QEST and National Saturday Club launch Craft&Making Clubs for 13-16 year olds across UK

15th November 2022

2020-02-15 National Saturday Club Masterclass led by sculptor Fernando Casasempere at V&A Museum, London. Club members first visited the ceramic section of the museum, then they created their own artworks in clay. Photo © Magnus Andersson www.magnus-andersson.com

National Saturday Club and QEST are delighted to be working in partnership to launch the Craft&Making Saturday Club in January 2023.

The National Saturday Club gives 13–16 year olds across the UK a unique opportunity to study subjects they love for free, on a Saturday at their local university, college or cultural institution. 

This new National Saturday Club programme aims to introduce young people to the world of craft and making, creating valuable opportunities for them to develop their creativity and practical skills. Club members will work with varied materials, such as wood, ceramics, glass, metal, and textiles, and will gain an understanding of the importance of retaining traditional craft practice, whilst ensuring that these skills and materials evolve and remain relevant in the modern world.

For the pilot year, four Clubs will be hosted by City & Guilds of London Art School, City of Oxford College, Birmingham City University and MAKE Southwest. The network will increase to ten Clubs by 2025.

The National Saturday Club programme is free and open to 13–16 year olds of all abilities. Weekly classes will be led by professional tutors from the universities, colleges and cultural organisations hosting the Clubs. Club members will also take part in masterclasses with industry professionals including QEST Alumni, visits to museums and galleries, an end-of-year Summer Show, and Graduation Ceremonies.

Through the programme, Club members will be introduced to a wide range of careers in heritage and conservation, the built environment, and the creative industries. QEST and the National Saturday Club will engage with cultural organisations and industry, and will develop practitioner partnerships to support and enrich the new Craft&Making programme, supporting Club tutors and providing inspirational opportunities for the young people.

Lucy Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Saturday Club Trust said: “We are delighted to be partnering with QEST to launch the Craft&Making Saturday Club, the seventh subject within the National Saturday Club programme. This programme will be vital in introducing young people to the breadth of opportunities open to them within the world of craft and making, opportunities which are currently not visible within the mainstream curriculum. The programme will impart valuable practical skills which could lead onto rewarding careers and will support them to consider future study in the sector. At a time when we see many craft and making subjects, practices and skills declining nationally, it is even more important that young people have the opportunity to discover and be inspired by them at a pivotal moment in their progression.”

Deborah Pocock LVO, CEO at QEST said: “We are really excited about the potential for this new partnership to inspire and encourage young people of all backgrounds across the UK to explore their creativity and hand-making skills. We hope that the Craft&Making Club will provide transformational opportunities for young people to build their skills, develop confidence and discover clear pathways of progression into craft-based occupations, unlocking hidden talents and growing a new generation of professional craftspeople and makers.”

With a particular focus on engaging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented communities, who would not otherwise have these opportunities, the National Saturday Club’s established model has proven impact. Discover more about their work and Clubs here.

We are grateful to Howdens for their generous support of the Craft&Making Saturday Clubs.

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