The Art Room
I was looking through my photos the other day and found all my IB art pieces, 6 in total which I spent hours labouring over whilst my friend Katie kept me sane, or actually relatively insane… But those were some of the best if not the best times of my school career and I so wish I could go back to them.
My strengths in subjects became clear from a very early age: I struggled in maths, science and sport, was better in the humanities but excelled in the arts. And not just excelled, I really thrived in them and I found what I was good at. It gave me confidence not just in my work but in my own abilities and that was such a great thing.
And I was lucky enough to have an incredible art department with amazing teachers and resources. When I went up to do art, particularly in my 7 years at the senior school, I loved being there because I entered my own bubble. And I was at my best in sixth form. My IB course (shoutout) gave me complete freedom to create what I wanted in the way I wanted to. My teacher encouraged me to use tools and media in new and different ways and the outcomes were bold. A representation of me I think it’s fair to say.
But none of that would’ve happened without the encouragement and the access to the supplies I had at school, I was really lucky. And I was lucky because I had my creative outlet. For some people their outlet isn’t creative, it’s sport or even crosswords and for me it’s art. Now I have that outlet when I do henna or makeup. But not everyone gets this. I know how valuable it is and it’s sad because the arts are seen as less valuable to a lot of people but actually, the number of kids that would be restricted and prevented from opportunities if these programmes were cut would be devastating.
Enter: The Art Room
The Art Room is a charity that provides art sessions for school children in London, Oxford and Edinburgh in partnerships with over 40 schools, helping over 500 children every week. Many of this kids are referred by their schools due to emotional well-being or behavioural concerns and it gives them the chance to get out of their normal environments, and through changing a mundane object into art, they can progressively improve, 47% of all the children they have worked with have had mental health issues. And it works.
“60% of all children – and 70% of children with severe mental health difficulties – experienced an improvement in their emotional wellbeing, behaviour and/or relationships after spending time in The Art Room”
I really care deeply about this charity so this year, for my birthday I want to raise money for The Art Room. You can donate yourself here:
And if we’re friends on FaceBook, I’ve created a fundraiser that you can donate directly through!