brent special schools showcase environment themed artwork

On 24 June 2022 our environment:matters project came to a close with an exciting showcase at Willesden Green Library.

Throughout May and June, Create artists worked with children who have special educational needs and disabilities at the five special schools in the London Borough of Brent. Together they explored the theme of the environment through a series of creative arts workshops.

The children then shared the vibrant artwork and music they had made at the showcase, which took place in the performance space at Willesden Green Library, in front of an audience of fellow students, school staff, invited guests and the Create team.

The showcase in Brent for our environment matters project

why this project exists

environment:matters was designed to enable SEND schoolchildren to engage with and explore the environment and our impact on it. Through high-quality creative arts workshops with Create’s professional artists, the project takes an inclusive approach to understanding the issues our planet faces, at a community level.

Only 4% of UK students feel they know a lot about climate change (SOS-UK, 2018). Furthermore, a 2020 UNHCR General Assembly concluded that “Economically, institutionally and socially marginalised people are less resilient in the face of the adverse effects of climate change. This particularly applies to an estimated one billion persons with disabilities worldwide. They often have the least capacity to adapt to climate change, while being virtually ignored in preparation and response measures.”

It is the most marginalised members of our society who are most affected by environmental issues, yet they are often left out of the conversation.

“A HUGE BOOST FOR THEIR SELF-ESTEEM”

The Rise Trust Partnership, which oversees Manor School and The Avenue School, said: “Working with Create on this project has been fantastic. It has given our students the chance to explore the environment and their appreciation of the world around them, through creative means. The children were able to learn from professional artists first-hand, and create an array of imaginative pieces from colourful seed bombs to bird feeders and butterfly sculptures. Being able to create something of their own from start to finish, and then display it at the showcase, is a huge boost for their self-esteem. Seeing how engaged and dedicated they were throughout was incredibly touching and a stark reminder of what the creative arts can do for our wellbeing.”

SEND students work with Create artist Amy Leung on our environment matters project in Brent

Nicky Goulder, CEO of Create, said: “This has been an inspirational project from start to finish. Seeing the children come together to explore environmental issues and create such incredible artwork has been a joy. Projects like this are vital for ensuring that everyone gets the chance to explore their creativity, as well as the issues facing our planet. We believe that everyone should be given a voice and this project had demonstrated so powerfully the importance and value of that. Huge congratulations to all the students for their amazing work!”

You can learn more about environment:matters here, and you can read more on our environmental commitment here.

FUNDING

This project is supported by John Lyon’s Charity.

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