We want to give young people first-hand experience of working with artists. We want to share our skills and help to build confidence. We believe in fair pay for all and we want to focus our effort on someone who might otherwise be excluded. The coronavirus pandemic has hit young people’s career prospects very hard so this is more important now than ever.
Our ambition is to create a year-round paid internship programme to replace our volunteer programme, breaking down barriers to the arts. The weekly Real Living Wage is currently £375 and we are aiming to fund 48 weeks a year by 2023. It is no small feat, but we do love ambition.
With support from the government’s Kickstart scheme we are able to offer four six-month placements in 2021. And with generous support from our donors, we are able to top up wages to the Real Living Wage.
We are now working to raise £6,500 to fund a four-month paid internship in 2022.
In 2019 – with the support of our donors – we were thrilled to host James Shreeve, an emerging neuro-diverse artist.
The internship has pushed me to new heights that were unreachable on my own but thanks to the wonderful team’s support I am able to take charge of my career and shape my artistic future in the manner of the great creative titans before me.
– James Shreeve, 2019 Intern
At WorkAid we support people with learning difficulties, autism and Asperger’s to explore the world of work and, hopefully, find meaningful employment. I would like to express my gratitude to you as a company and as individuals. The way that you have treated James and adapted your work practices within the workplace to suit him and his style has been an example to other employers. I have seen James grow in confidence as he realises that he is not just an autistic person who happens to be good at all things art based, but also as an individual who is accepted in the workplace as an equal and a colleague.
– Dave Laycock, Aldingbourne Trust
We can’t afford to offer more paid placements to people like James without your support. Every single pound you give will make a huge difference and help us to create a scheme that sets an industry standard. As a small group of artists – and a charity – your support means the world to us.
Blast Theory is a registered charity (1053343).