Project information

Art for All, Watts Gallery–Artists’ Village, 2018

Inspired by G F and Mary Watts’s passion for Art for All, the Big Issues Project reaches out to prisoners, young offenders, the homeless and those with poor mental health and addictions, to offer access to art, craft and design, personal transformation, the development of self-worth and new skills.

April 2018 - March 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


    We will deliver the Big Issues Project, an outreach and social enterprise programme, to prisons, and socially excluded and vulnerable community groups. Through workshops, it will enable participants to explore our art collections, discuss the issues painted by G F and Mary Watts, talk about their own lives, learn art and design skills, and make art, craft and design. They will then be invited to exhibit and sell their work. The workshops are therapeutic and targeted at rehabilitation.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Prisoner rehabilitation


    » Prisoners in three local prisons will be offered the opportunity to attend artist-led workshops
    » Prisoners’ art and designs will be displayed and sold in exhibitions and the Watts shop, with the proceeds going back to the prisoners/victim support
    » Prisoners’ will be 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 art awards.

    Aim 2

    Skills and qualifications


    » The workshops will enable participants to develop new skills in art and design, and improve communication, literacy and numeracy skills
    » Participants will work towards a Bronze Art Award, a nationally recognised qualification and equivalent to a GCSE

    What success will look like

    50 young people will receive their Bronze Art Award.

    Aim 3

    Reducing the number of young people at risk


    » Workshops will be offered to young people who are NEET, in the youth justice system, or display risk factors linked to becoming NEET or offending
    » These young people will be given the opportunity to exhibit and sell the work that they make, with the proceeds going back to the participants

    What success will look like

    42 workshops for young people at risk; their art will be displayed and sold at the 2018 Big Issues Exhibition attracting over 1,000 visitors

    Aim 4

    Reducing the number of pupils 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 will work towards a Bronze Art Award who often struggle with more formal education
    » 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

    15 workshops for these young people; their art will be displayed and sold at the 2018 Big Issues Exhibition

  • Impact


    The Big Issues 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.

    We will demonstrate this by:
    Statements written by participants about their work for the Big Issues Exhibition
    Young people at risk receiving a Bronze Art Award
    Young people at risk returning to formal education/employment
    Prisoners being selected for Arts Awards


    The greatest risk is securing the funding required for the Big Issues Project to continue. We have planned ahead to ensure other sources of funding if we do not reach our target.


    Donors will be invited to the Big Issues Exhibition in June 2018, to attend workshops to meet participants, and to visit the prisons. Donors will also receive an end of project report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £59,329

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £25,214 Activity plan Workshops and Big Issues Exhibition
      £10,590 Staffing Head of Learning (30% of her role)
      £11,619 Staffing Learning Coordinator (60% of her role)
      £8,406 Staffing Community Youth Support Coordinator (100% of her role)
      £2,000 Administrative costs Learning Team training and expenses
      £1,500 Staffing Cost of Estate Team including putting up Big Issues Exhibition (10 days at £150 per day
  • Background


    Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village comprises the Historic Galleries, Pottery Buildings, Watts Chapel and Cemetery, and Watts Studios, the last remaining nineteenth century artist’s studio with its collection still intact. The Artists’ Village is a centre of excellence for exploring Victorian art, social history, craft and design. It is situated on the Pilgrims’ Way, in an area of outstanding natural beauty and a conservation area. Annually, it attracts 65,000 visitors and 18,000 learners.


    HMP Send: women prisoners
    HMP/YOI Bronzefield: women prisoners
    HMP/YOI Feltham: young male prisoners
    Surrey Youth Support Service, Surrey Care Trust, Alternative Learning Programme: vulnerable young people, those at risk of offending/reoffending
    Cellar Art: mental illness
    Street Level Arts: mental illness, addiction recovery, rough sleepers
    Opportunities: single mothers with poor literacy, social isolation, unemployed
    STAR Project: pupils who are excluded/at risk of being excluded from school

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Watts Gallery Trust was established on the principles of providing art for all, to transform lives and teach new skills.

    Today, the Trust provides a creative and immersive Art for All Learning Programme at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village. The Big Issues Project is award winning and innovative and has involved the Head of Learning giving talks at Education conferences and contributing to national outreach projects such as A Spire project, touring Constable’s painting.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Kara Wescombe Blackman

    Head of Learning: before joining us, Kara was the Head of Formal Education and Head of Schools, Families & Young People at the V&A

    Ruth Williams

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

    Ellen Love

    Learning Coordinator: Ellen has worked in schools, homeless shelters and galleries such as the Wallace Collection, Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers