A ground-breaking three-year project to develop a bespoke, paid training and mentorship programme for care-experienced young adults has been launched, with funding from Oak Foundation.

This unique programme has been developed to equip care-experienced young adults from London boroughs with the skills to devise and deliver workshops at the Museum for groups. Tracing Our Tales will provide paid employment and valuable life skills, including public speaking, critical and creative thinking, and people management, as well as skills in art and creative expression. As the programme develops it is anticipated that trainees will develop workshops aimed at children in foster care and children’s homes, to inspire looked-after children facing similar life challenges.

Launched in October 2017, the programme started with young adults from Hackney and Lambeth. Led by artist Albert Potrony with a focus on coaching the trainees in teaching and art skills, a valuable outcome has been the development of general life skills amongst the group including timekeeping, collaboration, sharing, communication and teamwork. Trainees from year one expressed how the programme provided a safe space in which they felt able, through art, to share their life experiences, and gave them confidence to put their new-found skills into practice. The culmination of year one of the programme has seen trainees assisting with the development and delivery of three family workshops.

From next year, Tracing Our Tales trainee Rohima Poosch will join Albert as an assistant artist to develop and deliver the sessions for the new groups of trainees, using her learning from year one. Building on learnings from year one, the second year of the programme launching in January 2019 will focus on three areas - teaching, art and life skills - with the aim of training the participants to become assistants for future artist-led workshops at the Museum, and to develop critical life skills for future employment. Evaluation of Tracing Our Tales is being led by Professor Claire Cameron at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education.

Read more about year one of the programme here.

Tracing Our Tales will continue from January 2019 and recruitment for 12 trainees will begin from September 2018. If you work with care-experienced young adults in any of the London boroughs and would like more information about the recruitment process, please contact Emma Middleton on 020 7841 3610 or emma@foundlingmuseum.org.uk

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