Creative Adventures in Hastings and St Leonards

Culture Shift, Horizons Community Learning, and Hastings and St Leonards Children’s Centres delivered a programme of 3 large scale drop-in family arts workshops in community centres in the Hastings area. Activities included painting, collage, clay, play, modelling, drawing and dressing up. Sessions were facilitated by artists, assisted by a team of community based ‘Creative Champions’, Horizons students studying for a Level 3 course in Supporting Creativity of Children and Young People.

Who was involved

  • Children and families from Hastings and St Leonards
  • Creative practitioners: Jane Gordon and Sharon Haward
  • Others: Horizons Community Learning CIC, Hastings and St Leonards Children’s Centres, Broomgrove Community Centre, Four Courts Community Centre, Stade Hall and Jerwood Gallery, Ore Valley Forum, AmicusHorizon, The Foreshore Trust


How can a partnership of education, community and cultural organisations work together to provide safe spaces for families to explore their creativity, and develop ‘Creative Champions’ for the future?


  • To support the creative development of children and their families in the town’s most marginalised communities
  • To develop creative champions in the community, through training 8-10 Horizons volunteers
  • To encourage broader community cohesion, bringing people together in a creative and safe environment to try new things and realise the value of creativity in their lives and their community


Vulnerable children accessed a space where their creative development was valued.

Parents and carers accessed free, non-threatening, informal activities, building their confidence to access similar workshops elsewhere and try out creative activities at home with their children.

200 people attended the event at Jerwood Gallery and Stade Hall; for most this was their first visit to the Jerwood Gallery.

Horizons students developed their confidence and skills to lead others in creative activities in a safe and supported environment, benefiting from working alongside experienced artists.

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It was great. You could really express your feelings through the art. I would do it again.

Child, age 10

Such lovely child-centred activities. Wonderful! I particularly like the idea of using natural resources. Thank you!

Participant at family arts workshop

What a wonderful opportunity for kids to express themselves. Would love to do this every weekend.

Participant at family arts workshop

It’s given me the belief I’m capable of things I didn’t realise; I feel confident enough now to offer my services to lead children’s activities; I’ve learnt lots especially a good understanding of how to organise events, what to consider; I’ve had the opportunity to reflect and think about why play is important as so often we just do it; I’m much more confident in my abilities and feel much more able to do this again; It gave me so much more confidence to do things I never thought I’d ever do – I’ve amazed myself too!

Horizons students