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Project information

Art for All at Watts Gallery–Artists’ Village

Inspired by G F and Mary Watts’s belief that art transforms lives, the Art for All Learning Programme reaches out to 28,000 learners each year including the most marginalised and the most in need to offer skills, qualifications, employment, personal transformation and the development of self worth.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Watts Gallery Trust

Watts Gallery Trust logo
  • Need


    Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village is located in Surrey; a county that is often perceived as wealthy. In fact, Surrey has significant areas of urban and rural deprivation with high levels of child poverty, low income, and poor mental health; for example:
    * 10% of children live in poverty
    * the population of travellers and gypsies is the fourth largest in the UK
    * there are 5 prisons including 2 women’s prisons and 1 young offenders institution
    * levels of domestic violence are particularly high


    This project provides art for all to transform lives and to teach new skills to young people, families, schools, adults and community groups. Through artist-led workshops, participants explore our art collection, discuss the issues painted by G F and Mary Watts, talk about their own lives, learn art, craft and design skills, make art, craft and design, exhibit and sell their work in an annual exhibition, and in many cases gain a qualification and employment, and return to formal education.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Prisoner rehabilitation


    » By visiting three local prisons to offer artist-led workshops, prisoners are given the opportunity to learn new skills and to gain a qualification.
    » Prisoners’ artworks are displayed and sold in exhibitions and the Watts shop with the proceeds going back to the prisoners and victim support.
    » Prisoners’ are given the opportunity to submit their art to nationally recognised award schemes.

    What success will look like

    61 workshops for prisoners; their art will be sold in 2 exhibitions, 4,000 Christmas cards will be sold, and 4 prisoners will receive nationally recognised art awards.

    Aim 2

    Skills and qualifications


    » The workshops enable participants to learn new skills in art, craft and design, and to improve communication, literacy and numeracy skills.
    » Participants are offered the opportunity to achieve a Bronze Arts Award, a nationally recognised qualification and equivalent to a GCSE.

    What success will look like

    60 participants will receive a Bronze Arts Award; 3 will achieve re-entry into formal education; we will undertake evaluation to demonstrate what has been learned and achieved.

    Aim 3

    Reducing the number of young people at risk


    » We offer workshops to vulnerable young people including young offenders, those with poor mental health and addictions, and the homeless.
    » These young people are given the opportunity to exhibit and sell the work that they make, with the proceeds going back to the participants.
    » Participants are offered the opportunity to achieve a Bronze Arts Award, a nationally recognised qualification and equivalent to a GCSE.
    » Participants are offered the opportunity to apply for a heritage workforce entry placement at Watts Gallery - Artists' Village.

    What success will look like

    60 young people will take part in workshops; 5 will benefit from additional rehabilitation experiences; 3 will take up a heritage work entry placement with the Trust.

    Aim 4

    Reducing the number of school children who are excluded or at risk of being excluded from school


    » Small, multi-sensory workshops tailored to support secondary school children, and their individual learning and emotional needs.
    » These young people, who often struggle with more formal education, are offered the opportunity to gain a Bronze Arts Award.
    » The participants will be given the chance to exhibit and sell their work, with the proceeds going back to the young people.

    What success will look like

    16 pupils will attend workshops, achieve their Bronze Arts Award and display and sell their artworks at the Art for All Exhibition.

  • Impact


    This project transforms lives. It has a lasting impact on participants’ well-being and rehabilitation. It has proven to increase confidence, self-esteem and social skills. It provides inspiration and motivation for change.

    'Being introduced to Watts Gallery has quite literally saved my life'.
    Participant, HMP Send

    We will demonstrate the project's impact through evaluation including interviews and informal observations and through in-depth discussions with partner organisations and carers.


    The greatest risk is a lack of funding. We are planning ahead to ensure we are able to apply for other sources of funding if we are unable to reach our target for this year's Big Give Christmas Challenge.


    Donors will be invited to the Art for All Exhibition in June 2019, to attend workshops to meet participants, and to visit the prisons. Donors will also receive an end of project report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £290,321

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £19,800 Schools Workshop programme
      £49,172 Families Workshop programme
      £28,542 Adults Workshop programme
      £5,360 Young people Workshop programme
      £22,026 Community programme Workshop programme and Art for All Exhibition
      £2,500 Evaluation Evaluation of Art for All Learning Programme
      £162,921 Salaries Salaries for seven Learning Team staff members

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Anonymous donor £100,000 Conditional
    Hazelhurst Trust £20,000 Conditional
    Borrows CharitableTrust £10,000 Guaranteed
    Sackler Trust £10,000 Guaranteed
    Michael Varah Memorial Fund £7,880 Guaranteed
    John and Kate Siebert £11,413 Guaranteed
    David Williamson Charitable Trust £1,700 Guaranteed
    The Chelsea Square 1994 Trust £2,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village comprises a gallery, pottery, chapel, and the former home and studio of our founders, the artists and social philanthropists George Frederic Watts and Mary Watts. The Artists’ Village is an international centre of excellence for exploring mid-nineteenth to early-twentieth century art, social history, craft and design, and the exploration of its relevance in our lives. Annually, it attracts 65,000 visitors and 28,000 learners. It engages 336 volunteers.


    HMP Send, HMP/YOI Bronzefield: women prisoners
    HMP/YOI Feltham: young male prisoners
    Surrey Youth Support Service, Surrey Care Trust: young people in care/at risk of offending
    The Cellar Art Group: people with poor mental health
    Opportunities: women seeking skills to obtain employment
    STAR Project: pupils who are excluded/at risk of exclusion from school
    Amber Foundation: homeless young people
    Halow, DAISY, Dramatize, East London Textiles, Samson Centre: learning and physical disabilities

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Watts Gallery Trust was founded on the principles of providing art for all, to transform lives and teach new skills. Today, we offer an award winning and innovative Art for All Learning Programme at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village to 28,000 learners. The programme offers considerable social value within the communities that it serves; this is measured through qualitative and quantative evaluation and it is evidenced in an in-depth report by Dr Helen Bowcock in 2017.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Kara Wescombe Blackman

    Head of Public Programmes, Learning & Visitor Services: former Head of Formal Education and Head of Schools, Families & Young People at the V&A

    Ruth Williams

    Community Youth Support Coordinator: worked in education for over 10 years, specialising in learning difficulties and autism

    Ellen Love

    Community Programme Curator: worked in schools, homeless shelters and galleries including Wallace Collection, Ashmolean Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum

    Clare Brunner

    Schools, Families & Young People Learning Curator: MA in Museum Studies, 7 years working in arts education including Art Gallery of South Australia