Here at whatCharity.com, we recognise how hard the teams in charities work. We created our platform to help charities get the resources they need to continue carrying out their impressive and much needed work.
We recently conducted a charity survey about the impact of whatCharity.com so far, and what kind of features charities would prefer us to add to the site in the future. We also organised a prize draw for the participants, providing a £300 donation to be used for staff recreation.
The winner is a London based charity called CREATE. We interviewed the winner about their work and their proudest achievements.
1) What does your charity do in a nutshell?
Create is the UK’s leading charity empowering lives through the creative arts. A national charity championing local priorities, we work in partnership with a wide range of community partners to engage society’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and adults in inspiring, sustainable creative arts programmes led by our professional artists. Our vision is to create a society that is fairer, more caring and more inclusive.
2) Who benefits from your activities?
We prioritise our work with seven participant groups: young patients; disabled children and adults; young and adult carers; schoolchildren (and their teachers) in areas of deprivation; vulnerable older people; young and adult offenders (and their families); and marginalised children and adults.
3) In the face of austerity, which is affecting specially disadvantaged groups, why is it important to provide access to the arts?
We know from experience that drama can build an isolated young carer’s self-esteem, that storytelling can strengthen the bond between a young offender and the loved ones waiting for him at home, and that music can help ease the anguish felt by the parent of a child with a life-limiting condition. In 2017 The World Economic Forum announced that creativity will be the third most important skill required for workers by 2020. Our projects light that spark of creativity in our participants that enables them to build skills, confidence and new relationships. The arts bring people together, allow self-expression and promote wellbeing.
4) Could you tell more about your achievements within the beneficiaries and in our society as whole – your impact?
Since the charity was founded in 2003, we have run 8,832 workshops across the UK, delivering 277,195 contact hours that have empowered 36,517 vulnerable participants.
Working with partners such as local authorities, prisons, schools, hospitals, hospices and other charities (eg: carer services; day centres for frail older people; and homeless centres), we develop and deliver around 1,000 creative arts workshops with 2,000+ marginalised participants per annum. Each individually tailored programme, delivered by our team of professional artists (eg: dancer, actor, musician, writer, filmmaker, sculptor), is designed to empower our participants, enabling them to develop creativity, social skills, trusting relationships and confidence.
Hope, who cares for her mum, attends Southwark Young Carers and took part in a Create workshop. She told us about her experience:
“It feels so good to get my creativity out in the open. Whatever comes up in my mind, I can just do it. You can just put anything anywhere. I’m looking forward to displaying the sculptures because billions of the public will be there to see them.
“I like how we all participated and used everyone’s ideas and listened to what could make it better. I knew a few people and I’ve made friends with the people I didn’t really know before. It’s like a young carer family.
“I can’t really do that much art because of my mum. My mum comes first. I have to put everything aside to look after her. This project helps young carers because it’s like a holiday. It just makes you feel a bit more casual in yourself. You think about your mum and you just feel like ‘Everything’s going to be alright, I can do this, I believe in myself’. It’s really nice.”
Through our Nurturing Talent programme, we also give six emerging artists each year the opportunity to work as supporting artists on a range of projects and attend professional development training. Our vision is to upskill and inspire the next generation of Create artists, and equip them with the skills and confidence to support even more participants such as Hope.
We also promote the importance of the creative arts and their impact on vulnerable people by sharing our learning at conferences, through publications and via our website (createarts.org.uk).
5) What is the biggest challenge your charity is facing and how could it be solved?
Create faces two key challenges: (1) the reduction of creative arts provision in schools, universities and communities, making them increasingly out of reach of many vulnerable adults and children at a time when creativity has never been more important; (2) the need to raise increasing levels of funding to enable us to fulfil our ambitious growth targets.
We are deeply committed to making individually tailored creative arts programmes of the highest quality accessible to increasing numbers of participants across the UK. We are working to solve the above challenges by speaking out about the importance of the creative arts and the issues faced by our participants. And we have a fundraising strategy in place to meet our rigorous targets.
We dream of a future in which every child and every adult has the chance to explore their creativity, build new skills, development supportive relationships and recognise their self-worth. Only then will our society truly be fairer, more caring and more inclusive.
whatCharity interviewed Nicky Goulder, CEO of CREATE