Access Fund: applications now open!

Access Fund: applications now open!

Picture of Katherine Stapley-Smith

BY: Katherine Stapley-Smith
26 Sep 2016

Are you an adviser in England working with young people who may struggle to access Arts Award due to their personal circumstances?

If so and you’re looking to pilot, embed or develop Arts Award with these young people then you’re eligible to apply for a grant of between £100 and £1,500 through the Access Fund.

Applications are open now via the Arts Award website and close at 5pm on Friday 21 October.

Why have an Access Fund?

The arts have the power to inspire, to entertain, to question, and to help us understand the world around us. That’s why ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to access the arts and culture is important. Taking part in Arts Award can often have a huge impact on young people’s lives, their aspirations and self-esteem.

But for many young people the opportunity to engage with arts and culture is lacking. There are lots of reasons why this might be, whether it’s financial, a lack of local provision, health issues, or personal circumstance. The Access Fund supports these young people to have the same opportunities as their peers so that everyone has the chance to express themselves creatively and be inspired by the arts.

How to prepare an application

DJ scratching workshop 1 028To help you prepare your application, make use of our information and guidance document and draft your application in our mock application form. You will also need to prepare a project budget using our budget spreadsheet.

We recommend you have a read through of our resource top tips for success with Access Fund applications and our blog post Tips to Make Your Application Stand Out which gives you five key pieces of advice to make your application stand out.

Access Fund success stories

Access Fund has had a great impact on these Arts Award centres, and you could be next to benefit:

The Complete Works Ltd

Focusing on film, photography, drama and dance, this project saw a group of NEET young people complete their Silver award. The grant was used to pay for materials and workshops from professionals which supported the young people to produce documentaries and photographs. The project culminated in an exhibition organised by the young people, who used a small budget also taken from the Access Fund grant to share their work with the local community.

The young people, who all have SEN, gained a lot of confidence from being able to produce work with this level of professionalism. They also learned how to resolve conflicts productively, which for some was a massive step. Through their project the group worked alongside people within the local community, overcoming concerns over their confidence and behavior. The relationships developed have continued beyond Arts Award as several people involved in supporting this project have requested to work with the young people in other community initiatives.

No Limits

The grant was used to deliver an Arts Award project that successfully engaged 30 young people with disabilities in a range of creative workshops and experiences.Six young people with learning disabilities who had just completed their Bronze Arts Award were at the heart of this project and were supported to deliver a series of sessions for the 30 Discover participants.

The project has highlighted how No Limits can continue to engage young people with a learning disability as they end their own Arts Award journey, by supporting them to become leaders and peer mentors in other projects.

Grand Union Orchestra

Their Gold student undertook a number of challenges to complete her Arts Award. For Unit 1, her art form was photography and her new art form was Event Management. For Unit 2 she created her own photo exhibition, displaying her own work and promoting events herself. As part of this she successfully researched and negotiated free space to hold her exhibition, giving much needed extra funds for travel outside of London to other events. The grant was mainly used to pay for printing the photos for her exhibition but also for equipment hire, general exhibition materials, travel to events and moderation costs.

The young person really valued the opportunities Gold Arts Award gave her to explore new art forms; to meet a range of arts professionals; to develop new leadership skills and to gain new skills in self-evaluation and critical thinking.

Her Gold Arts Award also helped her gain a place at Northampton University to study Event Management.

So don’t delay – start preparing your Access Fund application today, and make sure you submit it before 5pm on Friday 21 October! We will let you know two weeks after this deadline whether or not your application has been successful. Good luck!

Please note you must have registered as an Arts Award centre to apply for the Access Fund - see our website for details on how to do this.

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