Over the past months we have been part of a national initiative to gift 25,000 vulnerable children and young people with a pack of free arts materials delivered to their homes.
The packs will give them the means to be creative during the challenging times that Covid-19 has brought and ensures that children from deprived communities do not miss out on having some basic arts resources to support their play, wellbeing, learning and creativity whilst at home.
We have focused our delivery of ‘Let’s Create’ packs in the West Midlands on children in care through our partnership with Virtual Schools in the region and for vulnerable children aged 2 to 5, as part of our early years programme, Moonbeams. Over three phases of delivery have taken place, from May to July with over 4500 packs delivered overall.
In the first phase, 400 ‘Let’s Create’ packs were sent to all children in care aged 4-16 years in Dudley. In the second phase over 2100 packs were sent to children in care in Staffordshire, Herefordshire and Telford and Nurseries and Early Years settings in Birmingham and north Warwickshire. In the third phase the remaining 2000 packs have been delivered to virtual schools in Worcestershire, Walsall and Sandwell and Nurseries and Early Years settings in Birmingham and Coventry. Over 4500 packs have been sent overall and we are part of national campaigns to fundraise for future Let’s Create packs to reach more children.
Pepita Hanna, Associate Director, Partnerships and Investmentat – Arts Connect, said: ‘The Let’s Create packs are an exciting opportunity to provide children with quality materials and equipment in their own homes. These packs are just for them to play and experiment with ideas, words, pictures, stories, and to be able to create and express themselves in lots of different ways…all so important in this challenging time.’
Paris, Young Person – Chair of Dudley Children In Care Council: ’‘I think that the art packs are a brilliant idea. The materials all look like they can lead to hours of fun. Its a great way for all kids to get involved and creative during lockdown.’
Andy Wright – Dudley Virtual School Head Teacher: ‘The Let’s Create Arts Packs have certainly enriched the educating at home offer. It has helped to increase engagement in the Arts, raise awareness with both young people and Carers and bring a greater variety to learning.’
Young person in care: “Thank you for the Arts Pack Awesome! I can make a thank you card…. I love everyone in that big building in Telford cause they really do they care about all of us- We have not been forgotten during that COVID thing! Social workers face time us, Virtual school send us presents and video call us loads and the delivery people made it happen! Awesome!”
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re helping children to lead creative lives during lockdown. We know that being creative teaches young people new skills, as well as increasing their overall happiness and wellbeing. These art boxes will help more children from every background get the chance to flourish despite the challenges they’re facing right now.”
The ‘Let’s Create’ pack project is led by the network of the ten Bridge organisations in England working in partnership with Arts Council England with support from National Lottery funds, The Art Fund, the Crafts Council and other funders. The delivery has been coordinated by the Bridges with their local partners and other philanthropic support.
If you would be interested in supporting Let’s Create (now known as Let’s Craft) packs in the West Midlands please get in touch with Pepita Hanna.