In Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: Youth Centre Community Mural

Grant: £3,000

Fund: General Fund

Aylesbury Youth Action (AYA) is a place where young people aged 14-25 can further develop their skills and step into new and different experiences together. They also offer community volunteering opportunities. Their aim is to improve the life chances of young people and enable them to make a positive contribution to their local community.

With funding from Heart of Bucks, AYA ran free weekly art sessions throughout 2022, for children and young people to completely engross themselves into their own creativity and experiment with their ideas and thoughts in a non-judgemental creative space. During the first sessions, the young people learnt about  some of the most important art eras and movements, such as impressionism, expressionism, art nouveau, art deco, Bauhaus and abstract expressionism. Inspired by these movements they began creating their our own artwork, using elements and ideas from these different art movements.

Midway through the sessions, they attended a daytrip to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, where they immersed themselves in more art eras, such as the ancient Greek and Roman art, Middle and Far East art, as well as different art forms, such as tapestry, porcelain, and music.

Using the new skills they had learnt, the young people worked with local artist Ellie Kirkup at the Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury to create a large mural work, spanning 1m by 1m, to display at the Aylesbury Youth Action headquarters. They also used a geographical and historical theme, using archived materials from AYA’s collection of photos, leaflets and stories to inspire and create a map of the Aylesbury area to help focus on the local community, looking at the impact of the work AYA have done over the last 50 years.

As well as the creation of the new mural, the goal for the young people involved was to improve their mental health and wellbeing, allowing them to socialise and learn new skills together in a safe space. Many participants also expressed an interest in continuing to explore art and creativity on their own. 

Case Study

L has been involved in five different AYA projects over the last 18 months and invited a friend to join this project as he knew he was interested in art. L developed a keen interest and appreciation of the different art styles covered in the sessions and thoroughly involved himself in contributing to the mural and enjoyed experimenting with different media and techniques.

Read more about Aylesbury Youth Action here.

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