FREE development opportunity for arts and cultural organisations in the Midlands

Are you an arts and cultural organisation working in the Midlands that’s committed to supporting care-experienced children and young people?

Do you want to develop a deeper understanding of engaging these young people?

Do you want to learn how to make your work more powerful and accessible to children in the care system, developing organisational skills and knowledge that’s specific to their needs?

Do you want to have the chance to influence national practice across the sector?


If so, we think we think this opportunity is for you…

Our invitation to you

In collaboration with Arts Connect, our offer is split into two key phases.

For phase one, we’re inviting up to 25 Cultural Organisations in the Midlands to join us for a professional development training programme, inspired by our very own Creative Mentoring training (and our work with care-experienced young people) here at TMC.

For phase two, after completing the training, you’ll be invited to make an expression of interest for an extended action research project with Virtual Schools in the Midlands.

Who’s this opportunity for?

It’s for any organisation in the Midlands that works in arts and culture, dance, literature, museums, music, visual arts, the combined arts and libraries.

And how much will it cost?

Good news! It’s a free opportunity, thanks to the support of Arts Council England.

So why should your organisation take part?

Our research tells us that the specific needs of care-experienced children and young people are not well understood or often overlooked by the cultural sector.  Cultural organisations can play a vital role in engaging care-experienced children and young people through creative experiences and opportunities. And we also know how motivating and inspiring it can be for these young people to work with skilled professionals and in exciting venues!

Our professional development training programme is designed to grow your expertise, confidence and knowledge. It’ll also support your organisational ambitions around work that authentically includes, and gives a voice to, care-experienced children and young people.


Working with Leicestershire Virtual School has been incredibly powerful. We have developed meaningful and long-term partnerships across organisations professionals and foster carers across the County. Through this, we have been able to creatively support many care-experienced young people in a holistic manner, facilitating a safe space for them to express themselves and build meaningful relationships with peers and adults.

Beth Vecchione, Founder and Director of Care to Dance, on their partnership with Leicestershire Virtual School talking about why partnership working with a Virtual School has been vital to their organisational development.

Who’s delivering the training?

The training will be run by our team here at TMC, where we’ll bring our expertise and learning from our work with care-experienced young people through our Creative Mentoring service.

When and where will the training take place?

Training will take place online across May 2024, providing the following half-day sessions:

  • Thursday 9th May, 13:30-17:00 – Understanding Lived Experiences of Children in Care.
  • Tuesday 14th May, 09:00-12:30 – Safeguarding Best Practice.
  • Friday 24th May, 13:30-17:00 – Trauma Informed Practice and the Vulnerable Brain.
  • Thursday 30th May 09:00-12.30 – Empowering Children and Young People’s Voices.


Further opportunities after the professional development training programme

Once you’ve taken part in our professional development training programme, you’ll be invited to submit an expression of interest for a 12-month action-research partnership project with a Virtual School (VS) in the Midlands. This project will explore an area of enquiry bespoke to the cultural organisation and partnering VS, shaped around the question “How do we best engage care-experienced children and young people with arts and culture?”

There are 10 places for arts and cultural organisations on this project.

After you’ve completed the professional development training programme, we’ll connect you to your local Virtual Schools who are eager to make new partnerships. Completing the training gives them the assurance that you understand safeguarding practice, the context for their children and young people, and that you are committed to achieving shared outcomes.


Book a briefing session

To help you understand more about what’s on offer, we’re hosting two 45 minute online briefing sessions. We’ll being sharing more information about both the professional development training programme and the action research project and can answer any questions you may have.

These sessions will be held on:

  • Monday 18th March from 16:00-16:45 on Zoom
  • Thursday 21st March from 09:30-10:15 on Zoom

We’re anticipating huge interest in our free training programme – so if you are interested, book onto one the briefing sessions today!

Can’t make the briefing sessions? Don’t worry!

If you can’t attend the briefings but are interested in hearing more or you know you want to take part, please email Rob Elkington, Director of Arts Connect, to register your interest

Deadlines for your diary

If you’d like to sign up for the professional development training programme, please let us know by Thursday 28th March.

Need more info? Read our FAQs!

If you’re interested in getting involved, you can download our Frequently Asked Questions document for more information.

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