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Escape2Make (E2M), a charitable organisation dedicated to providing safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces along with free creative opportunities for 11–18-year-olds in Lancaster and Morecambe, is thrilled to announce funding to establish their first dedicated space for young people in Lancaster. E2M are thrilled to have been successful in being offered £221,400 over three years from the National Lottery Community Fund. E2M would like to thank National Lottery players for making this exciting development possible, which will have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of young people in the region.  

 

With a vision to combat youth loneliness and isolation, E2M aims to impact at least 900 youths in the region, fostering improved mental health, self-belief, and the forging of new friendships. 

 

Saul Argent, Chief Operating Officer at E2M, expressed his excitement, stating, “This funding allows us to establish our first base in Lancaster, a crucial step to meet the needs of young people amidst the worst mental health crisis in memory. It also empowers us to expand our reach, providing vital resources and opportunities for personal growth, while empowering our youth to become active contributors to society.” 

 

The funding will facilitate numerous benefits for young participants from all walks of life from across the region, including enhanced mental well-being, increased self-belief, and opportunities to positively influence their communities. 

 

Saul, says “And it’s not just the young people that benefit. E2M’s initiatives will provide valuable opportunities for 90 freelance facilitators as well as youth workers and 60 volunteers to gain skills and experience in the cultural and creative sectors, fostering potential pathways to future employment.” 

 

Furthermore, the organisation aims to enhance community awareness and understanding of its mission, reaching an estimated 6,000 members of the community through youth-led events, paving the way for increased fundraising opportunities and long-term sustainability. 

 

Jenny Natusch, founder and CEO of E2M, explained, “With this funding, we’re transitioning from a ‘pop-up model’ to establishing our first small ‘test site’ in Lancaster City Centre, designed by young people. As well as providing more flexible youth programming in addition to our current creative clubs and workshops, the funding will enable us to take the initial stride towards realising our young people’s long-term vision for a larger creative, accessible and inclusive space for young people in Lancaster & Morecambe”. 

 

E2M extends its sincerest gratitude to The National Lottery Community Fund for their support and looks forward to embarking on this transformative journey. Through collaborative efforts and dedicated outreach, the organisation remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering young minds and fostering a vibrant and inclusive community. 

E2M Young Designers work on plans for the E2M Space

Escape2Make’s Heritage Market Festival was a 6 week free creative programme for 11-18s in Lancaster & Morecambe, featuring 54 workshops across 14 activities linked to local cultural heritage, culminating in a youth-led community event in Lancaster Market Square on 17th December 2023. Escape2Make partnered with Lancaster City Museums to deliver the project as part of their centennary celebrations. 14 sessions took place in local museums and heritage venues. This project was made possible by a £75,660 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery Players. Evaluation activities were delivered in partnership with the University of Cumbria, led by Dr Rebekah Ackroyd and Professor Sally Elton-Chalcraft.  

202 11-18-year-olds signed up to take part in workshops – the most sign-ups E2M have ever had for a project! Several activities were oversubscribed, meaning 47 young people were placed on waiting lists. 124 took part in at least one session, with 87% of attendees of 5-week programmes (10 of the 14 activities) attending 2 or more sessions. Participants represented a range of ages, ethnicities, and were from across the Lancaster and Morecambe District, although skewed towards female (64%).

98 participants completed a survey at the end of the project. We found:

  • 100% enjoyed the activity they took part in
  • 100% learned something new
  • 98% felt good, great or amazing after taking part (2% felt “OK”)
  • 97% felt they made a positive difference in their community
  • 95% made one or more new friends

One participant said: “I love it,. I look forward to coming here. It’s something to do after school cos I don’t do any clubs after school and you just know that you’re gonna see people that you don’t see at school and they’re all really nice.”

We also conducted a survey with workshop facilitators and assistants. We found:

  • 100% enjoyed their experience
  • 100% felt the project had a positive impact on young people taking part
  • 100% felt they had good communication with E2M throughout the process

One volunteer described the sessions as: “A different space with a different power dynamic but you’re still learning something from a trusted adult, it’s a bit more informal… we’re here in our jeans and t-shirts […] it connects young people into other spaces […] they might be bored and think, oh I’ll come along to there. It builds their world a little bit“.

The project culminated in a youth-led Market Festival event in Lancaster Market Square on 17th December 2023. Young people sold items they had made, shared techniques they learned through interactive activities, and performed songs or plays they created on stage. An estimated 2,000 members of the public engaged with the event, either buying something, taking part in an activity or watching the performances.

One participant described their experience of the event: “I loved it! I got to make loads of new friends. Everyone was so nice. Seeing somebody wanting to buy something I made, it just makes my heart so happy because they have a part of me now with them. If you want to try Escape2Make for yourself, don’t even think about it, just do it. Everybody is just so welcoming and I now have a new skill that I love!”

Want to find out more about this project?

You can download the full impact report Here

You can read University of Cumbria’s full project evaluation Here

Escape2Make (E2M) is thrilled to announce the receipt of a grant of £75,600 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for an exciting Heritage Market Festival in Lancaster that will be produced by 11-18-year-olds later this year. This pioneering project is made possible by the generous contributions of National Lottery players, and is set to preserve and celebrate Lancashire’s rich cultural heritage, ensuring its accessibility and relevance for generations to come.

Saul Argent, Chief Operating Officer of E2M, stated, “We are immensely grateful for the support from National Lottery players. This project exemplifies our dedication to preserving our heritage while fostering a brighter future for young people in Lancaster & Morecambe.”

The Heritage Market Festival will take place in Market Square, Lancaster on Sunday 17th December in collaboration with Lancaster City Museums to coincide with their 100th Anniversary celebrations. The event will showcase the talents of young people through 10 five-week creative programs and 5 one-off workshops, including pottery, jewellery making, coffee making, theatrical storytelling and so much more, each led by a local creative professional or organisation

By engaging in immersive educational activities, enterprising opportunities, and creative skill development programs, the project is set to empower young people, enhancing their quality of life and expanding their future prospects.

Jenny Natusch, founder of E2M, said “By collaborating with The National Lottery Heritage Fund & Lancaster City Museums, we hope this unique endeavour will create a lasting positive change in our community. This grant will enable us to further our mission and ensure that our heritage remains vibrant and accessible for all.”

Councillor Catherine Potter from Lancaster City Council, Cabinet Member with particular responsibility for Visitor Economy, Community Wealth Building and Culture said “Lancaster City Museums are delighted to be working with Escape2Make on this innovative project. In this centenary year it is fitting that the final event will focus on the future, engaging young people with their heritage at the same time as improving skills and wellbeing”