Live event to cap summer of arts for Telford and Wrekin care leavers

A live performance and presentation event are set to cap a summer of arts for a group of young people in care and care leavers from Telford and Wrekin.

Live event to cap summer of arts for Telford and Wrekin care leavers

For the last seven summers, Telford & Wrekin Council has continued to run a three-week arts programme for young people, aged 14-19 years old, who are in care and those who have experienced being in care.

Young people are referred to the Summer Arts College by the council’s Children’s Services workers. 

By engaging in the programme, the young people are given the opportunity to explore both their artistic interests and opportunities for their future.

The programme is part of Telford & Wrekin Council’s commitment to providing continuous support for the borough’s children in care and young people leaving care.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic this year, the council has delivered another successful Summer Arts College for a dozen young students.

Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education at Telford & Wrekin Council, said: 

“We know that young people in care and care leavers face additional challenges as they move into adulthood and our council’s aim is to support them as much as we can. 

“For seven years now, we have been running the Summer Arts College, a very successful programme that gives our young people the chance to explore any form of art and to discover options and realistic pathways to achieve their future career aspirations.

“What’s unique to this programme is that students can bring their personal creative preferences into it and choose what they want to explore.”

Cllr Reynolds added: “The art works that they have produced during the programme are fantastic. 

“We are immensely proud of their achievements and their willingness to embrace newly adapted ways of working - especially now, in this still difficult year, when the pandemic continues to take a toll on our young people. 

“We wish all our participating students at the programme the best of luck and we will continue to support them and all the other generations as much as we can to provide the best start to their adult life.”

Here is what some of the students who attend the programme say about it:

-“I find the studio experience incredible. Working with professional artists is a real buzz.”(Josh)

-“It’s helped me with my confidence, made me feel less isolated. The experience is really unique and explores the creative arts, which I really enjoy.” (Richard)

-“Summer arts is fun” (Meghan)

-“Summer Arts College is fun. I learn new skills, improve my confidence and communication.” (Faye)

The council was able to run Summer Arts College in partnership with Trinity College of London and Arts Council England for the seventh year in a row following a successful funding application to the lead funding charity UNITAS. 

The programme, which runs for three weeks in August, enables young people to research, participate and engage in a range of creative arts such as dance, creative writing, music production and other art forms they want to explore for their personal artistic interest.

The programme allows students not only to explore individual areas of interest but to come together as a group to produce two collaborative pieces of original artwork. 

The students revelled in unique opportunities to produce a large and stunning piece of graffiti, which was a combination of all the young people’s eye-catching designs. 

In addition, from the student’s performances, an album of songs was digitally mastered and recorded, even including original song writing compositions. 

The Summer Arts College will culminate in a live performance and presentation at the end of this month. 

All of the students who enrolled will achieve an accredited qualification through the college’s affiliation with the Trinity College of London and the Arts Council England.