Encounter – Private View and Celebration, Watford Museum, September 30th

IMG_0888mrHertsCreation was delighted to welcome young people from Frances Combe Academy and Signpost Counselling and their families, friends and supporting staff to the Private View of Encounter at Watford Museum on September 30th.

Encounter has been an exploration with young people into the links between art and sculpture-making and well being. The project has  promoted discussion and collaboration between a variety of agencies working in these areas.The project has culminated in an exhibition of sculpture and drawing created by young people in Watford aged 14-19. The exhibition is available to view at Watford Museum until 31 October.‘This has been a great experience for those who participated’. William Allen, Director of Operations, Signpost.

We are grateful for the support of The Arts Council of England, Watford Borough Council, Watford Community Housing Trust and Francis Combe Academy and for our collaboration with Watford Museum/


YCA Celebration at the University of Hertfordshire, July 13

IMG_1567mrYCAs from Sir John Lawes, Ashfield, Onslow St. Audrey’s and Samuel Ryder schools gathered on Monday, July 13th at the Weston Auditorium to celebrate the second year of programme activity. YCAs led dance workshops and gave presentations on a busy year of setting up dance clubs, radio station, technical teams and running writing competitions! YCAs demonstrated just how much young people’s creativity and leadership has inspired deeper engagement in the arts and a legacy of further activity in their schools. It was a wonderful morning!

Encounter – a new research and development project

AegisWe are delighted to announce that we have secured funding from the Arts Council for our exciting new research and development project Encounter. HertsCreation Co-Directors Alex McIntyre and Martin Heaney have a shared interest, originating in our combined arts and research practices, in exploring transitional spaces for adolescents. We will begin this investigation with the working question:

How can we create transitional spaces by using the arts with young people to explore wellbeing?

Our project will be co-funded by Watford Community Housing Trust and Watford Museum. We are delighted that we will be working with young people at the Francis Combe Academy and SignPost Counselling Watford in a series of sessions that will lead an exhibition at Watford Museum. Through our research, we want to create a model of practice that we will share with other agencies with planned seminar and conference contributions. We aim to create a unique resource for Hertfordshire agencies to develop imaginative new pathways for young people to engage with the arts and increase their emotional wellbeing.

This work responds to the increasing presence of mental health issues for young people in Hertfordshire. One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 nationally have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems . Research data of the Hertfordshire Young People’s Manifesto 2014-2015 indicates that the overall majority of young people in Hertfordshire may not know how to keep themselves emotionally and mentally well. It also identifies a lack of funding for CAMHS in Hertfordshire, which means that many young people are waiting up to 6 months between an initial meeting and regular professional support.

Herts YCAs’ Big Day Out at the Palace!


31 YCAs from 4 Hertfordshire secondary schools: Sir John Lawes, Samuel Ryder, Onslow St. Audrey and Adeyfield had a great day out at Watford Palace Theatre this week. HertsCreation was pleased to welcome the YCAs to an action-packed event. The Theatre Participation team hosted workshops on presentation skills and how to run a workshop.20150429_9777

YCAs also got a backstage tour of the theatre,information on Creative Courses in Hertfordshire – plus a workshop from Into Film on how to set up a Film Club and more…. Great organisation from everyone at the Palace. Thank you so much from everyone at #hertsyca!