• an example of a Creative Box

Vulnerable young people across Hampshire will continue to benefit from an innovative, creative project following the receipt of significant funding.

The Creative Boxes project, which is run by charity Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT), has been given a gold standard award of £25,000 from international diagnostics group, Novacyt, which will allow the project to run throughout the summer and into the future.

The boxes are delivered directly to local young people aged 10-16 years, including young carers, those with special educational needs, those that have been fostered or who are in foster care and those who are at risk to themselves or others. The boxes contain activities and craft materials and are designed to encourage the use of art as a positive, creative activity, providing an outlet for expression, to tackle low self-esteem, to build confidence and, ultimately, to help improve mental health, wellbeing and emotional resilience.

Inspiration for the project came from a successful bid in June 2020 for the Create and Connect project, funded by Youth Endowment Fund. The Creative Boxes project was developed by the trust with this funding in response to the coronavirus pandemic, working with Hampshire Children’s Services and partners to support young people at risk of being drawn into violent crime. Since then, 150 boxes have been delivered to young people all over Hampshire, who were referred by Hampshire Children’s Services, Youth Offending Teams and Youth Partners.

Cat Cooke, Community Programmes Manager at Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented: ‘It has been so valuable to be able to work with partners across Hampshire for over a year now to support young people who have been so negatively impacted by the pandemic. Receiving a beautiful Creative Box and the opportunity this brings for young people to come together using creativity can now continue to have positive impact.’

Thanks to this funding, as well as the generosity of individual donors and art societies from across the county, HCT will continue to deliver the Creative Boxes alongside a series of remote and face-to-face artist-led activities, which will be held at the trust’s museums and galleries across Hampshire. Delivery of these sessions will help address the disadvantage that vulnerable young people face in having access to positive, creative activity and will provide much needed respite for the professionals that support them.  The Creative Boxes have already provided a crucial ‘way-in’ for services to reach vulnerable young people where there was not previously an opportunity to do so, signposting young people to services that can further support them and address their needs.

The Novacyt Charity Committee Steering Group commented: ‘We are incredibly proud to be in a position to make this donation and hope it will go some way to support the trust’s future plans’.

For more information and to help Hampshire Cultural Trust support vulnerable young people in the local community through the Creative Boxes project please visit - https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/support-us/creative-boxes-young-peo… .