The Stepping Stones programme promotes positive mental health and provides regular long-term opportunities for young people in Hampshire to use creativity to build emotional resilience. The high-quality sessions are delivered by professional artists and held in our museums and within education and community settings, as well as Bursledon House at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

For six years Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) worked in partnership with Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) on two projects that provided innovative, creative support for young people experiencing challenges managing their emotional and psychological health, ICE (Inspire, Create, Exchange) and ICE Heritage.

The successor to these two programmes is Stepping Stones, which is generously supported by The Murray Parish Trust and builds on learnings from the two ICE projects. Continuing HCT’s mission to enable young people to access high-quality arts and culture across the county.

The children and young people taking part are referred through partners such as wellbeing centres, care providers, schools and social prescribing networks to attend courses which will include art journaling, ceramic making and gardening skills. Participants can also self-refer via the online form below.

Our Aldershot programme is currently open for enrolments:

Aldershot Military Museum

In this hands-on, outdoor experience,participants will join award-winning gardendesigner and social media influencer LeighJohnstone, aka The Beardy Gardener, to learnabout various aspects of gardening, such asplanting, nurturing and harvesting, to help transform the garden at Aldershot MilitaryMuseum into a space of calm and tranquility.Young people can expect to get dirty as eachsession is practical, from sowing seeds tomaking their own compost!

Series of sessions during school holidays:

Easter Holidays:

  • Tuesday 02 April, 10.30am - 12.30pm
  • Thursday 04 April, 2.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday 11 April, 2.30pm - 4.30pm

May Half Term:

  • Tuesday 28 May, 10.30am - 12.30pm
  • Thursday 30 May, 2.30pm - 4.30pm

Summer Holidays:

  • Tuesday 27 August, 10.30am - 12.30pm
  • Thursday 29 August, 2.30pm - 4.30pm

How to get involved: 

To be eligible for this programme participants need to be aged 11 – 17 years. 

Bookings can be made for one-off sessions or multiple sessions in one go; we are also happy for a young person to attend one session during the Easter holidays and then decide if they want to attend future sessions. This programme is free of charge and all materials will be provided.

To register your interest, complete the form by clicking the button below. 


  • Hot air balloon with the inscription ' Don't be afraid to be you'
  • Young person using stamps to create artwork
  • Young person using scissors to customise a shoe
  • Young person drawing with a pen
  • Work made by young people in the ICE Heritage project
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