Young artists’ work spreads kindness and joy throughout Stockport

Young people have been creating artworks in a series of arts and crafts workshops called the Hidden Project

Young artists’ work spreads kindness and joy throughout Stockport

The 48 young people, aged six to 25, including some with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), created eight ‘feel good’ banners to be displayed around Stockport to spread kindness in a project led by Make Build Grow a social enterprise based at MakeGood in Cheadle Heath, and funded as part of Stockport’s Town of Culture celebrations.

The workshops were aimed at young people who had expressed that they usually feel hidden or unheard, so that they could explore their feelings through creativity. They produced colourful, positive messages to deliver hope during the dark winter months by producing messages that might bring joy to others and spread kindness.

The groups involved came include:

  • The L!sten Project
  • Signpost Young Carers
  • Beacon Counselling SHINE Project
  • Pure Insight Care leavers
  • MakeGood Home Ed SEND Art Club.

The budding artists transformed old vinyl tablecloths by dragging acrylic paint across them with squeegees. When the tablecloths had dried, groups then worked back into them and drew doodles and patterns on to the painted vinyl with acrylic paint pens. The young artists were then invited to think about things that they would say to a friend going through a tough time. The groups worked collaboratively on
their banners, deciding on their message and cutting out their letters and images and gluing them to their vinyl backing.

The banners were initially exhibited at Stockport Town Hall, as part of the Stockport Youth Summit on 6 February and are now being rehoused around Stockport
Town Centre to bring more joy. The first two banners are now being displayed at Stockport’s War Memorial Art Gallery and will be exhibited with other work made during Stockport Town of Culture until the end of March. ‘It’s Okay Not to be Okay’ was made during a workshop with young people from Beacon Counselling’s SHINE project and ‘Give Yourself A Hug’ has been made by the young people who attend the MakeGood Home Ed Art Club.

Further locations for the banner will be unveiled over the next few weeks.

Councillor Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport, said: “Arts is such a powerful vehicle to help people to communicate their inner feelings. It’s wonderful to see such a fantastic project come to fruition which is spreading joy and kindness throughout the borough as part of our Town of Culture activities.”