Do you know a young person who is aged 10-25:

Who is not reaching their potential?
Who is maybe struggling with hidden responsibilities?
Or health issues?
Who just can’t seem to engage at school?
Or is just drifting?
Where involvement in creative activities could unleash prospects for their future?
UpSTart may just be the answer!

Based on the successful BIG-UP programme, this three stage five year programme will go a step further.  It will provide focused arts and personal development options that will help build  young people’s motivation, self-confidence and communication skills.

Stage 1 – ENGAGE – UpSTart will kick off with free creative activities run in schools, youth clubs, community venues and on the street.

Stage 2 – DEVELOP -Later more structured programmes of activity and support will run from the Soft Touch premises on New Walk, including the chance to gain valuable Arts Award accreditation, to have a mentor, to work towards having exhibitions and performances, to volunteer and have work experience.

Stage 3 – PROGRESS – tailored one-to-one support allowing participants to move on and achieve their goals in life – from personal relationships to employment or education.

Individual young people can be referred to the programme at any stage.

Every school holiday we will run a Creative Day Out at Soft Touch Arts.  This gives young people involved in stage 1 or individuals thinking about joining stage 2 the chance to come to Soft Touch and enjoy a day of creative fun.  They will get the opportunity to meet the staff, find out where we are and have a taste of what goes on at stage 2.  Parents / support workers welcome to come along too.  Details of the next Creative Day out can be found here

“This place [Soft Touch Arts] is amazing, why wouldn’t you want to come back?” – Creative Day Out participant aged 15

Funding means we can offer these opportunities to young people living in New Parks, Beaumont Leys, Stocking Farm and Mowmacre Hill.

If you want to know more about how young people can be referred or how your organisation can get involved contact: Kelly Grace on 0116 255 2592 or

Soft Touch is one of Leicester’s most successful charities. It has thirty years experience of using the arts to increase opportunity for developing social, creative and employability skills.


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