• Printmaking

Charity Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) has been awarded a grant of £28,250 from the Youth Endowment Fund to support young people at risk of being drawn into violent crime as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding enabled HCT to create art boxes and deliver a series of creative, online workshops for at-risk young people from across Hampshire over the summer. Young people aged 10-14 years old - referred from HCT partners such as education centres - received the art boxes, which they used to join in artist-led workshops and courses online, giving them access to regular, positive activities.

The Youth Endowment Fund is an independent charitable trust set up by the Home Office. It funds, supports and evaluates projects in England and Wales that work to prevent children and young people from being drawn into violent crime. HCT is one of 130 organisations across the country to share part of a £6.5m grant pot from the Youth Endowment Fund to help at-risk young people impacted by COVID-19.

The creative workshops were developed by HCT in partnership with experienced, professional, artists and existing partner organisations with the aim of building the young people’s confidence, helping them to learn new skills and encouraging positive relationships with their peers. Specifically designed to encourage young people to create, connect and present their skills, they will also have the opportunity to showcase the work created to the wider community through a youth-led digital exhibition on HCT’s online magazine, Culture on Call, inspiring others at a time when social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions continue.

Cat Cooke, Senior Cultural Engagement Coordinator at Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented: ‘We know that early intervention can play a really important part in supporting young people to make positive choices and reach their potential. At a time when normal services have been limited due to social distancing, this opportunity to work with partners to reach vulnerable young people across the county and offer high-quality, online creative courses was invaluable in helping us to make a difference.’

Jon Yates, Executive Director at Youth Endowment Fund, said: ‘It has been too easy to forget vulnerable young people during this crisis. The pandemic has removed much of the critical support that many of them rely upon – from teachers to youth workers. This funding will help us find the best way to reach and support these young people when they most need it.’