Intu Lakeside team up with Beacon Hill school in groundbreaking art plan

INTU Lakeside have teamed up once again with Create, an award-winning charity, to bring disabled and non-disabled children together to work on a special art project.

Throughout September and October, six local special needs and mainstream schools took part in the project ‘creative:connection’, which enables young people of all abilities to create art together, regardless of their ability. The selected schools partnered together to devise stories and artwork that three large murals, which will be exhibited at intu Lakeside in January 2015. The project is part of intu Lakeside’s ongoing work with The National Literacy trust, to encourage children of all ages to develop and build on their literacy skills through reading and story creation.

70 children took part in the project, including those from Beacon Hill Academy, The Ockendon Academy, Little Heath School, Oaks Park High School, Castledon School and The Bromfords School. The participants were given the challenge to create an original story based on the idea ‘My dragon lost its fire’, constructed through multi-sensory environments including underwater, space and a haunted house.

The project came to life at intu’s Team Challenge in October. The students worked with established artist Viyki Turnball to produce illustrations to their stories, which were painted to the three murals with volunteers from intu Lakeside.

Kate Miller, General Manager intu Lakeside, added “As the region’s largest shopping centre it is important to us to become involved and support community projects, Create is a great charity that use the arts to engage children of all ages no matter what their artistic ability or special need. I am looking forward to see the works on display on the centre in the New Year.” Intu Properties plc have previously funded a number of Create projects including art and music workshops.

Create uses the creative arts to give students the opportunity to explore their creativity, develop a shared understanding, build trusting and supportive relationships with peers, and most importantly have fun! As one student from a previous project said “The workshops have given me something to talk about at school, I’m not at home just sitting on my Mac all the time – I have got something to do. I’ve made good friends, friends with people who have the same problems as me, and similar”.

Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Create, Nicky Goulder commented “Opportunities are often closed to disabled young people and this project gives them the chance to experiment with their creativity, work with others and develop new skills. Disabled children often report that a fear of bullying stops them accessing activities, and our aim is to break down that barrier and give them opportunities to interact with other disabled and non-disabled peers. I am excited to see the art work they produce.”

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