In the Past & the Present
I have been involved in leadership roles in youth organisations for nearly 10 years since my mid teens and has previously been a volunteer youth worker, helper and scout leader in in Wales and England including being involved with the highly regarded Commision funded National youth led heritage project, Unloved Heritage. The Ceredigion panel of which I was part was highly commended at The Heritage Angel Awards in 2018 for recording an upland industrial and agricultural heritage site. Having supported Young people and young adults in my varied career, I have experience a variety of settings, from urban uniformed youth organisations, to open access rural youth groups and everything in-between. Additionally at the other end of spectrum I worked in 2018 and 2021 for a University Student support, giving direct one to one mentorship to young adults as well as mature students with the complexities of University life.
I also have experience running adult Art workshops. In 2021 I brought this experience to a new level and began teaching adult Art classes for a UK based events company, traveling across Wales and the West Midlands of England running life drawing classes for clients via an agency. I am currently studying towards a Level 2 Safeguarding qualification.
In the Future
It is my hope one day to set up my own art & Heritage company, the long term intention would be to be able to support a commercial side focusing on events such as those I have run for clients such as hen parties and community groups in 2021-22 and payed art & History courses for children and adults. All of which aiming to colaborate with real life projects and partners to ensure the distigition from tradtional forms of education as well as links to sector for people to step up into careers.
I would aim eventually to also have a charitable side focusing on facilitating Art & heritage workshops for neurodiverse youth and adults who have conditions such as Autism which a number of friends and family members have, as well as the complex spectrum of ‘Dys’ related conditions (Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, ADHD etc) which I myself have personal experience off. These young people often very intellectual and creative but struggle with traditional forms of education and can be left behind but and the aim would be to work with sector partners and professionals to provide them not just experiences but opportunities in the Arts and heritage sector.
One of the key distinctions with any business set up would be too move beyond historic attitudes in cultural institutions towards young people. To ensure the reality of projects in 2021 an ambitious project was started to create a mural for Borth Community Hub. This project was a collaboration between myself and the young people & older volunteers of the community. It was key that they were not just an afterthought and were involved in every step of the way, we used real artist grade materials to make there ideas come to reality through the lens of the designs I had created.
To paraphrase what I learnt from the late Anna Evans a legend of Youth work in West Wales and a mentor of myself and many others who died tragically in a car accident in 2019. She commented that it is important to buy the best materials within the budget, children won’t be inspired by being left with some old felt tips and printer paper. It’s very much the same with teenagers and young adults— people do not want to be patronised or bored, they want to be involved and to feel respected and valued. That is the key.
If you would like to help support any of the things you have read about on this page please get in contact via the “Contact Page” or drop one of my social media platforms a message these can be found by looking up the tag @Chriscorishart.