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We believe that everyone is an artist, and that unlocking creativity not only increases self-confidence, but can also help to fine-tune an individual’s purpose and passion.

In every project participants are challenged to try a wide range of artistic approaches. These have included photography, acrylics on canvas, spoken word poetry, acting and directing, sculpture, and mixed media. Using these, participants create a new piece of art in each session, ending the project with a diverse portfolio. You don’t have to be an expert in any of these disciplines to create engaging and exciting work.

Daring yourself to be creative can feel daunting, for some more than others. In our experience, once someone takes the leap and gives something a try, however reluctant they might have been at first, the results can be brilliant. We worked with a 17 year old care leaver called Sam who had a tendency to put himself and his abilities down. Sam’s reaction to being told that we’d be writing some poetry in a session was: ‘no way, that’s too much effort’ and also ‘I can’t write poems’. As we worked our way through some warm up activities he began to loosen up and offer some ideas. By the end of the session he produced a poem about anger that was so raw it left most people in the room dabbing at their eyes. This kind of expression can have a huge impact on a young person’s emotional health and wellbeing.

As evidenced by Sam’s progression, art can be a vehicle for exploring tough topics, as well as a tool for self reflection and exploration. It is an opportunity to experiment with new versions of yourself, your purpose and your future.

Our belief in our care leaver participants as artists is solidified at our events. At the end of each of our projects we exhibit the work that has been produced in an exciting, cultural space - most recently the Tate Britain, and up next the Victoria and Albert Museum and Saatchi Gallery. The individual styles, the opinions and the emotions poured into the work, along with the speed at which our participants pick up the new techniques and approaches, make for a broad catalogue of bold pieces. Showcasing work in front of friends, other artists, local professionals and members of the public has proved to be a really exciting opportunity.

Finally, it is important to get young voices from diverse backgrounds involved in the world of art. Too often the sector is dominated by the same people, and while as a society we are getting better at embracing diversity, we still need to push for wider representation. Care leavers have a voice that should be listened to - look at what happens when we do!

For more information about the type of creative support that we offer care leavers, or our impact on young people's emotional health and wellbeing please visit our Impact page or contact us.