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Creativity and Care Experience

The overall purpose of this £550,000 three-year legacy initiative is to enable all young people with care experience to harness the power of creativity to support their wellbeing, enable self-expression and take control of their own stories. 

They will develop their creativity in ways that suit their needs and aspirations and as part of this process, young people will develop pieces of creative work which will support the development of a new narrative around care and care experience, linking well with our Each and Every Child Initiative which is also part of the Trust’s legacy investments.  

By paying particular attention to ensuring young people with quieter voices can make use of these creative routes, the programme will create new opportunities for all young people with care experience and also strengthen the inclusive practice of creative and cultural organisation.

Why Creativity?

Over the course of the Trust’s life, we have seen first hand the power of creativity in getting alongside young people and creating spaces in which to explore, learn and generate impact. We saw this in projects that had a deliberate creative purpose such as Creative and Active Lives, Here I Stand and Voice and Vision. We also saw and were curious about the impact of a creative approach in projects that weren’t necessarily focussed on creative outcomes like Rights & Equalities. In these, we found creativity was important in upholding the rights of young people who we refer to as having quieter voices, for example young people with disabilities or who are LGBTQ+, as well as young people seeking asylum and those in the justice system.  

Ultimately, we learned that creative approaches work because when people take the time to properly get alongside young people and open themselves up to trying something new they make it possible to form genuine relationships. The power dynamic is addressed – it’s no longer about “young people” and “adults in a professional roles”, it’s about people rolling up their sleeves, sharing ideas, getting caught up in the moment, making mistakes and having fun together. You can read more about our findings here. By investing in creativity and creative approaches, we send a powerful message to young people that they are valued and that we are genuinely interested in whatever they have to say, however they choose to say it. 

The Programme

In early 2022, a partnership led by Moniack Mhor Writing Centre and made up of Abriachan Forest Trust, the Calman Trustand Articulate Cultural Trustcame together with the successful proposal to deliver this ambitious and innovative programme.

Led by a Steering Group with a built-in majority of young people with care experience, this collaboration will develop a rich and varied programme of creative learning based on the young people’s curiosities, ambitions and collective priorities.

This will include opportunities for creative development (based on a broad definition of what creativity is), personal and skills development, enriching outdoor experiences and stimulating and innovative digital activities. 

Young people from different parts of the country will benefit from exchange opportunities to explore and celebrate both rural and urban spaces, widening their own horizons and creating new experiences. 
This collaboration will work alongside young people with care experience, supporting them to lead and to shape this work, generating creative opportunities for young individuals and making space in the creative sector for their voices to be heard.