becoming a Young Advocate, I was part of a Hippodrome Education Network and was also a member of the Birmingham Hippodrome’s Musicals Youth Theatre.

During my time in the Young Advocates, I have had several exciting opportunities such as volunteering at multiple festivals, presenting to the Hippodrome’s Board of Trustees and giving a speech to the National Board for the National Lottery Community Fund.

I am passionate about creating equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their income, status, or identity. I believe the arts should be something for everyone to share.

I was born in Birmingham and am a very outgoing performer and artist. I enjoy drama and theatre but also many other activates such as singing, art and martial arts.

I have applied because participating will help me gain insight into the roles and people that make the Hippodrome so vibrant.

I am most excited about interacting with likeminded people my age as well as understanding what happens behind the scenes.

I’m an 18-year-old dancer from Birmingham. I have taken part in a few curtain raiser performances at the Hippodrome with companies like Motionhouse and Ailey 2. I applied for the programme as I knew I would be given the best insight into the performing arts industry giving me the knowledge to proceed with a career in the arts. Growing up as a dancer, I understand the visible part of theatre, however, I am really excited to learn more about what happens beyond the curtain.

I heard about Young Advocates at the Hippodrome and applied to develop my knowledge and interests in wardrobe, costume, scenery and lighting. I hope the programme will help me build my confidence and share fresh experiences with new people.

Born and raised in Birmingham, my passion for creativity and learning goes hand-in-hand. What excites me most about theatre is backstage, from costumes to prop making, to set designs. I love to see what it takes to create such important parts of theatre.

I applied to the Young Advocates programme because I would like to have a closer look at other jobs in theatre and to meet and make friends with similar and different interest to me.

I absolutely love to dance and perform. I have performed in shows such as Everybody’s Talking about Jamie and other dance showcases as part of my dance school.

I was so fortunate to be part of the Young Advocates last year and I am looking forward to being part of this community again. It gave me many opportunities such as learning about theatre, planning projects, and meeting new people.

I am ambitious, creative and artsy.

Whether you see me on a stage or on a screen, there is only one thing you will see me do. Perform! Because it’s what I live and breathe. I recently performed with Motionhouse as part of the Hippodrome’s curtain raiser performance at Birmingham Weekender Festival.

My main interests are film, theatre, bowling, and skiing. I am part of YMCA, Yes Group, Street Katz Theatre, Open Theatre and Special Olympics West Midlands Skiing.

I have applied to a Young Advocate to follow interests in the creative arts, assisting with the lighting, and help people understand autism and learning disabilities.

I’m an Acting and Physical theatre graduate from East 15. I’m also a Frantic Ignition graduate and have been peer mentor on the trials for the recent 2023 graduates. I’m part of BreakdaKode (BDK) which is a dance crew based in Birmingham, training freestyle Breakdance, HipHop and Litefeet.

I’ve applied to the Young Advocates programme, because I want to enhance my skills in expertise such as marketing and finance.

I am a Musical Theatre student at college. I have performed at Birmingham Weekender with Motionhouse as part of their curtain raiser show. I’m very passionate about the creative arts especially the performance side and see it as an important way for people express themselves.