Youth Work

We have a great deal of experience of working in informal settings with young people, including those with challenging behaviour, special needs or those considered to be vulnerable. We have several long-standing partnerships with youth services and some training in youth work which enables us to work intuitively alongside youth workers whose aims reflect our own.

  • To provide positive activities for young people
  • To improve young people’s personal and social skills
  • To increase self-esteem
  • To reduce anti-social behaviour
  • To have fun and make GREAT art work

Projects in this section

Knowing Me Knowing You

Client comment

I worked with Toni Dickinson on ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’, a project which explored notions of heritage and culture and which produced creative pieces displayed in Bristol’s public spaces.

Toni’s enthusiastic and creative contribution brought out the best in the participants and was essential for developing the ownership that they now feel for their work. Her flexibility and commitment to the project helped salvage some potentially serious situations and her time management and communication with the rest of the project team was also excellent.

I would not hesitate to recommend her to any other such projects.Denis Wise, Community Outreach - Bristol Central Library

This project was funded by Young Roots, The Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Rebecca Fitzgerald from The Oasis School in Bristol, and Denis Wise from Bristol Libraries.

“The ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ project was an innovative approach to bringing together young people through art to explore issues of identity and faith. The use of libraries as a place for social interaction enhanced the participants' feelings of belonging through shared cultural spaces.

The excellent quality of the artwork produced by young people provided testimony to the outstanding creative talents of the participants and the practitioners. The Knowing Me, Knowing You project was used as an example of best practice in a presentation made to cultural leaders representing 50 cities from across Europe, at an intercultural dialogue conference in Liverpool in May 2008”.Asif Khan, Community Engagement Manager, Bristol Libraries

A word from the artists

The groups worked separately at first looking at their culture and heritage through visits to The Bristol Library and The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

The young people painted large self portraits and other work, which was exhibited at The Oasis School’s amazing Gallery, The Art Gym.

The success of this project goes on.

Project process…

  • The position for this project was advertised by Bristol City Council
  • We worked in partnership with The Oasis School, Bristol Muslim Cultural Society, The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and Bristol Libraries
  • The young people worked in 2 separate groups and learnt about their own culture through the library, reference library and art gallery, and museum
  • They made individual art pieces about themselves and their culture
  • We then got together to teach each other about our differences and similarities
  • Ended the 18 month project with a large exhibition of all the work at The Art Gym, followed by smaller exhibitions in Bristol
  • One of the Muslim boys worked with me for 3 months as an artist’s assistant and peer educator on another project in Swindon
  • Two of the young people spoke at a University of The West of England seminar in April 2009
  • The project is to be used as a pilot in Bristol to teach primary school students about their culture

Swindon Youth Services

Client comment

Swindon Youth Services have worked alongside No Added Sugar on a number of occasions and the results have always been successful and popular with young people. Sometimes the young people who we work with and try to engage can be quite challenging, and I feel that No Added Sugar take on this challenge with humour and a genuine desire to inspire and support young people to achieve something through art. They are flexible, open to change in direction and easy to communicate with, for youth workers and young people.

I have no hesitation in recommending their work and look forward to working together again in the future. Lindsay Poole, Youth Development Worker SBC

Thank you so much for all the hard work you have put into this project. I am really proud of the work the young people have produced and you were FAB with them. Hope to work with you both again soon, and will highly recommend you.Hannah Kinross, Swindon Youth Worker

A word from the artists

Working in a youth centre setting is often challenging as the young people own the space. As this was young people-led it was easy to make working relationships quickly with the participants.

Hannah has a brilliant working relationship with the young people which helped to make this project great fun for all partners.

Project process…

  • We started this project with a presentation of our art work and a discussion of their ideas
  • This was followed with a trip for the young people to see previous work we had carried out at other youth centres
  • We agreed in partnership with the young people and youth worker on the project
  • Agreed a timetable, where the young people would work one evening a week ending the work with a day in the Easter holiday
  • As the centre needed more decorating, being a newly converted space for the young people, the final preview of work and opening celebration were planned for May 09

SPLASH (Wiltshire Police charity)

Client comment

No Added Sugar are passionate about their art and have often worked with our most challenging young people. We are delighted with the way that they can engage and inspire even the most reluctant and challenging participants. We believe that their ability to develop positive relationships with young people changes behaviour and attitudes within these participants.

No Added Sugar always give 100% during their arts provision and it’s a pleasure to be able to work with activity providers who show professionalism at all times. We regularly employ them and will continue to do so.Simone Matthews, Splash Operations Coordinator

A word from the artists

We have a valuable partnership with SPLASH (the Wiltshire Police charity), spanning 9 years. This long-term partnership means that we have a good understanding of each other’s aims and objectives and can create new and innovative projects together each year to meet the needs of young people.

SPLASH works with young people who are vulnerable and disadvantaged for many reasons, including:

  • changes in schools
  • growing up
  • family changes
  • at risk of drug and alcohol abuse
  • those in danger of offending
  • young offenders
  • young people who are bullied and the bullies

Project process…

We work in 2 different ways with SPLASH

  1. Mainstream young people

    SPLASH advertise the project to engage the young people

    We write an art project to fit the time scale and budget

  2. Targeted young people

    SPLASH offers the project to targeted young people

    We write a project in line with the needs of the young people

We have used the ambulance service, air ambulance, AA, the police and other agencies to add information and excitement to the projects.

“Youth workers in Swindon have enjoyed a ten year working relationship with No Added Sugar which has been creative, rewarding and beneficial for young people and staff. Using art as a tool for youth work has increased opportunities for young people and has proven to be a vehicle for self & group expression, community involvement, empowerment and inclusion.

No Added Sugar have not only demonstrated their incredible skills as artists - but also as informal educators, being genuinely led by the young people’s needs and ideas, offering them the appropriate level of challenge and pushing their perceived artistic boundaries. No Added Sugar in partnership with Youth Workers have benefited young people from a wide ranging set of circumstances, from young Asians to rurally isolated, youth pride and NEET young people. We look forward to another ten years of youth / community art”. Sarah Hayes - Youth Development Worker & Area Coordinator - SBC