Last year we at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, decided to start our Arts Award delivery journey. Having been a supporter centre for years, we decided it was time to embed Arts Award into some of our existing programmes of work, as well as two create new project strands to engage different audiences.

We, like many organisations, were then very quickly required to rethink any plans we had made when the pandemic hit and face to face delivery became impossible. In summer 2020, we began working on resources to enable families and young people to achieve Arts Award Discover from the comfort and safety of their homes. We have been able to successfully tie this in with our programme of online workshops and artist engagement and have built a brand new online training platform, to take families through each step of the award.

Creative Engagement Officer Perdie Bargh, who had been working to create Arts Award resources that can be downloaded from the Lighthouse website, was concerned that not every young person had access to the internet. In a bid to remedy this, Lighthouse partnered up with Dorset Scrapstore to create 100 art packs with all the resources and crafty materials families would need to complete their Arts Award Discover. These were then delivered to local foodbanks in Poole and Bournemouth. Participants simply had to follow the instructions in their Logbooks and then bring them to Lighthouse which was funding the Arts Award Discover certificates for these young people.

“The brilliant thing about creative activities is that anyone can take part,” says Lighthouse Chief Executive Elspeth McBain.

“Creativity fosters curiosity and encourages children to learn new things. By working with other community organisations we are really pleased we can provide the materials and opportunities to support and inspire creativity for local families.”

Some of our other Creative Engagement programmes are also continuing to run through online delivery, such as Lighthouse Young Writers, a creative writing programme for young people aged 11-18. We started working on Bronze Arts Award with these young people just before March 2020 and are pleased to announce that we have just booked their (and our first) online moderation!