For 40 years we have helped young people unleash their extraordinary potential through the arts. We have worked with two generations of young Londoners and seen them flourish as they build confidence, improve their mental health and wellbeing, learn new skills, and make new friends.
Young people and families are facing increasing daily hardship and poverty. The pandemic and cost-of-living crisis disproportionality impacts poorer families. Young people face increased social and economic uncertainty, educational disruption, anxiety, and isolation. Mental health issues for young people have reached alarming levels. One in six children were identified as having a probable mental health problem in 2021 – a huge increase from one in nine in 2017.
We are compelled to act
We are experts at bringing people together, irrespective of ethnicity, ability, gender or means to pay. Today, in London 70% of our beneficiaries come from Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic backgrounds, 20% identify as disabled, and 32% live in areas of deprivation.
We want to help more young people who face barriers to inclusion in the arts, both in London and across our country. It is our duty to help as many young people as we can.
In addition to transforming our provision in London, we have identified ten locations in the most deprived areas of our country. We will work with local schools and charities in those locations, to bring our high-quality arts workshops to their young people. We must take our programmes to where they are needed the most.
Recognising the success of our online arts classes during lockdown, we are expanding digital provision to help reach those who have no other means of participating in the arts.
Our aim is to reach 9,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in deprived areas in London and across the UK over the next 24 months.