Run by Crafts Council, this programme aims to connect young people and support their wellbeing.
Reframe, Rethink, Reclaim is an Islington Giving Young Grant-Makers 2020 funded project that helps 16 to 25 year–olds to create new connections within the borough, explore their creative identities and feel confident accessing cultural venues and operating within the creative industries.
“Thanks to our engagement with local youth organisations, we discovered that the lockdowns and home learning had made many young people weary of even more online engagement. At the same time vulnerable young people in particular were reluctant to access the youth clubsdue to safety concerns- even at times when it was permitted- increasing their risk of isolation. While our programme seemed more needed than ever by some, we realised that it was not the right time to launch a fully structured online programme”, explains Lucrezia Serristori, from Crafts Council.
Open dialogue with both young people and youth organisations is key.
She continues: “We therefore started with a more light-touch activity, to allow young people to engage on their own terms:we delivered packs of art materials, and ran optional weekly online art clubs. Although it was often younger siblings who would join the session and be on camera, older siblings would sit ‘off’ camera and join in, or use the materials in their own time.
After the challenges faced due to restrictions, Lucrezia talks about their learnings: “Open dialogue with both young people and youth organisations is key. We also learnt – and this we did not expect – that while online presence is important for young people, it is not always the only answer. This has encouraged us to be flexible and try creative solutions”.
Crafts Council are now starting to deliver the programme workshops in the Pentonville Road Crafts Council Gallery. They hope to anchor the new gallery into the fabric of the borough and to put it firmly on the map as a resource that is open and available to young people in Islington, and to the wider community.
Scrapbooking and paper crafting by Elena Kloppenburg via Unsplash
Funding arts and crafts activities for young people
Thanks to the donations to the Children and Young People’s Appeal, Islington Giving’s Young Grant-Makers 2021 will have more money to give out to local groups. Our Young Grant-Makers programme has been running for four years now and funds local projects that make a difference to young people in Islington. Young people who live in the borough make all the decisions about which projects to support, and that is what makes this programme so special.