Element is a charity that runs creative arts projects with young people leaving the care system, and vulnerable students. Our projects support young people to build their confidence, improve their communication skills, increase their peer network, and take up further creative opportunities. Each project consists of group sessions that use visual art, performance art and creative writing to encourage participants to reflect positively on their identity. At the end of our projects, Element Young Creatives present their work at a showcase for family, support workers, friends and professionals from the creative industries. Once participants complete a project with us, they become part of the Element alumni network through which they expand their peer network, attend cultural events, and access opportunities through Element and our partners.
We are a small, dynamic team with a big mission: to create inclusive spaces where young people both learn and take the lead, recognising themselves as creatives in their own right, with their own ambitions. Since starting in 2016 we’ve worked with over 300 young people, through 13 school projects, and 23 projects for care leavers in partnership with 9 different local authorities.
Element is currently run by three full time executive staff with additional freelance support from our alumni Youth Champions. We have a six person strong board with a variety of expertise including a former Element participant. Element projects are commissioned and part-funded by local authorities and schools. We have also been supported by national grant-giving charities including the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Young Londoner’s Fund, London Community Foundation and Arts Council England.