AMI HYDE: We need to focus on engaging more young people in the arts

Making Space young designer Isobel Haly,16, presents the Princess Royal with a hand-crafted tin brooch  Picture: Tom Langford
Making Space young designer Isobel Haly,16, presents the Princess Royal with a hand-crafted tin brooch Picture: Tom Langford
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The Making Space education officer and designer is putting a call out for young designers

At Making Space, in Leigh Park, we are helping create a new generation of inspirational young designers.

Our bespoke venue in Bishopstoke Road is a craft charity that houses seven occupied maker-studios meaning it is an inspirational place for any budding creative.

I’m now in the second year of running an on-going evening course aimed at creative 11-16 year olds.

We know that with all the pressures the education system is under the creative subjects are suffering.

Schools are reducing the creative options and local universities are closing creative degrees. Now, more than ever, we need to focus on engaging more young people in the arts.

There are so many positive outcomes and benefits that come with being creative and if we don’t try harder to excite young people and encourage them to get involved in the creative industry, we will miss out on future generations learning traditional crafts and becoming the designers of the future.

In January three of the original young designers had the privilege of meeting and showing off their work to royalty when Princess Anne visited Making Space as part of our 10 year celebrations.

Sita Puddu, Sophie Anderson and Isobel Haly proudly showed off their creations and chatted to the Princess Royal about the course, their designs and why they enjoy attending.

The Young Designers course runs in term-time on a Tuesday evening from 5.30-7pm culminating in July with an end-of-term exhibition and showcase which last year was a catwalk show in the courtyard.

Emily Horton, who is on the course at the moment, said: ‘I love designing things, which on the course is more than just clothes. Young Designers is different because it covers lots of different skills and techniques. I also like coming because of the social side.’

Over the duration of the course the young designers cover subjects such as designing, garment construction, customising, jewellery, styling, illustration and photography, and the course is broken up into mini-projects, each one with a different theme and creative outcome.

If you know any creative young people or budding designers direct them to the Making Space website. There is still time to book online for the upcoming term go to makingspace.org.