Arts Emergency

Our Network: FAQs

What is an alternative old boy network?

It is our practical and creative response to inequality of opportunity in the UK. With hundreds of volunteer members from all walks of life, the alternative old boy network provides connections, confidence and opportunity for those young people most able to benefit from, but least able to access, the existing networks of privilege that dominate UK cultural, political and economic life.

By becoming a contact in this network you are pledging to help our student members and mentees (and other contacts too) when your experience and/or contacts may prove useful. It is down to you how you help but most volunteers meet students face to face, talk on the phone or email offering information, advice and guidance relevant to their experience. Many also offer work experience, taster days and further access to others in their personal networks. It really is just like any other secret network of privilege except we are open access for young people we know really need this.

As a member, your first step is being on our mailing list. We have your education and work info, and will target occasional requests from mentor pairs, young members, and some of the schools we work with, to you. From this point you can self refer as a speaker, a mentor, a work experience provider, a coach, a tutor, or any other of the many ways our young people seek support along the years they are with us.

Meet some of our alternative “old boys” here.

How do I join/sign up?

Whether you wish to be a contact in the network, or train to become a mentor with us, you fill in a simple application form here and make yourself available via email or in person to our students when called upon. Because we have so many embers who are unable to donate, or who have not yet done so, we currently only ask for monthly member donors in order to create more places for young people in our network, which is why that form is the first part of the application process at this time.

Members also offer one day work experiences, share opportunities they find, offer access to further people in their personal networks and organise group visits for our young people. All this is entirely up to you, and you only need reply to a request when you’re confident you can help, and are happy to do so. That way we feel it’s was for you to be most helpful in the most convenient way. Happily, it works really well in practice as well as theory.

What if I don’t have an arts, humanities or social sciences degree?

Not a problem! Some of our most valued contacts are scientists, factory workers or self-trained artists who left school at a young age. What IS important is that you have a passion for social justice, love the arts and are willing to do what you can to help young people facing a toxic mix of pressures at a pivotal time.

I want to be a mentor!

You first join up as a member, that way you are on the mailing list for all further opportunities. One of which is training to become a mentor. We send all members who are in areas we’re running mentoring projects, and invite to take part in a training session, and once that is completed, we put you forward for a possible match with a young person. This all happens in the Summer and Autumn before the next year’s mentoring project begins.So sign up today!

How else can I make a difference?

Arts Emergency relies on donations from generous individuals to carry out our work. In order to remain independent, we do not accept funding from governments, corporations or political parties. We can’t do it without your help and regular donations are vital. Please, help us in this way above all others if you can.

Click here to donate now.