One of the annual highlights of Romsey Mill’s work with young parents is the Bronze Arts Award course, delivered in partnership with the Fitzwilliam Museum and City and County Councils.

Susan Condie, Young Parents Development Worker, shares more about the course and its impact on young parents here:  

The Arts Award is an accredited qualification that we offer to our young parents as an opportunity to positively-engage with education. The participants each complete a variety of activities to build up a portfolio of evidence which is then submitted to the awarding body.  

This year, six of our young parents worked alongside artist Kaitlin Ferguson with nature as their theme, using a variety of media including drawing, ceramics, and printmaking. They had ten weekly sessions in the arts studio at the Fitzwilliam Museum combined with visits to the Museum of Earth Sciences and the Museum of Zoology, all places that they would not otherwise have visited.  

young parents on the Bronze Arts Award course

To help make it easier for the parents to attend the Arts Award course, Romsey Mill provides a fully-funded creche for their little ones. This is often the first time that our parents will have left their child in childcare.

It is reassuring for the parents to know that their children are in a safe, trusted environment, learning through play in a social situation and beginning to make first friends, whilst they are also learning on the Arts Award course.  

I am thrilled to say that everyone who completed the recent Arts Award course has passed! Excitingly, this course culminated in a public exhibition of the young parents ‘work in the Fitzwilliam Museum, enabling the course participants to return to the museum with their children and families, to view their artwork, and to be awarded with their qualification certificates.  

The young parents on the course gave us their feedback, saying: 

“I really looked forward to the art course every week. It was really nice to be able to do some art once a week as I used to do so much before having my son, and now I don’t get time to do any!”  

“I think the crèche was good preparation for my child to learn how to play with other children and being away from me.”

“I loved the art course it was lots of fun. It helped my mental health getting me out the house and spending time with other mummy friends. It also made me remember how much I love art and has inspired me to do it more.”

"I had forgotten how much I enjoyed art and how much it actually relaxes the mind, I also enjoyed meeting different people and exploring the museum, something that I wouldn't usually even think about doing!"  

For one of the young mums, participating on the course has had a longer lasting impact.

She said: 

“Since leaving school and having a baby I fell out of love with doing art. But thanks to the art course I've been re-inspired to get creative again. It's 100% helped my mental health too.

I really enjoyed the Museum of Zoology, which I didn't know was there, and it's free entry too so I’ll definitely be coming back! It was also lovely to be surrounded by other young mums to have a laugh and a giggle with.

I really enjoyed the overall course and would definitely love to do it again / recommend anyone eligible to attend it” 

Here is a sketch drawing that the young mum has created, since completing the Bronze Arts Award course. 

young parent