We believe all young people should be given the opportunity to shine, and here at MAKE:DO we are on a mission to do just that! Our unique art, design and engineering programme uses real tools and materials to solve interesting and unusual problems, challenging young people to view themselves and the world around them differently.
We work with schools, alternative education providers and local communities to design meaningful and creative projects that promote creativity, curiosity, collaboration and confidence. And we want to be able to offer more engaging, explorative, maker-led workshops to young people who are increasingly being denied such opportunities.
It is widely acknowledged that the most important life skills we can instill in our young people to prepare them for the ever-changing world around them are critical thinking and problem solving;
team work and collaboration;
creativity and innovation; and the ability to be self-directed, lifelong learners.
Yet the subjects that these skills are inherent in - the creative arts - are being cut in schools at an alarming rate:
- GCSE courses in Design and Technology have disappeared from nearly half of UK secondary schools (survey by Association of School and College Leaders, 2017)
- Creative arts subjects are being cut back in many secondary schools in England - nine in every ten said they had cut back on lesson time, staff or facilities in at least one creative arts subject (survey by the BBC, 2018)
There is a striking correlation between the number of young people not in education, employment and training (NEET), the decline of a broad, dynamic, creative curriculum and an increase in rote learning and standardised testing. Whatever way you look at it, it isn't good! Not for the wellbeing or life chances of our young people, and certainly not for our economy.
- Sir Ken Robinson -
It is clear that instead of educating our young people out of their creativity, we should be harnessing the innate opportunities designing, making, building and creating provide in developing critical 21st century skills. There are countless studies that attest to the social, emotional and academic benefits of arts experiences in a young person's life: 'students who have arts-rich experiences in school do better across-the-board academically, and they also become more active and engaged citizens, voting and volunteering' (Catteral, 2012); not to mention the economic contribution our creative industries make - almost £10 million an hour according to Government figures (2016).
If the creative arts are being cut from the classroom, we must find new and innovative ways for young people to explore and express their creativity.
MAKE:DO offers a wide-range of creative opportunities for young people to get excited about learning through making; using real tools and materials to solve real design problems, collaborating with professional practitioners and uncovering new (or forgotten) talents. Our principle programme consists of:
- After school clubs
- One-day and weekend workshops
- Curriculum consultation and development
We are particularly passionate about levelling the playing field, ensuring all young people are given equal opportunities and offer specialised sessions dedicated to empowering more young women in the field of engineering, creative curriculum options for homeschooled youth and workshops supporting socially and emotionally vulnerable young people.
We want to impact the lives of as many young people as possible, but as a small organisation that creates large-scale projects, this has been a logistical challenge... until now! We have recently bought a Ford Transit van and have big dreams to turn it into the 'MAKE:DO mobile' - a
mobile makerspace that can house and transport all of our tools, materials and supplies and enable us to reach a wider community.
This is the start of a very exciting journey for us and we would love for you to join us for the ride (pun very much intended!) We are crowdfunding to create a custom-built interior for our van that will have moveable storage solutions - meaning that it can be used both inside and outside of the van itself - giving us the flexibility to work in a multitude of different environments. We want to create a multifunctional space that provides us with some basic amenities when we are on the road and will enable us to embark upon projects further from home.
In addition to the van renovations, we would love to expand our toolkit and purchase more specialised equipment to make our kids imaginative ideas come to life. If our crowdfunding campaign is successful, we will be using our stretch target to meet this goal.
We are offering lots of unique rewards in return for your support, but most importantly, by helping us to become more mobile, you are helping us to engage and empower more young people. So thank you!
We thought you might like to see some of unique rewards we have on offer for you (please check them out on the right side of the page, as there are a few added extras up for grabs!)
We feel incredibly lucky to have the support of Two Girls Co. who are a creative force to be reckoned with! The makers of awesome designer goods - including these fabulous 'Designers Rule' pins, which you can wear as a badge of honour (or gift to the talented designer in your life). Plus they are made to scale, so you never need be without a (tiny) ruler again!
£12.00 (includes a £5.00 donation to MAKE:DO and free UK postage*)
Have you ever owned a piece of art made by an art
cart? You can now! We are in the midst of an exciting project working with hard-to-reach young people in Hampshire and will soon be creating our own unique works of art (on a cart designed and built by kids), inspired by a range of famous artists. You can get your hands on a set of small prints...
£16.00 postcard collection (includes free UK postage*)
£24.00 greeting card collection (includes envelopes and free UK postage*)
For all those ideas and inventions that you need to get out of your head and on to paper, we have a range of notebook options to suit. All stationary comes from the fabulous folks at remarkable, a UK eco-stationery brand who recycle waste materials into useful everyday products. Choose from:
£20.00 a refillable, playful LEGO-style building block notebook (A6, lined paper) with remarkable recycled pencil and colouring pencil set - ideal for the young ones or those young at heart.
£36.00 gorgeous nuuna flexcover notebooks, with limited edition silk screen printed cover and premium paper (pages in grey dot grid, approx A5 in size - 16.5cm x 22cm) and remarkable recycled writing set.
Please note: Both notebook sets come in a choice of prints and/or colour combinations, which will be randomly selected, unless specified - contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
After the popularity of our 'MAKE A MAKE:DO MEMORY' reward (in which you can sponsor a young person's place on a MAKE:DO programme), we have decided to offer an additional option. You can now sponsor two places on a MAKE:DO programme and empower even more young people in need of confidence-boosting creative education.
Want to embed enquiry-based learning into your classroom practise or encourage cross-curricular projects between the staff at your school? As a special thank you, our founder Jenny Gratton will spend the day with you and your team to help you create meaningful and engaging curriculum that promotes creativity, curiosity, collaboration and confidence.
£130.00 one day consultation (normally £250.00)
Why not have MAKE:DO run a workshop and see what all the fuss is about?! From a carefully selected starting point we will work with your young people to re-imagine, invent, design and build something they (nor you) have ever seen before! Workshop options include working with one group for the whole day or a number of shorter sessions (schools), homeschooling or community projects and kids parties. Got something else in mind? Let's have a chat.
£260.00 up to 6 children/young people (in any one session)
£380.00 up to 12 children/young people (in any one session)
All donations and pledges come with a hand written thank you card, because let's face it, you're amazing and you deserve to be told it!
*Postage: please note that due to the nature of some of our rewards, there will be a slight delay in getting them out to you (for instance, the artists will only be producing their masterpiece on the day our crowdfunding campaign comes to a close!) We will endeavour to get the rewards out to you as soon as we can, but to err on the side of caution please allow 2-4 weeks from the end of the Crowdfunder campaign.
The driving force (yep, its another van pun!) behind all of this is Jenny Gratton, our founder. A highly experienced educator and a passionate advocate for enquiry-based, maker-led learning, Jenny has worked in a number of different roles and contexts within traditional and alternative education, both nationally and internationally.
For close to a decade Jenny worked with young people in inclusive, community comprehensive schools in the UK, but became increasingly frustrated with the system. She realised that she could no longer stand by and watch so many brilliant young people leave school feeling like they weren't, just because they didn't fit the mould. With a strong belief that education should provide young people with opportunities to become confident, collaborative and courageous adults, she stepped away from the classroom and embarked upon a quest to find organisations who were doing things differently.
This journey led her to California where she has worked for the past few years with progressive organisations - Project Ember and Tinkering School - who see the value of experiential education and are on a mission to build resilient, creative and adaptive thinkers. And it is from these powerful and transformative experiences that she has been able to developed a unique programme that we are so proud and excited to sharing with you.
You can find out more about us on our Instagram page, where Jenny is sharing more of her story and her passions in the #marchmeetthemaker project.
A huge shout out and thank you to our friends at Project Ember for supplying top notch photos for this campaign!