The National Saturday Club is a new model but not a new idea. Between the late 1940s and 1970s, art schools across the country opened their doors on Saturdays to give young teenagers a taste of what it would be like to study art after leaving school. For many of today’s artists and designers, it was the start of their creative and entrepreneurial careers.
This initiative was the inspiration for the National Saturday Club. The Club’s co-founders, John and Frances Sorrell, both started their professional journeys by attending these Saturday art classes. John and Frances ran an internationally successful design business, Newell and Sorrell, before setting up The Sorrell Foundation in 1999, with the aim of inspiring creativity in young people. After 10 years of developing pioneering educational programmes, the Foundation launched the first National Art&Design Saturday Club in 2009.
Since the initial pilot with four colleges, the Saturday Club network has grown and flourished. The Art&Design Club was so successful that it became clear the model could be applied to other subjects and industry sectors. Currently, there are Clubs in Science&Engineering, Fashion&Business and Writing&Talking.
In 2016, the Saturday Club Trust was launched as an independent charity to take over the development of the National Saturday Club from The Sorrell Foundation. Through its trustees, advisory group, partner institutions and staff, the Trust consolidates and develops existing Clubs and explores the potential for expansion in other locations and subjects.
The Trust is ambitious for the future, and believes the National Saturday Club model can be utilised to reach and benefit every young person in the country.