Lydia is the Manchester Fastlaners Programme Coordinator. Since graduating from the University of Manchester in 2010 with a degree in English Literature and Drama Lydia has worked on a variety of participatory and public art projects that widen access to the arts for communities where engagement is traditionally low. Most recently she managed the first Journeys Festival International in Manchester; a ten day programme of events celebrating and highlighting the work of exceptional refugee and asylum seeker artists. Prior to this she spent four years at London based creative arts charity Create, where she managed a portfolio of projects that bought professional artists from a variety of disciplines together with vulnerable and disadvantaged participant groups in the community to work on collaborative projects. Alongside these roles she has coordinated and delivered arts projects for Birmingham based theatre companies and festivals including Women & Theatre, Babakas, The Hearth Centre and BE Festival. She is looking forward to working as part of the Uprising team to widen access to opportunities that will enable young people in Manchester to reach their full potential.