Fuel, based at the Find Centre in Enniskillen, was one of 24 groups to receive funding in November 2022, thanks to National Lottery funding for good causes through the Arts Council’s ARTiculate: Young People Wellbeing Programme.
The group is using digital arts-based activities to connect young people in the Enniskillen area and the overall aim of this project is to support their mental and emotional wellbeing. The organisation are working collaboratively with Beama Education CIC, who have extensive experience in project delivery, working with young people from marginalised areas and with complex needs.
Through digital arts based activities, including film making, animation, coding, photography, graphic design and DJing , the project is addressing the stigma around mental health issues, creating a positive and welcoming environment where young people can come together to make friends and learn new skills.
Bernadette O’Shea from the Find Centre said:
“36 young people participated in the Digital Minds Project. Through feedback after each session they said they really enjoyed the use of the various media resources and gained new knowledge and skills that they felt they could transfer to other projects they would be involved with. Most importantly, they felt that the content of the Project made them think about their own feelings and emotions and the world that they live in. The young people engaged very well with the Tutors and this promoted a lot of shared discussions.”
The ARTiculate Young People Wellbeing Programme was set up by the Arts Council to help give a voice to young people (aged 12-18) through drama, music, visual arts and literature activities. Organisations were invited to apply for up to £10,000 each to support arts-led projects, with a particular focus on developing projects which included young people experiencing higher levels of disadvantage or exclusion and more vulnerable groups, such as those living with a mental health condition, eating disorders or addiction.
Lorraine Calderwood, ARTiculate Young People Wellbeing Programme Manager at the Arts Council, commented:
“The positive links between engagement in the arts and our health and wellbeing are firmly established and post-pandemic, we believe, initiatives like the ARTiculate programme are more important than ever.
“With this funding, we want to reach out to some of the most vulnerable children in our society to engage them in fun and creative arts projects, which help build confidence and promote self-expression. It has been an absolute privilege to come here today to meet with the young people engaged in this particular project and see some of the fantastic creative work they’ve been doing over the last number of weeks with BEAMA.”
Notes to Editors
About the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the lead funding and development agency for the Arts providing support to arts projects throughout the region, through its Treasury and The National Lottery funds. Our funding enables artists and arts organisations to increase access to the arts across society and deliver great art that is within everyone’s reach.
Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £42 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.
National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK. The National Lottery has made more than 5,500 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes - over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.