Arts Award Inspiring Wellbeing #MyArtsAward

Published: 6th February 2018

Day two continues of #MyArtsAward Week and let’s talk about wellbeing.

Today’s theme is #TheWholeChild considering the holistic benefits of Arts Award. We asked Hazel Stewart from Northumberland Council’s Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) Service to share her experience as an Arts Award Adviser thinking about the impact it has on young people and their wellbeing.

 Thanks for agreeing to write this blog and share your expertise Hazel. For those who don’t know what is the Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) Service?

The EOTAS service in Northumberland provides education for a range of students who have a medical or mental health needs which means they are unable to attend school.  When young people are unable to attend school they miss out on all of the clubs and additional activities school would offer.  The Arts Award goes some way to make up for this.  As part of the curriculum offer Arts Award is offered to young people and is taught across a range of small groups and sometimes in one to one situations depending on the needs of the students.

When Did You Begin Delivering Arts Award?

As a service we began to offer Arts Award at Bronze and Silver level in 2009 when the first of our teachers became qualified Arts Advisers.  Over the years we have offered a range of projects which have included film making, stop motion animation, performance poetry, printing and fine art, creative writing and script writing, working in 3D materials.

In 2014 we gained ‘Good Practice Centre’ status and in the following year the Mentoring role for other ‘Good Practice Centres’. We offer Bronze and Silver Award but are qualified to offer Discover and Explore and Gold Award.

We have offered many projects over the years, with no two years being the same, projects have included Multi Media – writing a fairy tale, playscript, photography illustrating and then publishing a book, and making a film about our changing environment.  We always strive to include local Artists to provide stimulus and additional expertise for the project and this year a group of students have been to a workshop at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle to a creative writing workshop.  A further group of students will undertake an Arts Research workshop at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.

What Impact has Arts Award had on the Young People You Work with?

Many of our students have had their confidence dented by the circumstances they find themselves in, visits and working with other adults increases their confidence to be fully functioning in their world.

The Arts Award is a perfect vehicle to build confidence and self esteem and give a sense of ownership to the project. #MyArtsAward

The creativity within Arts Award can be a powerful tool for self- expression and liberating for the student. Seeing students who have suffered terribly with anxiety, presenting their skills to deliver a workshop to parents and friends is quite a moving experience.  Watching young people grow in confidence in their own ability feeds into other areas of the curriculum.

Our students have been motivated by having a tangible goal and the ability to choose to work in the type of Art they feel passionate about. #MyArtsAward

The life skills of planning organising and communicating ideas have all been involved in the Arts Award process and have been invaluable to ensure students gain the most they can from their education. We are justly proud of our students and what they have achieved, despite their difficulties This year we will be presenting young people ‘s work for Bronze and Silver Moderation and we hope to continue to expand our provision into the future.

Arts Award with Animation

Thanks Hazel. We hope this has inspired you and you share our belief that,

Every child can enjoy and achieve given the right support #MyArtsAward.

Get Involved with #MyArtsAward

Do you have an Arts Award story to share? Be sure to search twitter for #MyArtsAward to find out more and visit Culture Bridge North East  for more news. The Learning and Participation Team will also be tweeting more about Arts Award this week from @CustomsHouseLP