The Art of Creative Mentoring – Empowering Artists and Creative Mentors to Support Children in Need and in Care Across the East Midlands 

“Truly enlightening, informative, well put together and brilliant delivered. Very grateful. Thank you.” – The Art of Creative Mentoring participant. 

In October 2021, we received the great news that we had been successful in applying for a grant from Foyle Foundation to support the development of a training programme for artists and Creative Mentors. This grant allowed us to think closely and critically about our Creative Mentoring programme and consult with our partners on what the sector needs to empower more artists and Creative Mentors to support more Children in Need and in Care through their work and develop their creative practice in the process. 

We appointed a freelance Learning and Development Consultant, to support us with the development of this work. Alongside our consultant, we delivered two focus group sessions. The first with our Creative Mentors, training providers and artists interested in Creative Mentoring asking the very important questions of… 

What support do you need to work more effectively with Children in Need and in Care? 
How can we support the development of your creative practice to do this? 

The second focus group was with our lead partners, Derbyshire County Council’s Virtual School and The Amber Factory, who have pioneered and embedded the Creative Mentoring programme for many years, in asking the important questions of… 

Does this training respond to the needs of your children and young people?  
What is missing or what can we develop? 

From these conversations we devised and developed a robust training programme for artists who wish to become Creative Mentors and those who are already Creative Mentors with us at The Mighty Creatives.  

This programme explores seven key topics including training sessions ‘Understanding the Lived Lives of Children in Need and in Care’, ‘The Vulnerable Brain’, ‘A Deeper Dive into Creative Mentoring’ and ‘Empower Children and Young People’s Voices Through Your Creative Practice’. 

These sessions have been complimented by our Educational Psychology provision, offering one-one and group support for Creative Mentors, as well as our networking and briefing sessions for our Creative Mentoring network. 

The above programme has been developed into an online e-learning platform, with the support of Colab Creation and their Quickfire HD recording support. We would also like to thank our other key and valued partners, Jo Stockdale from Well Within Reach, Claire Parker and Wendy Johnson from The Amber Factory, our focus group participants and Christine Hayward and Kim Johnson from Derbyshire County Council’s Virtual School.  

It was an excellent training session and good to have practice and new information contextualized. It was so enriching to have the input from other members of the team as well as the wider discussions with other participants and made the training even more interesting” – The Art of Creative Mentoring participant. 

Over the course of the training programme, we have engaged with 70 artists and Creative Mentors who have signed up and attended to our training events, engaged with one-one and group support and attended networking events.  

In our evaluation surveys.. 
100% of respondents strongly agreed that the content of the sessions was relevant to their work. 
100% of respondents strongly agreed that the trainers were well prepared and informative. 
100% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the training expanded their knowledge and they learning something new.  
100% of respondents answered ‘yes’ to the question of “Outside of Creative Mentoring, do you feel that the training was relevant and applicable to your wider work as an artist?”

We look forward to continuing the development of this work, so watch this space for more information on our Art of Creative Mentoring training programme. 

“I feel very lucky to have been able to attend and to be part of this training, with other practitioners who are obviously full of integrity and experience. Thank you so much.” – Participant of The Art of Creative Mentoring. 

“I feel inspired with new ideas, I feel encouraged to try some new things without the fear of no engagement from young people.” – Participant of The Art of Creative Mentoring. 

Want to find out more about becoming a Creative Mentor? 
We go to recruitment every 3-4 months for new Creative Mentors. Visit our Opportunities Page or email us at to sign up to the waiting list. 

Want to find out more about our Creative Mentoring programme? 
If you want to find out more about our Creative Mentoring programme, why not visit our Creative Mentoring webpages for more information.