We've been funded for Summer HAF!
We are delighted to have been funded to provided high quality arts crafts and BSL experiences for young people with HAF codes in Wolverhampton aged between 8-16 (up to 18 with an EHCP).
We are offering a varied programme of activities including: painting, drawing, clay, sign language learning and sign song, crafts, recycled art, cardboard sculpture, healthy eating education through art and much more.
We have many years' experience and are able to inspire young people to create unique art.
To register, please download and return the consent form below.
Amazing Art by young people - Wolverhampton Easter HAF 2022
We [Real Arts Workshops] were delighted to be awarded a grant from City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver 2 weeks of art, craft and BSL (British Sign Language) experiences for young people in Wolverhampton over Easter school holidays 2022. The HAF (Holidays Activities and Food) Programme was rolled out by the government in 2021 and provides free holiday provision including healthy food and enriching activities for low-income households.
We worked with some children who have additional needs and were able to adapt our activities to make them accessible. Having Deaf staff and staff with mobility issues shows young people that adversity can be overcome, and a sense of achievement is for everyone!
But don’t just take our word for it! Here are some photographs of their creations and examples what the young people told us in daily ‘Thought of the Day’ slips and weekly online surveys:
“The staff are very kind, they are great at making things enjoyable”
Looking at the the feedback received from the young people our work falls into these categories:
DOING SOMETHING NEW
Trying out something new. Learning new skills. Experimenting with new ideas. Doing things for the first time. Making new friends.
Being challenged by the materials and projects and enjoying that challenge. Doing things that they don’t get to do elsewhere.
BEING ENGAGED IN REWARDING ACTIVITY
Getting out of the house. Working in a group. Sharing experiences. Doing art as an activity that combats boredom and being sedentary.
FEELINGS of WELLBEING
Having fun. Feeling safe. Feeling excited. Feeling happy. Feeling included. Feeling supported. Feeling calm.
Making new friends; working in a group; working with others to make art; collaboration.
Free* activities for families registered for HAF in Wolverhampton
We are delighted to announce that we are providing free (*HAF funded) Art, Craft and BSL experiences to young people aged 10-16 in Wolverhampton over Easter Holidays (see the poster above for details).
To qualify for our sessions, families must have already registered with City of Wolverhampton Council for HAF scheme and have an email or letter with a barcode that we can scan at our sessions.
Download a consent form (below); or call/tx/WA 07882 685923.
Thank you, Alex and Gary
(Please spread the word)
Changing Our Lives Art Exhibition
This is an amazingly proud moment for RAW today. One of the young artists on our Summer 2020 Activities saw her paintings for the Changing Our Lives project, artworks created by young people during lockdown, launched in an exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
She got to meet the Wolverhampton Mayor Greg Brackenbridge who took the time to listen to the young people talking about their work and also see the amazing exhibition by the Wolverhampton Society of Artists in the adjacent rooms and talk to adults about their careers in art.
To see her journey starting at such a young age is heartwarming. Please try and get to the exhibitions which end on 5th December.
It's not everyday you make an 8ft tall whale! We had lots of fun working with the local community in Warstones, Wolverhampton on Sunday 25th July 2021 - including young people and our extended RAW team - on this huge recycled plastic sculpture. The project was organised by Penn Climate Action as part of Plastic Free July 2021 and supported by Creative Black Country. Local people delivered plastics for us to use to make the sculpture to show how much plastic we throw away in a day. #plasticfreejuly #GivingPeopleACreativeVoice #finleeslegacy #BigLinkUp #plasticpollution
Watch a video of the whale 'skeleton' going into the ground
Alex Vann from RAW did a 2 day of art workshop at Spring Vale Primary School, Wolverhampton on 30th June and 1st July 2021. The focus was on plastic pollution and the effects on Marine life. Working with a Year 6 student bubble, Alex encouraged every student to draw a stingray using soft pencils, create an origami stingray, and think about recycling using drawings and statements.
Oh and of course they built a huge sculpture using recycled materials the children brought in from home and the children named it 'Stevie'!
Alex also did a series of assemblies to the whole school and talked about his career as an artist, designer and workshop leader and as a lead artist on the Wolves in Wolves public art project.
It was a great way to use creativity to address serious issues and also have lots of fun creating colourful and interesting new work.
Here's what the school said:
This year we decided to celebrate the Art curriculum by holding an arts week in which the whole school could enjoy.
Alex Vann from Real Arts Workshops (RAW) was delighted to get the call from Heather Wastie from Alarum Productions, to add British Sign Language and subtitles to the film of her wonderful poem ‘Histrionic Water’.
Alex is hearing and signs to level 6 and sometimes does communication support work in education and has previously added BSL to films and live performances. However, when it came to this project he asked his partner in business and in life, Gary O’Dowd, to do the signing. This is because the words of the poem are so expressive and visual that it made sense for a native Deaf BSL user to perform the poem.
Most people who have studied BSL will quickly learn that it isn’t just about doing things with your hands and arms. Rather, it uses the whole body to communicate and in particular facial expressions and it was felt that a Deaf signer would convey this with maximum authenticity.
When it came to translating ‘Histrionic Water’, it was vital to Alex and Gary that a Deaf audience should understand what it meant. It wouldn’t do just to translate the English straight into hand gestures, like others forms of communication, for example Makaton and Sign Supported English. It had to go further and tell the story and almost act it so that a Deaf audience would understand not just the words but the meaning. Alex and Gary worked on translating the poem on paper first, and Gary practiced and practiced until the poem flowed.
Filming was problematic because Gary obviously can’t hear the poem so Alex had to use hand signals and pointing to sections of the poem off camera. Even then – trying to match the timing of the spoken word was near impossible. So they shot it in small sections, in front of a greenscreen, and Alex had the unenviable task of ‘stitching’ the pieces together in video editing software to match the film of the poem. There are some fades between the signed sections because one thing BSL must do is flow – and not jump from one sign to another.
Initial feedback from Deaf audiences is very encouraging:
Alex Vann from RAW said:
We love working in collaborations with other organisations and artists so when Heather got in touch about this project we were very excited. One of our key values as a business is inclusion so making a film Deaf accessible is right up our street. We hope Heather’s film is a huge success and that we get to work together again in future.
We were pleased to be commissioned by City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver innovative art sessions over October Half Term to young people aged 10-16 who live in the city as part of the #WVVirtualSquad offer. These had to be run differently from our Summer sessions, when face to face sessions were possible, because of the second national lockdown.
Having already delivered many virtual art session to adults and to Deaf groups using the video conference apps: Zoom and MS Teams, and organising delivery of individual ‘art packs’ it was a case of using that experience to put a programme of Arts activity and learning materials together that not only encouraged fun but also stretched abilities and knowledge. As well as daytime activities aimed at younger children, we delivered evening sessions of more advanced art techniques for teenagers and made use of the ‘RAW CAM’ – a separate ‘spotlighted’ device aimed at an art demonstration piece.
'Zoom' screen shots
As you can see, the quality of work the young people created is amazing. Well done!
Here's what the young people said:
Thank you for all your hard work and effort . I have really enjoyed this and will definitely be back to join you guys again !!!! I had a wonderful half term being part if Real art club x. Thanks again to you all!!!! 🎃🤗🤗🤗
Our Summer Programme for City of Wolverhampton Council
We had a great experience over the 6 weeks summer holidays, delivering our "Summer Art Activities" programme for City of Wolverhampton Council's #WVHolidaySquad and #YES -Youth Engagement Strategy.
We designed and delivered a wide variety of art and craft activities for young people 10-16 and were totally blown away by the quality of work.
A few photos...
Our programme was delivered in two Covid 19 secure venues: 2 weeks at The Workspace, All Saints and 4 weeks at The Way Youth Zone. We observed the government guidelines for performing arts which also covers art groups like ours and are pleased to report no cases of Covid 19. This includes providing separate resource packs so there is no sharing of resources, social distancing and frequent hand washing among other things. Credit has to go to the young people who worked with enthusiasm throughout and were very sensible in observing these measures.
We reached many young people who were referred via Strengthening Families Hubs throughout the city. These young people were from different ethnic backgrounds; White British, Asian, Pakistani, Arab, Eastern European and Black Afro Caribbean.
A few more photos...!
We delivered some British Sign Language training along the way - in a fun and accessible way - WITH PRIZES!!
Your New Normal. My Normal
When we heard about the Common Ground project called “Your New Normal, My Normal”, organised by Changing Our Lives and funded by the Co-Op Foundation, about tackling loneliness in young people we did a couple of workshops with the young people and entered some of their work for the project. A judging panel chose not one but FOUR pieces of work by the young people which is currently in an online exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. We think exhibitions are a great way to celebrate the successes of people and go some way to building confidence in skills knowing that there is an audience for their work. Here is the link to the exhibition; https://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/changingourlives/
Pom-Poms 4 Loneliness
We were delighted to link up with Pom-Poms 4 Loneliness during this project.
Pom-Poms 4 Loneliness is dedicated to the distribution of home made pom poms in and around the Black Country. Each pom-pom represents a lonely or isolated person and by 'Pom-Bombing' they raise awareness about the situation that can face anyone. Our young people spent a day making pom-poms which they donated to the cause!
Yet more pics....!
We think they have all did incredibly well and have had the opportunity to try many different art forms and find their 'niche'. We received some lovely feedback:
We’d like to thank Wolverhampton City Council for funding this project and OnBoard Corrugated for donating cardboard for our group to use.
Special thanks to our volunteers Wayne, Sarah, Rachel, Sandra and Olivia who made this all possible, and our BSL interpreters Mad and Jemma
Here’s just a few of the things we did:
Please find the first edition of our newsletter below. It's been a busy old time at RAW HQ and we plan to produce these newsletters regularly to keep you informed about what we are doing and how you might be able to access our service.
Alex Vann is an all round creative. He formed RAW in 1997 out of a University project and restarted it in 2018 after working as a graphic designer for agencies and in-house for many years.