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Arts Council England launches art packs for children during lockdown

Let's Create art pack created by A New Direction.Thanks to support from the National Lottery, Arts Council England has begun distributing art activity packs to children and young people across the country. The Let’s Create packs are aimed at primary and secondary school-aged children who are currently most in need of support.

In London, A New Direction will work in partnership with community hubs across the capital, including the Kitchen Social programme, to support its plans to distribute Let’s Create art packs to children and young people across all 32 London Boroughs.

Each of the packs will contain art supplies, including pens, pencils, paper, crayons and a scrapbook, as well as a booklet with a selection of creative activities.

Over 25,000 packs are being distributed across the country through Arts Council England’s Bridge organisations and their local partners, such as local charities, local authorities, food banks and community groups. The Arts Council will continue to work with partners in communities across the country to identify and reach more eligible families in the coming weeks.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re helping children to lead creative lives during lockdown. We know that being creative teaches young people new skills, as well as increasing their overall happiness and wellbeing. These art boxes will help more children from every background get the chance to flourish despite the challenges they’re facing right now.”

Andria Zafirakou, winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2018 said: “Never has the liberating and transformative power of art been more needed than in Britain under lockdown. Letting young people’s imaginations run loose on paper can boost their mental wellbeing and confidence, as well as bring them fun and joy. This is so vital for them at such a confining and uncertain time in their lives.

The Let’s Create pack will be distributed to food banks and soup kitchens across the country thanks to the generous and enthusiastic support of Arts Council England. It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved in this project and I am so grateful to them for all the tremendous work they are doing to help get the benefits of art out to children in our most deprived communities.

The packs aim to keep children and young people engaged and creative during the Covid-19 lockdown, and ensure that children most in need of support do not miss out on the health, wellbeing, and educational benefits of creativity while away from school. The launch follows last year’s report by the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education, which found that while all children benefit from a creative education, further work is needed to make sure the necessary opportunities and resources are available to all.

The Let’s Create packs have been funded by The National Lottery, with additional support from Crafts Council and Art Fund.

The Let’s Create activity book was created by art teacher Andria Zafirakou, winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize. It is available to download here.

Steve Moffitt, Chief Executive Officer of A New Direction, one of the Bridge organisations distributing the packs said: “During these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we support our communities to be able to engage with, and participate in, the arts. For young people in particular, the arts offer a way for them to channel their emotions into something which is therapeutic and positive. As such, there is now a real need for children and young people in London to have access to creative art materials. The Let’s Create packs will support families who would not otherwise have these resources at home to use high-quality pens, paper, paint and colouring pencils to express themselves creatively.

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council, said: “We know that many children don’t have access to simple items such as pens, paper, or scissors – we hope that by providing these packs we can provide vulnerable children with the chance to do something creative and make something they can be proud of. We want to ensure that every child is able to express themselves and we know that making is a great way to do that. Our work is only possible through generous support and, Hobbycraft, Cox London, Yodomo, TOAST and Immediate Media are all contributing to the Let’s Create campaign.

Unfortunately, these boxes aren’t available on application. Distribution is being managed via a network of specific organisations, known as Bridges, that are working in partnership with a range of local organisations.

The Let’s Create packs’ creative activities can be accessed digitally here:

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