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Project information

Outsider Art Accredited Courses

The new model for our Art Room will run accredited teaching courses in basic techniques for homeless and vulnerably housed clients in a structured environment. This will increase clients' confidence resulting in further involvement, the uptake of Workspace training and an increase in work readiness.

January 2014 - March 2014

Charity information: The Connection at St Martin's - helping homeless people in London

The Connection at St Martin's - helping homeless people in London logo
  • Need


    Art therapy for homeless people is very beneficial. Our current informal model, wherein clients come and go, choosing materials and subjects and working independently with limited input from staff, has proven very successful for many clients. However, we have identified a group of clients who lack confidence and would benefit from a more structured environment. Many of these clients are not work ready and it is important that we are able to engage them in more training courses.


    Our project will engage a new group of marginalised service users in our Art Room. We have designed a structured teaching plan which will run for 6-8 weeks three times a year, taught by experienced tutors and ex-homeless volunteers who have been recruited through our Step Up programme. This will increase clients' confidence, accreditation will formally acknowledge their achievements, and the project will encourage them to engage with our employment and training service, Workspace.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To give complete beginners the confidence to engage in and benefit from creative activities.


    » Use peer-to-peer recruitment through using our Step Up client placement volunteers to attract potential project users.
    » Teach basic, simple and effective techniques in a structured environment, using staff experienced in adult education, informal learning and the arts.
    » Recognise and celebrate achievements with accredited qualifications.

    What success will look like

    Success will be recruiting 8 participants every term, 2 Step Up volunteers every term and collecting positive feedback evidencing increased confidence.

    Aim 2

    To develop a new way of engaging and working with rough sleepers and those vulnerably housed.


    » Develop and run a new series of structured 6-8 week teaching courses on a termly basis.
    » Develop art room based volunteering opportunities for existing clients in partnership with our Step Up programme.

    What success will look like

    Success will be shown by attendance. Success will also be engaging a new group of clients, working to produce an exhibition of their work celebrating their success.

    Aim 3

    To move clients on into Education, Training and Employment, increasing their work readiness.


    » Give our clients a follow-up assessment with Workspace, which will develop a career action plan.
    » Help homeless people taking part to get accredited qualifications and develop lifelong skills.

    What success will look like

    Success will be the number of clients developing a Career Action Plan with Workspace, and accredited qualifications from the art course. Increased motivation will be assessed.

  • Impact


    This project will meaningfully engage a client group which are often lacking in confidence and motivation, often long-term unemployed, often coping with complex needs and either rough sleeping or in hostel accommodation. This project will increase confidence, motivation and work readiness by giving clients qualifications and a structured support network, guiding them forward with an action plan into eventual employment. We will continue this project year after year.


    Risks that could affect this project are the unpredictability of the client group we are working with. Attendance may be low. However, we are experts in working with chaotic clients, have very experienced staff, we professionally manage client expectations, and are able to effectively help clients cope with the consequences of dropping out.


    Funders of this project will receive a report at the end of each term, detailing the achievements of the clients on the course, and what action plan they have been given going forward. Funders will also be invited to the end-of-term art exhibitions.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,000 Staff and volunteers Art tutor staff and client volunteer placements
      £750 Course Accreditation and Training Course costs
      £750 Materials Art materials for the course participants
      £800 Exhibition Venue hire, framing, refreshments
      £700 Art room Heat, Light, Cleaning, Consumables
  • Background


    This project will take place in our Art Room. We are the busiest homelessness centre in the UK being situated in Westminster, which has 25% of all rough sleepers in England & Wales. The centre and Art Room is already well established and is a welcoming and relaxing location for homeless clients.


    The primary beneficiaries are service-users of The Connection, specifically those who have not engaged with services previously. Our service-users are homeless, often long-term unemployed, with complex needs including poor mental health and abusive experiences in the past. We will also extend to other Westminster hostels, engaging those who are newly housed so that they may keep their motivation and network of support.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are pioneers in holistic service delivery to vulnerable members of society. Our art room is already very well established, and we hold several successful art exhibitions every year, showcasing our clients' work. This therapeutic art model of engagement has been proven to increase clients' engagement in other areas of our service - we have many services in our building aimed at moving people off the streets and into accommodation and employment.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Wyn Newman

    Wyn is the Client Involvement Manager at The Connection. He is an artist himself and is completely dedicated to rehabilitating our homeless clients.

The Art Room at The Connection

The Art Room at The Connection

Each day I escape my outward life. Art takes me on an inner journey of childhood fantasies and dreams.

Andy Manderson, Artist