Staff at the University of Bedfordshire have worked with key local partners to distribute 1,500 Arts Council England (ACE) Let's Create activity packs to young people across Bedfordshire.
Part of a regional initiative funded by the Royal Opera House ‘Bridge’ (ROH Bridge), this project has been led by the University's Arts & Culture and Collaborative Projects teams through their Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) and Uni Connect work. This Bedfordshire-wide effort was heavily supported and coordinated by Bedford Creative Arts, Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Next Generation Youth Theatre and the Level Trust.
Valuing the importance of nurturing creativity for children, especially during uncertain times, ACE launched the Let’s Create resource pack initiative during lockdown, in partnership with Crafts Council and Art Fund. ACE has joined forces with local authorities, community-based charities and ‘Bridge’ organisations (including ROH Bridge which supports Bedfordshire) to identify and reach young people who are most in need of creative support during the coronavirus crisis.
The Let’s Create resource packs, aimed at primary and secondary school children, contain easy-to-follow creative activities and art supplies, such as pens, pencils, paper, crayons and a scrapbook. It’s hoped these free resources will help fuel young people’s imaginations and support their wellbeing during Covid19 through creativity.
Pencils? Check! Paper? Check! Creative activities? You bet! ✅— Arts Council England (@ace_national) May 27, 2020
We’re providing 25,000 #LetsCreate packs to children across England so they can stay creative and feel good in lockdown 🤸 Thanks to #NationalLottery players! Find out more about the project 👀https://t.co/aFh9681wkw pic.twitter.com/6ry4ATKo18
In Bedford, packs were delivered to young people at Priory Primary, Kings Oak School and Livingstone School. In Central Bedfordshire, packs were provided to Dunstable Icknield School with the help of One Housing Association and the Council’s Looked After Children services.
In Luton, Next Generation Youth Theatre and Level Trust delivered 500 packs to local primary schools and grassroots organisations, including Whipperley Infant Academy. Packs were also distributed in Luton through Level Trust’s SMASH Summer School – an annual project also supported by the University of Bedfordshire as part of its commitment to community access and participation in Higher Education.
Gordon Mellor, Associate Dean of the Centre of Academic Partnerships said: "This opportunity derived from the University's relationship with Royal Opera House Bridge as part of our LCEP work, which evidences how truly collaborative our recent projects have become. Each partner has provided critical support to ensure the Let’s Create packs were consolidated and distributed to young people in need across Bedfordshire prior to the summer holidays.
“I am equally pleased to see how our membership and use of the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT) enabled us to use an evidence-led approach to target the most in-need young people, and I’m thankful to the work of our Collaborative Projects and Arts & Culture teams in delivering this opportunity to local children."
The University of Bedfordshire has helped to deliver 1,500 packs out of the 25,000 UK-wide goal set by Arts Council England.
On the Let’s Create webpage, Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: “We know that being creative teaches young people new skills, as well as increasing their overall happiness and wellbeing. These art [activity packs] will help more children from every background get the chance to flourish despite the challenges they’re facing right now.”
Great working with you guys good luck 😉 with the deliveries today https://t.co/U08RR8bSP2— UoB Access Team (@bedsAteam) July 15, 2020
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