Mentors, Arts Emergency

A social justice charity Arts Emergency is currently on a drive to recruit mentors and mentees.

Arts Emergency are looking for arts, humanities and creative industries professionals who could mentor a young person without connections.

Professionals and young people will join the charity’s award winning mentoring programme designed to increase the proportion of people from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds creating culture.

This year Arts Emergency are doubling the number of young people they support in some areas and have opened up several pilot schemes in new locations. In addition to London, Manchester, and Merseyside, they now work in Newcastle and Gateshead, Leeds and Bradford, the East and West Midlands, and Brighton.

Arts Emergency hand-match young people aged 16-25 with an industry professional in their area of interest, whether that’s in theatre, journalism, design, music or another creative field. The charity provides support and safeguarding for the pair as they complete a year of one-to-one mentoring, one hour per month. Over the course of a year mentors help with everything from portfolios and UCAS, to work placements and auditions. The charity then continues to provide up to eight years of advice, trips, work experience, and opportunities to the young person to enable them to take full advantage of what they have gained and learned from their mentor.

Young people from privileged backgrounds are four times more likely to make it into the creative industries than their peers and only 16% of people in the arts and humanities come from a working class background. Arts Emergency exists to redress that imbalance.

Arts Emergency was founded by comedian Josie Long and activist Neil Griffiths. Since 2013 they have helped young people without connections follow their passions and navigate their way into higher education and the creative and cultural sectors. The charity provides 16-25 year olds with a trained mentor working in their field of interest and the support of Arts Emergency’s Network, a supportive community of over 7,000 cultural professionals that young people can draw on for connections and advice.

Network members bring a wealth of experience across the fields of TV, film, music, art, fashion, academia, journalism, publishing, design and theatre. Members include actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, DJ Gemma Cairney, fashion historian and BBC presenter Amber Butchart, comedian and actor Jack Dee, author and journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge, writer Neil Gaiman and comedian Nish Kumar.

Anyone who is interested in signing up as a mentor or working with a mentor, visit