Arts For All is a highly creative charity serving the disadvantaged communities of Tower Hamlets and Hackney. The organisation runs structured weekly art therapy sessions to engage people of all ages from diverse cultures and background and those with special needs. The centre sits within one of the most deprived areas of the UK, some 85% of families served by the centre are unemployed and three quarters have English as their second language. Through long term support, Arts For All builds confidence, helps people achieve their goals and changes lives.
The KALEIDOSCOPE club
A wonderful creative club for disadvantaged children and young people. Intervention is key to the success of Arts For All, and so for the past 12 years, the charity has prioritized a focus towards young people through the KALEIDOSCOPE club. The club runs three times per week after school to offer young people aged 5 to 16 a sanctuary where they can feel safe, supported and encouraged to achieve their potential.
Each week around 60 children and young people access the project, which is offered free to make it truly accessible to all members of the local community. Some of the young people will regularly attend the club for many years throughout their schooling and will continue as volunteers after.
Trained staff and volunteers use a vast array of art therapy techniques, to enable clients to develop confidence, tackle wider issues including violence in the home, bullying, crime and gang culture, drugs and alcohol and a sometimes crippling lack of aspiration to change lives.
The club has helped enabled 95% of its members to reconnect with school, progress to college at 16 and in many cases find rewarding and sustainable employment. Its impact is far reaching, as many family members become involved in the club and will subsequently engage with wider activities of the charity, including a weekly women’s support group.
The KALEIDOSCOPE club is a warm, happy and welcoming place where children of all ages can be creative, make new friends and be children – in a way that is sadly missing in their often chaotic lives at home and in school. We celebrate the diversity of our membership – the club is a colourful and happy place; full of laughter and creativity!
Junior Art Club
This is a wonderful club that runs every Tuesday for disadvantaged young children aged 4-10 from the local area. Each week we literally hear 25 little children running down the street to get to this colourful, welcoming safe place that they love so much! When the arrive they have 20 minutes just to play and “be children”!. They have the freedom to do whatever they want with their friends. Then we all sit down and we do a pre prepared activity. Each week it is something different and the parents are always amazed and delighted with the works of art/craft that the children proudly take home. These children continue to attend our clubs through the difficult transitions in their childhood and teenage years and we support them individually in every way that we can. The Junior art Club is their introduction to this unique place and is very important. I believe that one of the unique things about this place is that, at the age of 4 or 5 the children can start at Junior Art Club and as the years go by they can grow and develop with our care and support and, taking into consideration the holistic nature of our work, they will grow in confidence and self esteem.