Discovering artistic talent

Youngsters have completed the Arts Award Discover programme at the Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge
Youngsters have completed the Arts Award Discover programme at the Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge

A group of youngsters have become the first to complete a new arts programme at an upper Calder Valley community hub.

During the half-term holiday last October, Pennine Horizons at the Birchcliffe Centre, in Hebden Bridge, launched their Arts Award Discover programme for young people aged five and above.

Molly Jackson, Bella Jackson, Jenny Goff, Ruby Wright and Felix Johnson took up the challenge to be the first to achieve the award by completing a project based on land art and the work of Andy Goldsworthy.

Arts Award, run by Trinity College in London and supported by the Arts Council, is a unique set of qualifications supporting young people to develop as artists and art leaders.

The programme develops their creativity, leadership and communication skills.

Open to anyone aged five to 25, Art Award embraces all interests and backgrounds.

Sally Darlington, education officer at the Birchcliffe Centre and also an Arts Award advisor, said: “Through working towards an award, young people learn to work independently, helping them prepare for further education or employment.

“They were a great first group to try out the Arts Award Discover programme.

“Everyone worked really hard. They spent hours outside in the rain building their land art sculptures, inspired by artist Andy Goldsworthy, who is an Arts Award Gold winner.

“I worked with Andy many years ago before he became famous with art summer schools run by Cheshire County Council.

“I think he would be chuffed to think he had inspired this little group, and has helped them to achieve this award.

“I have high hopes that they will move on to do the next award - Explore.”

A further Arts Award programme was held during the February half-term holiday.

Sally hopes to run Arts Award as an outreach programme to youngsters in Todmorden over the summer holiday period.

For more information, visit or contact Sally by email or call 07712 160600 to book a place.