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The New Forest Changemakers

The Young Cultural Changemakers programme is a cultural development initiative for and by children and young people aged 25 and under in the New Forest and Hampshire area.   


This programme focuses on: 

  • Building the aspirations, capacity, training, and potential of the New Forest’s young people through relevant and engaging opportunities to improve creative skills  
  • Empowering young people to find their voice and develop leadership opportunities and abilities  
  • Supporting youth-led regeneration, pride of place and community building  
  • Exploring creative solutions to improve the communities and lives of young people in the New Forest 
  • Facilitating the networking of local organisers, creative freelancers, youth services, young people, and their schools to support youth led cultural provision  
  • Enhancing the offering of creative skills and career support for young people from the New Forest’s schools 
  • Working with young people in the New Forest to commission creative projects focused on improving mental health  
  • Celebrating the events and activities that are already happening nearby 

The Power of Placemaking

The programme, Activating Young Cultural Changemakers, focuses on five key places where we will be exploring how children and young people can be empowered to direct meaningful creative projects in their local areas. We will support and train them to develop new skills, investing in quality art commissions for installations that harness their ideas, placing control in the hands of young people and promoting youth leadership.  


The project is supported using public funding by Arts Council England to deliver on their ‘Let’s Create’ strategy. In the year 2023-24, as well as the New Forest, we will be positioned in four other areas in the South East – Arun, Dover, Slough, and The Isle of Wight. This project will run from 2023-2026.  


Find out more about the Young Cultural Changemakers programme here. 


Digital Badges

Young people who participate in the Young Cultural Changemakers Programme will have the opportunity to earn digital badges; online qualifications that can be used on a CV or applications. Find out more about digital badges here. 

This programme will offer the opportunity for young people who have not previously engaged with arts and culture to achieve a Bronze Arts Award.

About the New Forest

The New Forest has been identified by Arts Council England as an area of low cultural engagement, and as of 2023 is one of 54 Priority Places in their Let’s Create strategy. The district is bursting with potential, and has 16 museums, galleries, and heritage sites as well as the beautiful national park. Despite this, young people in the New Forest face challenges with their mental health, Artswork will work with them to discover a sense of belonging through creativity. Find out more about how Priority Places were selected here.

Meet The Producer

"It’s a privilege to support the young people of the New Forest in discovering the positive transformative power of their voice and ideas. I cannot wait to work to discover what creative empowerment opportunities we can build together." -Finn Cresswell, Placemaking Creative Producer for the New Forest.

Get involved!

We want to get the views of as diverse a range of young people as possible – and particularly want to hear from young people who rarely have their voice heard. If you work with young people – whether in school or another youth setting – and would like them to have this great creative opportunity, please get in touch

If you are a young person who would like to get involved, please get in touch to find out when our next community creative consultation will take place


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