MakerChange was an innovative six month project, funded by EN:Able Communities, to support unemployed people to pursue their creative goals.
Weekly MakerChange sessions provided participants with access to inspirational tutors and mentors, and the resources to develop new skills, confidence and talent. This gave them a strong basis from which to progress into employment, self-employment or further education at the end of the project. Our first cohort (May – November 2021) were identified as participants from our Monday Makers 10 week course for unemployed people, who – with the right support – could go onto have rich and exciting creative careers.
In the programme’s first months, participants developed skills in techniques such as illustration (Artist: Michelle Wade), multi-media textiles (Artist: Poppy Oldham), collagraph (Artist: Graham Copping) and mylar monoprint (Artist: Alison Britton). Later in the programme, participants had the opportunity to develop their drawing and ceramics skills. The programme also required participants to pursue their own independent projects, supporting one another via skills shares and co-working. Projects included ceramic decorations, sewing and textiles, and fabric printing.
One key success was Participant M., who set up her own small business, which is already booming. M. says that MakerChange gave her “the confidence to go ahead”, and that the tutors and Rural Arts staff were instrumental in her success.
The current funding for MakerChange has now completed, and Rural Arts is actively seeking further support to recommence the programme.