Search on for artists to work with young people in Wheatley communities

A MAJOR drive is underway to involve young people in Wheatley communities in the arts.

The National Theatre of Scotland worked with the Wheatley Foundation in 2017

Wheatley Foundation, the group’s charitable trust, is looking for artists to run activities ranging from graffiti art to music, dance and drama across central and south Scotland.

A past winner of the UK Foundation of the Year award, Wheatley has secured £50,000 from Creative Scotland’s Youth Arts Fund Small Grants to fund the scheme.

“As well as boosting young people’s skills and confidence, this fantastic initiative will provide much-needed creative opportunities for artists affected by the pandemic,” said Foundation manager Lynne Mitchell.

“We want artists to contact us with innovative and novel ideas of how they would involve and engage young people in our communities. There’s so much talent, enthusiasm and interest out there and we want to harness and develop it – and, at the same time, create work for artists too.”

Lynne added: “Obviously, Covid restrictions will shape the nature of the projects and activities we’re able currently to support and that will include making the best of online ideas and initiatives.”

Kelsey Jubin, Creative Learning Officer at Creative Scotland said: “We’re really pleased to be able to support Wheatley Foundation in providing creative opportunities for children and young people in central Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway.

“This project will not only provide opportunities for aspiring young artists in the area, but also create the space to nurture health and wellbeing during this challenging time.”

An online information session for artists and creatives is being held on Tuesday (February 16), at 5pm. To take part, or for more information, visit:  www.wheatley-group.com/artistgrants. The closing date for applications for the £5000 grants is 5pm on Friday, 5 March 2021.

Wheatley Foundation invests over £5 million annually in supporting over 12,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Wheatley’s communities. Its activities span five areas of operation: tackling poverty, employability, education, digital inclusion and sport and the arts.

It has been at the forefront of Wheatley Group’s response to the pandemic, including:

  • delivering over 28,000 emergency food packages to households in hardship;
  • giving £30 vouchers to almost 15,8000 children during the festive period;
  • distributing £410,000 to over 6200 vulnerable households through its Emergency Response Fund for household items ranging from fridges and cookers to fuel top-ups and children’s activity packs;
  • delivering over 4400 books to 540 children under five, promoting early-years literacy;
  • securing £627,355 of financial gain for disadvantaged customers through Wheatley’s My Great Start service, which has provided money advice and practical support to over 1300;
  • supporting over 5200 children throughChildren’s University Scotland to access wider learning activities and assist schools offer home-learning resources and play activities;
  • and provide bursaries to 116 people in Wheatley homes to continue college and university learning.

Pictured above are young people taking part in the Wheatley Foundation's First Nights partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland in 2017. The picture was taken before the pandemic.

Friday, February 12, 2021