Nurturing creativity Gorse Hill Studios in Stretford has been established for almost 20 years, gaining charitable status in 2017 following 16 years of being part of the Council. The studios have moved from strength to strength, as a non-profit organisation offering a wide range of activities and services which specialise in the support of young people. Their main focus is to remove any barriers that may prevent young people who are either living in or leaving the care system from developing their arts-based skills (including music, performing arts, visual arts, digital arts). At the studios young people are encouraged to express themselves creatively, which in turn can help them to make positive choices around their education, relationships and progressions. A large percentage of their work is with children who are either in care, not attending mainstream education, or who live in a disadvantaged area. They are currently working towards gaining recognition as ‘a looked after child friendly’ centre. Sessions and activities are available for young people with physical and learning disabilities, while the team at the studios also has extensive experience of delivering hard-hitting awareness projects which cover topics such as knife crime, abusive relationships and gang violence. The team is made up of highly-skilled, nationally qualified youth workers and arts industry professionals, supported by a dedicated team of youth and adult volunteers. Their Quality Time project idea has been developed as a result of years spent working closely with Trafford’s Looked After Children, the Children In Care Council and foster carers. The project plans to have a dedicated time and space at Gorse Hill Studios for looked after children, their peers, their families, foster carers and residential social workers. It would include: Arts activities, group and one-to- one sessions Arts therapies Themed topics, for example, risk awareness around internet safety, child sexual exploitation and personal development Regular events, trips, showcases and skills sharing sessions Links to other youth and cultural organisations Inter-generational projects Links to the Trafford’s Virtual Head and other services. For more information visit www.trafforddirectory.co.uk and search for Gorse Hill Studios.