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New locations for 2022

We’re running pilot mentoring schemes in Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle/Gateshead, and the East & West Midlands as part of our push to cover the whole of England and eventually the whole of the UK!

Alongside our major mentoring projects in London, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, next year we'll be mentoring smaller numbers of 18-25s in cities across the UK as part of our Community programme. We’re also excited to be bringing on new students aged 16-18 in Brighton!

If we’re coming to your area, get ready!

We’re really excited to get to know your creative community and support young people in your area. These pilot schemes will start with a small number of mentor pairs in the first year as we gauge interest. Each project will also actively involve local Network members, who we’ll ask to share work experience, advice and free cultural experiences.

If you’re interested in helping out talented young creatives in your area, then you can get involved by:

You may be asking why those locations?

We want to make sure we never compromise the level of support and individual attention that our young people get from us, so we’re growing slowly and sustainably. We’re a small team, the majority of us work part-time and while we’d like to do everything, all at once, right this minute, we have to take into account our organisational capacity and team wellbeing.

As part of our action plan for the next five years, we’ve identified 12 priority areas that meet a combination of eligibility criteria indicating there's a high level of need for our services. These are:

  • Birmingham
  • Bournemouth
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle
  • Norwich
  • Plymouth
  • Sheffield

We are meeting with local advocates and researching each of these areas, to determine where we go next and when, with the goal of running three new major mentoring projects by 2025.

2021 was the first time Arts Emergency opened up direct applications for 18-25 year olds to the rest of the UK. The current cohort of Young Community mentees predominantly came from Newcastle/Gateshead, Leeds/Bradford, and the East & West Midlands. From conversations with some of these mentees and mentors, it’s clear that there is an appetite for what Arts Emergency does.

Arts Emergency works best when we go where we’re wanted - if very few organisations and existing creative communities are receptive to working with us, it’s much harder for us to build a worthwhile programme. Places where we have a lot of people willing to share contacts and connections are much more secure options where we know we can make a tangible impact.

So if we’re not coming to you just yet, here’s what to do.

1. Join the Network. We keep track of how many members we have in different areas as that’s a pretty good indicator of how many volunteers we can expect to call on there. Tell your friends to join too - it’s free (although we really appreciate Network members who donate as well) and you get a newsletter packed with volunteer opportunities and updates including where we’re headed next.

2. If you work with schools or young people in your area sign up to our schools newsletter or drop us an email. It helps us to keep track of demand and we’ll put you on our list of useful contacts to reach out to when we hit your region.

3. Expansion means more leg-ups for young people across the UK. It also means we need a bigger team, covering more ground, and working more hours. It means we need really strong admin, data protection, mental health and safeguarding support. It means more of everything. Which, as an organisation run on donations, means we need more of those too! If you’re able to, please consider setting up a regular donation or giving us a one-off amount. You can also fundraise for us in all sorts of ways, from birthday donation drives to livestreams, or completing marathons and winning quizzes... Running a fundraiser is also a great way to raise awareness about Arts Emergency! If you’d like to know how we can support you with your individual campaigns please email our Fundraising Officer Charlotte.