In rural areas of Cambridgeshire, there are few opportunities for young people to participate in creative activities. Between Wysing and King’s Lynn, there are nearly 60 miles with little or no cultural provision for children and young people and areas of high economic deprivation. Overall, there are few opportunities locally to find supportive, safe and creative spaces for young people; and they are having to travel large distances.

To help address these issues, Wysing Arts Centre received a grant from the Arm Community Fund to help them run a free Youth Festival for approximately 50 young people, aged 12 – 18, living in rural Cambridgeshire.

The Youth Festival was delivered at Wysing’s creative campus. The young participants were able to attend different artist-led drop-in workshops across the day, with opportunities to meet others and share their creative work. They learned new skills and had the opportunity to use and experience the resources Wysing offers on its rural campus, including their temporary exhibition, ceramics facilities and recording studio.

Moreover, the festival provided an opportunity for young people from different backgrounds to socialise in a safe space, to reduce loneliness and forge new friendships.

Face painting