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 STOKE-ON-TRENT, NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME, STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS, SOUTH CHESHIRE

Children in care to benefit from new creative mentoring project



Children and young people in care in Staffordshire are set to benefit from a new creative mentoring programme to run in 2024.

 

The programme will support those young people in care or leaving the care system, through one-to-one creative mentoring sessions.

 

Taking time to get to know the young person, Creative Mentors will work with them to grow their confidence and help them develop the skills required to build meaningful relationships with those close to them.  They will also help them recognise their potential strengths and other qualities.

 

The young people will be matched with a Creative Mentor who fits their interests, and creative activities could include painting, sculpting, photography, creative writing, music, dance and even games design.  They will spend four hours per week over a six-month period with their mentor.

 

Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council, said: “Making sure that children and young people in our care or those leaving the care system have the opportunity to reach their full potential remains a priority for the county council.

 

“This includes making sure they are able to identify and connect with the important people in their lives and to be able to create new relationships.  For children in care, knowing that they have strong, loving relationships in place is important for them.

 

“This is a wonderfully simple project that will provide young people with engaging support, using creative activities they are interested in. Through the activities, we can help them to build their emotional resilience and confidence, that they can apply to relationship building.  It will also help increase their emotional wellbeing and help develop larger social networks, which can help them to feel less isolated and scared about the future.”

 

The programme is being delivered by Staffordshire County Council’s Virtual School, along with delivery partner The Mighty Creatives, a charity providing creative youth services.  The project has received £383,000 from the Department for Education’s Family finding, Befriending and Mentoring Programme Fund.

 

Dr Nick Owen MBE, CEO at The Mighty Creatives, said: “Throughout our 14 years serving some of the most vulnerable and unheard young people in society, we’ve seen first-hand the transformational impact that creative, person-centred practices have on young lives.

 

“Our award-winning Creative Mentoring service was developed for, and in partnership with, children and young people in the care system.  Whether it’s supporting them to develop their sense of self, purpose and belonging, discover their identity, build trusted relationships, or grow their confidence, creativity is a vital medium that enables young people to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.

 

“We’re delighted that this programme is being made possible by funding from the Department for Education and are excited to continue our working relationship with Staffordshire County Council’s Virtual School.  Most importantly, we’re thrilled that many more care-experienced children will have access to support from our experienced and dedicated pool of Creative Mentors.”

 

Further details on the virtual school and the project are available by e-mailingvirtual.school@staffordshire.gov.uk.



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