Eight young people from Romsey Mill’s Young Parents Programme have achieved a Bronze Arts Award. This 10-week course ran in conjunction with the Fitzwilliam Museum and sessions were also held at the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and at the Cambridge Art Salon.
Many of the young parents involved have not had a great school experience but this course provided them with a taste of learning in a positive, creative environment. The Arts Award focused on Fashion and Costume and they looked at jewellery and fashion within the collection at the Fitzwilliam Museum. The course covered jewellery making, hat making, silk painting and creating head bands. The young people not only learned new arts skills themselves but were also empowered to teach others, as there was an opportunity for them to share their skills with a group of Romsey Mill staff.
They gained confidence in their own learning and by the end of the course felt a strong sense of achievement.
Amanda* had always enjoyed art but had dropped out of school. She had also struggled to attend other courses but was really pleased to be given another chance to try the Arts Award course that interested her. She came every week and grew in confidence and enthusiasm about her learning. Her sketch book was full to bursting after the first week! She was glowing from the positive feedback from the tutors as it was obvious she had never had this before. Although at first she needed some support to participate in a positive way, as the course went on she became fully engaged and learnt how to listen to feedback and others’ ideas.
Shona achieved her Arts Award and was inspired by the collections at the Fitzwilliam Museum, especially to design and make jewellery and fashion accessories. She taught Romsey Mill staff how to make earrings and explored the career of fashion consultant and TV presenter, Gok Wan. Shona is now looking to work towards her Silver Arts Award and wants to start her own fashion business.
“I have learned to really appreciate my own work and use it to express myself. I will continue to customise my own jewellery and accessories. It’s so nice to be able to work in a way where you can choose what you want to do. I had a great time doing Arts Award and didn’t want it to end.”
*Name has been changed