What we do
The Lowry is a world class arts centre rooted in Salford, with a belief in the arts as a tool for social change.
As a registered charity (No: 1053962) with strong local partnerships The Lowry prioritises projects which specifically enable young people to have access to life changing opportunities; to learn new skills, improve their wellbeing and to have a voice through the art that they make.
This exciting work brings together high quality artists with young people who are experiencing challenges in their life. Through this interaction young people explore their own self-expression, political thought and creative ideas, making work which challenges the world to stop and listen.
If you have any questions about The Lowry’s Arts for Social change programme please email us.
Over the past 5 years The Lowry has worked closely in partnership with Salford Young Carers Service to support children and young people across the city with a caring responsibility. This work has engaged over 200 Young Carers and the work they have created has impacted on the lives of over 2000 children, young people and health professionals across the UK and abroad.
Paige is a carer for her dad who is wheelchair bound and her brother who is profoundly deaf and also has learning difficulties.
Paige has been receiving support from Salford Young Carers service for many years and through their relationship with The Lowry has taken part in numerous creative projects.
“Using creativity as a way to talk about how I feel has been a big learning curve for me – its taught me how to focus my thoughts and articulate my emotions in a new way.”
“Being able to explain how you feel in a safe environment where no one judges and then use your experience to educate people about young carers is therapeutic for me.”
“Also by listening to young carers talk about their experiences makes me realise I’m not on my own. It benefits me personally because the more people understand what being a young carer means, the more there is an understanding/more support for young carers. I see it as using yourself as a voice for other young people in a similar situation.”
“There might be people who see our play or watch our films that are caring for someone but they don’t understand what they are, they don’t know they are a young carer. My Life without these projects without a shadow of a doubt would be very different. I wouldn’t be alive today without the support I’ve had.”
The Lowry engages Young Parents from across Salford, working in partnership with Salford City Council to offer creative activities in local Sure Start Centre’s that support school readiness and creativity in approaches to literacy and parenting.
Through this work young parents have written and published their own children’s story book and engaged in hundreds of hours of creative activities as well as trips to the theatre and backstage tours.
These inspiring young people have worked alongside professional actors, storytellers, theatre makers, illustrators, musicians and writers to bring their own creative ideas to life and allows them time to explore creative ways to interact with their children.
David starting working with The Lowry through the Young Parents project; which aims to support young Mums and Dads to use creative activities as a way to promote positive interaction and learning through play.
Working with professional artists, David learnt new skills and built confidence around using music, dance, storytelling and visual art with his four children; as a way to strengthen relationships, improve literacy and share positive experiences as a family.
During the project David’s confidence and enthusiasm for creativity soared. With support from The Lowry and Salford City Councils Young Parents Team David was trained to become a leader in the group; supporting the delivery of the project alongside staff and contributing his own ideas that aimed to engage other young fathers who were new to the group.
Since then David has decided that he wants to use these experiences to benefit other children and young people from his local community and has successfully gained employment as a Youth Worker for Salford Council based in the Youth Centre on the estate where he lives.
“The Lowry and the Young Parents group has boosted my confidence so that I finally changed my mind and saw it was possible to be who I wanted to be. It’s taught me to say ‘Yes’ to opportunities when they come along. I nearly said no to The Lowry, I thought it wasn’t for me. But it’s helped my kids and my family out loads and they’re well proud of me now. The kids I’m working with now live on my estate and think the same things I used to think. They don’t like drama and games and stuff, but now I know that it’s not what you think. There’s a way it can make you better and I want to show them that.”
Looked After Children
Supporting Looked After Children to build relationships with other young people and creative professionals at The Lowry enables them to step outside of their ‘normal’, in a way that opens up new opportunities for their future.
Much of this work encourages them to use the arts as a personal development tool, which challenges and supports them to be the best that they can be. By making and sharing their own creative work and ideas these young have a platform to express their thoughts and feelings about the wider world through music, dance, drama or art.
Since he was 14 years old Luke has been working with The Lowry to develop his confidence and communication skills through drama and stand-up comedy.
With a diagnosis of Autism and learning disabilities Luke was facing significant challenges in his education and personal life, living in residential children’s homes he was feeling isolated and struggling to make new friends.
Over 5 years of intensive engagement with The Lowry Luke has transformed into a confident, bright, happy young person who is an advocate, peer support and leader for other young people. Luke has performed in front of audiences of hundreds and completed two Arts Award qualifications.
“It’s been 5 years since I did my first project at The Lowry and it has changed my life because I’m really different to how I used to be. If it wasn’t for these people I don’t know what would of happened to me. It’s my home.”
Through bucket collections and other fundraising activity, The Lowry has raised £25,000 to fund an initial year-long creative programme for young people experiencing homelessness in our city.
This project focuses on two key challenges facing young people experiencing homelessness – education and employment. The programme works closely with local partners to complement and add to the local offer, working together to tackle homelessness.
Based in the community, this programme is led by highly trained practitioners and artists to use creativity as a way for young people aged 16-25 to come together and engage in creative activity which will enable them to develop new skills, reduce isolation, express themselves and access support around mental health and wellbeing. They will also have the opportunity to gain qualifications and move towards education or employment.
We work closely with partner organisations locally, to ensure that young people on the programme are being fully supported to access relevant services who provide access to support, accommodation and shelter such as Centrepoint, Albert Kenney Trust and The Mustard Tree.
If you have any questions please contact us.
Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said:
“The Lowry has developed a programme of work over recent years which have enabled us to work in partnership with local organisations to support some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our city. We are committed to working alongside our local community and believe arts and culture have a vital role to play in standing alongside colleagues in the city to enable positive change.
“Homelessness is a far wider and more complex issue than most people realise. Of course, the most visible aspect is those who face sleeping rough on the city’s streets – but there are also thousands of young people reliant on emergency or temporary accommodation for a variety of reasons, who are extremely vulnerable”