We have recently delivered a successful Let’s Get Creative project.  It was set up to support young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and provided an opportunity for them to link up with businesses and organisations in the creative sector.  It also gave an insight into what it’s like to work in that environment and meet other young people with shared interests. 

The project was run with funding from the Feeling Connected Fund launched by Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA).  The fund supports work in the community – Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire – to help people stop feeling disconnected from others.  The project has been run as a collaboration with Kakou, a local organisation specialising is inclusive technologies and Chesterfield Colleges Digital, Media and Graphics department

Clare Talati, DEBP Company Director said: “During the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in young people with additional needs feeling isolated because they are often not catered for by mainstream provision.  Most of their peer network and social interaction is at school, so when the schools closed last year, it had a huge impact.  We recognised an opportunity to provide young people with the chance to utilise, develop and showcase their skills, allowing them to progress positively and enhance their experiences.”

The group of learners have undertaken a range of activities to learn about a variety of aspects within the creative sector.  It is hope that this will help them with transition into further education – a transition that can be very challenging. The group are utilising their skills in developing an interactive app and this includes the creation of soundscapes.

Clare said, “It’s been such a fantastic experience for the young people involved and what is clear is that participants have got a huge level of satisfaction from this initiative. It is enabling each of the young people to create a bigger peer network and giving them the opportunity to interact with new people in different ways, which is proving extremely beneficial.”