Young artist from Co. Antrim teams up with The Prince’s Trust to launch The Great Create

Fearne Cotton Inga Norvilyte

New initiative with Fearne Cotton invites public to get together and host their own Great Create parties

A young man who uses art as a way of improving his mental health has joined forces with youth charity The Prince’s Trust to launch a new fundraising initiative that will boost the wellbeing of young people.

Together with Fearne Cotton and her Happy Place initiative, The Prince’s Trust has launched The Great Create, which encourages people to have a go at making something together and discover how good it feels to get creative while raising vital funds to help young people. The initiative is supported by STAEDTLER and their triplus range of creative products.

Artist Chris West, 17 from Ballyclare, is supporting The Great Create because the cause is close to his heart. Difficulties with his mental health led to a lack of confidence for Chris after leaving college, but he found art helped him to relax and feel at peace.

“After leaving college I needed a hobby to lift my mood and put my creativity into, so I got back into art which I had really enjoyed at school. I found that it helps with my mental health; how I see things and how I see myself.

“Whenever I do art I can do it for hours and hours and not notice the time going by. It is such a release; I can put my feelings onto the paper and after it is done I feel like I have flooded out my emotions onto the paper and into my art.”

Determined to help others improve their mental health, Chris is encouraging people in Northern Ireland to host their own Great Create parties during the month of March.

“I would encourage everyone to get involved in the Great Create. Art is a great way to express yourself and to find yourself, you can put all the feelings and emotions that you can’t understand, and your frustrations into creating something productive.”

The money raised through The Great Create will fund Prince’s Trust courses that support young people’s wellbeing. The Prince’s Trust helps those young people who need it most, building their confidence and enabling them to fulfil their potential.

Chris is currently taking part in The Prince’s Trust Team programme, a 12-week personal development programme that helps young people to develop their confidence and skills.

“I’m really enjoying the Team programme, I’m way more confident now than I was before and have been able to relax and make friends. I’ve had a really good experience with The Prince’s Trust.”

Fearne Cotton, Prince’s Trust Goodwill Ambassador for wellbeing, said: “By hosting a Great Create party with all your favourite people, you can enjoy the benefits of spending time being creative together; helping your own wellbeing while also raising funds to help the wellbeing of young people.

“The Great Create is all about giving yourself, and your friends, the time and space to talk, laugh and share what’s on your mind – all of which is made easier when you’ve got a creative activity to get stuck into.

“You don’t need any experience in arts or crafts to get involved and we’ve got loads of resources to help you plan your party – if you visit the Great Create website you’ll find plenty there to get you started.”

From upcycling T-shirts to painting plant pots, Great Create hosts can take inspiration from a range of step-by-step activity packs or come up with their own ideas for making something amazing. The downloadable packs have been personally curated by Fearne and written by young people who have been supported by The Trust. One of the packs includes an activity led by Fearne.

Fearne added: “Having seen one of The Trust’s art therapy workshops in action, I know what an amazing impact they’re having on young people. I’m so happy to be spearheading a project that will open up these workshops and other incredible opportunities to even more young people, so that they can experience the benefits for themselves.

“When a young person gets involved with The Prince’s Trust, they open themselves up to a huge support network – new friends they meet on the courses, the staff who guide them through everything and the volunteers who help them to see just how much they can achieve. The whole Prince’s Trust experience can work wonders for young people’s confidence and self-esteem, and I’d encourage anyone who might benefit from their support to get in touch with them.”

Philip Wesolowsk, Managing Director at STAEDTLER UK, says: “In a world where looking after our mental health and encouraging wellbeing are arguably more important than ever, we are extremely excited at the possibility of helping a generation of young people to gain confidence, manage their feelings of anxiousness and become happier.

“Growing up and trying to discover your identity in a time where social media, fake news and reality TV dominate, isn’t easy, even for adults, and the anxieties that come with that can be crippling.

“With CHILDWISE research showing that children’s biggest fear is being bullied both on and offline[1], we want to demonstrate the positive effect that creativity can have on wellbeing and reducing feelings of unhappiness and symptoms of anxiety and depression.”

Research suggests that young people in the UK experienced record levels of anxiety last year and that overall happiness levels flatlined at their lowest ever point2. With the support of Great Create hosts all over the UK, The Prince’s Trust will do everything it can to give more vulnerable young people the support they need to move forwards with their lives.

Search ‘The Great Create’ online to sign up and find out more.

[1] These findings are taken from the CHILDWISE Monitor Report.

2 These findings are taken from The Prince’s Trust Youth Index 2019.

Leave a Reply