Craft&Making: A New National Saturday Club Subject

15 November, 2022

National Saturday Club and Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) are delighted to be working in partnership to launch the Craft&Making Saturday Club, with the support of Howdens.

For the pilot year, four Clubs will be hosted by universities and colleges including: Birmingham City University, City & Guilds of London Art School, City of Oxford College and MAKE Southwest. This network will increase to ten Clubs by 2025.

This new Saturday Club programme aims to introduce young people from across the UK to the world of craft and making, creating valuable opportunities for them to develop their creativity and practical skills. Club members will work with varied materials, such as wood, ceramics, glass, metal, and textiles, and will gain an understanding of the importance of retaining traditional craft practice, whilst ensuring that these skills and materials evolve and remain relevant in the modern world. 

The National Saturday Club programme is free and open to 13–16-year-olds of all abilities. Weekly classes will be led by professional tutors from the universities, colleges and cultural organisations hosting the Clubs. Club members will also take part in Masterclasses with industry professionals including the QEST Alumni, visits to museums and galleries, an end-of-year Summer Show, and Graduation Ceremonies.

Through the programme, Club members will be introduced to a wide range of careers in heritage and conservation, the built environment, and the creative industries. QEST and the National Saturday Club will engage with cultural organisations and industry, and will develop practitioner partnerships to support and enrich the new Craft&Making programme, supporting Club tutors and providing inspirational opportunities for the young people.

Lucy Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Saturday Club Trust said: “We are delighted to be partnering with QEST to launch the Craft&Making Saturday Club, the seventh subject within the National Saturday Club programme. This programme will be vital in introducing young people to the breadth of opportunities open to them within the world of craft and making, opportunities which are currently not visible within the mainstream curriculum. The programme will impart valuable practical skills which could lead onto rewarding careers and will support them to consider future study in the sector. At a time when we see many craft and making subjects, practices and skills declining nationally, it is even more important that young people have the opportunity to discover and be inspired by them at a pivotal moment in their progression.”

Deborah Pocock LVO, CEO at QEST said: “We are really excited about the potential for this new partnership to inspire and encourage young people of all backgrounds across the UK to explore their creativity and hand-making skills.  We hope that the Craft&Making Club will provide transformational opportunities for young people to build their skills, develop confidence and discover clear pathways of progression into craft-based occupations, unlocking hidden talents and growing a new generation of professional craftspeople and makers.”

The National Saturday Club now offers seven subjects: Art&Design, Fashion&Business, Film&Media, Science&Engineering, Society&Change, Writing&Talking; and Craft&Making.

With a particular focus on engaging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented communities, who would not otherwise have these opportunities, the National Saturday Club’s established model has proven impact.

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