Sheffield is a city of young makers and creators with Bags of Creativity

Create Sheffield

A new partnership, led by IVE, the Arts Council Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and the Humber, will deliver bags packed with creative activities and inspiring materials to 9000 children and young people across Bradford, Doncaster, East Riding, Hull, Leeds, Rotherham, Sheffield and York this Summer.

In Sheffield, IVE and Create Sheffield (Sheffield’s Local Cultural Education Partnership) are working with Sheffield City Councils Children’s Services to distribute bags to children via trusted adults, including social workers and foster carers. Alongside IVE and Create Sheffield, Sheffield City Councils Children’s Services and Sheffield Virtual School for Children Looked After were also able to provide funding so that 2004 children and young people will be able to access Bags of Creativity across the city.  The bags are designed to make sure the children and young people can be creative at home by providing everything they need in one place.

Bags of Creativity contain 20 specially designed activity postcards created for three separate age groups. For 2-6 year-olds, an orange bag contains vibrant chiffon scarves, a space blanket, and many other materials to enhance imaginative play. 7-11 year-olds will receive a bright green bag full of colouring pencils, pipe cleaners and further tactile materials for creative expression. 12-16 year-olds will receive a navy blue bag with contents including watercolour paints and modelling clay, giving them additional ways to explore their creativity. LazenbyBrown of York designed the Bags of Creativity free of charge. You can read more about Bags of Creativity on the IVE website

As part of their City of Young Makers summer activities, Create Sheffield recruited a team of 19 brilliant local creative practitioners and cultural organisations to design the activities for Bags of Creativity. This team of creatives worked with child development specialists, Dr Karen Dunn and Di Chilvers, who delivered training and mentoring to ensure that activities are both tailored to the contents of the bags and engaging for children in each age range.

Read more about the artists involved in Bags of Creativity.

To reach 2004 children and young people in Sheffield with this brilliant initiative, Bags of Creativity has been a city-wide effort: 

  • Museums Sheffield have offered their team and the space at the Millennium Galleries to support the packing of the bags.
  • 40 volunteers have been drawn from the Sheffield City Council Social Care team, Sheffield Hallam University students and the Create Sheffield team.  Over two days, they will prepare and pack the bags in socially distanced production lines.
  • These 2004 bags will then be delivered to the Social Care team at Moorfoot by Museums Sheffield staff, before being taken out to children in their homes by social workers.

Coming soon

Create Sheffield will be sharing the work of the 19 Sheffield-based artists and companies involved creating the activities for the Bags of Creativity on their website, so that more children, young people and families are able to get involved and engage with arts, culture and heritage activities and opportunities as part of their Create Sheffield City of Young Makers summer activities.  In addition, you will be able to access all postcard activities from across the region on the IVE website. 

More information coming soon!

Ian Naylor, Chair of Create Sheffield, said:

We’re thrilled with the response to Bags of Creativity from creative practitioners and organisations in our area. We’re very happy to be working in partnership with social services this summer to ensure that these resources reach the children who need them most.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: 

The 2000 Bags of Creativity initiative is a fantastic idea to help keep children and their families entertained this summer.  Many thanks to our staff in children’s services, IVE, Create Sheffield and all the volunteers who helped to deliver these bags and provided entertainment and fun for so many. I hope that all children and young people, as well as their families and carers, are able to spend quality time together and cherish the wonderful joy of life.

Dr Karen Dunn, Head of Academic Development in Education, Childhood and Inclusion at Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University said:

It’s been great to be involved in this amazing project, and fascinating working with such talented artists across the region to pool ideas on what might appeal to children and young people.  This project is a real example of arts and cultural organisations working alongside education, social care and voluntary sector groups to include some of Sheffield's most disadvantaged children and young people in the life affirming practice of being creative.  Thanks to our SIoE Hallam students for volunteering for two days-worth of packing the bags!

About IVE

As the Arts Council Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and Humber, IVE works with the education, arts, cultural and youth sectors to make sure all children and young people have access to great arts and cultural opportunities. IVE offers information, advice and professional development, develops networks and partnerships, and provides specialist support around Artsmark, Arts Award and the Arts Council’s quality principles. 

About Create Sheffield

Create Sheffield is Sheffield’s Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP). Create Sheffield aims to engage all children and young people across Sheffield with the arts and cultural industries, working to remove barriers to engagement where they exist. We work strategically with a range of organisations operating in sectors that range from theatre and dance to circus, coding and computer games. We’re here to facilitate and celebrate young peoples’ participation in arts and culture. From introducing young people to creative careers, to collaborating with local artists, our adventures, stories and events make the quality and vibrancy of Sheffield available to all who want to get involved.

About Di Chilvers - Trainer and Consultant for Bags of Creativity for 2-6yr olds

Di Chilvers is an advisory consultant in early childhood education having worked in the early year’s sector for over 40 years as a Nursery Nurse, Teacher, Senior Lecturer, Adviser and National Strategies Regional Adviser. Di’s work focuses on children’s creative and critical thinking and following children’s interests, understanding their development and HOW they learn. Di also leads on professional development initiatives including Talk for Maths Mastery, Talk for Reading, Sustained Shared Thinking and Leading Learning an observational approach. Visits to Reggio Emilia, Denmark, New Zealand, Oman, Ghana and India have all influenced Di’s thinking and philosophy.
She has written several books, many articles and has created an assessment tool called the Development Map – an holistic, child centred way of mapping children’s development and progress. Her forthcoming book ‘How to recognise and support mathematical mastery in young children’s play – Learning from the Talk for Maths Mastery Initiative’ is published later this year

About Dr Karen Dunn - Trainer and Consultant for Bags of Creativity for 7-11yr olds and 12-16yr olds

Karen is Head of Academic Development in Education, Childhood and Inclusion at Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University.Karen was formerly Head of Psychology at Sheffield Hallam, teaching and writing for many years on the psychological development of children and young people. She has directed large scale research projects which have evaluated services for children and their carers in local, national and international contexts. (Sure Start, Developing Accessible Play Space, Supporting the Children’s Workforce, Leisure and Respite services for Disabled Children in the UK). In particular, Karen has undertaken a wide range of projects which locate the perspectives of disadvantaged children and their families as central and which have developed methodologies for accessing the views of children and families who are hard to reach and often excluded from consultation processes. More recently Karen has been working with Create Sheffield to think about ways in with university students can work alongside arts and cultural education practitioners to support access to the arts for children and young people.