Looked After Children

 

Looked After Children are statistically among the most vulnerable in society which is why at Creative Futures we have made it a strategic priority in our work.

We support the ambitions of Looked After Children and Young People through programmes which help build confidence, self-esteem, trust, resilience and responsibility; which enhance social interaction and communication skills; and above all inspire and empower our participants.

We work with young people aged 7 to 18 years through after school and holiday courses and use many genres including band-playing, composing and lyric-writing, music production, dance, street art and drama.

 

During the spring term of 2022, Creative Futures devised and ran a seven-week project commissioned by London Higher. The project was aimed specifically for care-leavers, to highlight the importance of further education for those hoping to work within the creative sector.

Each session was directed by Maxwell Golden, an experienced writer and performer, who was instrumental in guiding the participants to explore their ideas through poetry, music and acting. Each session positively muted their personal ‘inner critic’, to allow their creativity to take centre stage, and build confidence in what they were able to produce. Simon Blakeman of Theatre Space joined the programme, to edit the final pieces, and advise on filming and editing.

 

The project was supported by The Courtauld Institute, who invited us to visit the Van Gogh exhibit, which proved particularly successful with our young people.  The session was filled with animated discussion about Van Gogh’s history and self-portraits, which prompted them to revisit the gallery for further inspiration.

 

A key part of the programmes was the creation of a short film by the group, that highlighted the different skills they learnt. From writing and producing content, camera angles, music and editing, each of them created a fantastic clip that was displayed as part of a final showcase.

 

As Jacob, an avid musician, with his own YouTube channel, says about the project “It 100% helped my confidence, it helped with my skills with filming and even improved my accents, which I love doing… you don’t get this opportunity much.”

 

Creative Futures is very proud to showcase the work the young people created as part of this highly valued project.

As part of the higher education commitment to extending their reach to potential students, The Courtauld invited the group to visit their highly acclaimed Van Gogh Self Portraits exhibition.  The collection featured work that had never been exhibited together, and offered the group an insight into the process behind Van Gogh’s creativity.  It inspired them to respond with their own reflections in the Learning Centre later in the day, returning on numerous occasions to revisit the paintings.  Here is a short video from that day, that includes some participants from the pilot project Creative Futures delivered online during lockdown. 

 

With special thanks to the team at The Courtauld for their kind hospitality. 

Previous projects with Looked After Children

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“I think it’s one of the best things I’ve achieved in my life... Creative Futures is what got me into actually wanting to do music and I found out how much I really love music... so that’s why I’m going on to do music in college. I want to be a music therapist.”  – Young Person

“W” has been making great progress expressing herself and exploring her identity and care experience during sessions. Through the design of our booklet she has been able to articulate her experience of education whilst in care and given great insight to help other young people. She has also been able to explore her identity and what’s important to her during sessions, and is becoming more secure in who she is and not so concerned with conforming to others’ expectations.” – Participation Officer for Children in Care