Photofusion announces 3 year funding award from Walcott Foundation

Photofusion press release.

Photofusion awarded 3 year funding from the Walcott Foundation to nurture the potential and future opportunities of local young people

Based in the vibrant heart of Brixton, Photofusion is one of the UK’s leading photographic centres. Since its inception in 1991, Photofusion has created a successful legacy of work with the local community, providing marginalised young people with a range of skills, training and creative engagement.

We are delighted to announce that the Walcott Foundation has awarded Photofusion a 3 year grant of £59,970. This builds on four previous years of funding to support a dedicated Community Programme Manager to run programmes targeting young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

There is continued evidence that young people are struggling to find employment. Skillset’s Strategic Skills Assessment for the Creative Industries report (2010) highlighted the concerning issue of the creative sector keen to employ young people but not being able to take them on, with 25% of employers reporting that even qualified young people were not ‘job ready’.

Over 3 years, the grant from Walcott Foundation will be spent on developing employability skills in NEETs from Lambeth where there is a high percentage of young people from a diversity of backgrounds not finding routes into employment. Photofusion’s programme will involve building life skills such as self esteem, managing emotions and working in a team, alongside providing qualifications so young people are equipped to best secure their future.

Lizzy King has been leading a dynamic community department since January 2011, creating successful initiatives that include the Organised Youth panel who curated a widely reviewed exhibition, film and book project about the British Black Panthers and a soon-to-be launched Participatory Arts Training programme funded by Arts Council England. In March, Lizzy’s department also successfully fundraised for a grant of £99,121 from Children in Need to deliver a 3 year project exploring Healthy Relationships with young offenders

Participants of Photofusion’s outreach programmes have gone on to win places in college, some have trained to teach and deliver workshops, while others have gone into employment via a variety of industries including retail, security and office administration.

Projects, workshops and creative mentoring is delivered by a pool of inspirational photographic artists including Adrian Wood, Eddie Otchere, Lydia Goldblatt, Dafna Talmor, Tim Mitchell.

Although the Walcott Foundation grant will enable Photofusion to continue its valuable community work, it is only funding the Community Programme Manager to run the department 3 days a week. Photofusion is still seeking additional partnerships for the role to become full time, to meet the increasing demand as young people continue to face challenges in employability.

For further information about the Community Programme, please click here or contact Lucy Goodwin at Photofusion on 020 7738 5774.