The Blank Page Project returns this Summer with brand-new artist workshops

June 26, 2024
June 26, 2024
Lucy Neill
Artist Lily Hammond created a mural at Chantry Library during the Easter holidays in memory of Sally Billison.

Suffolk Libraries’ Blank Page workshops are returning to libraries for the summer holidays. All young people aged 10-16 are invited to take part in free workshops which give teens the chance to get creative and learn something new at a variety of free workshops.

Launched in March 2023 and funded by the Department for Education’s Holiday Activity Fund, the Blank Page Project provides free, enriching and engaging activities in libraries during the school holidays. Since its launch, The Blank Page Project has hosted 135 different workshops across Suffolk which have been attended by more than 1,500 young people.  

A survey of the young people who took part in Easter found that 97% would return to the library again as a result of the workshop and 84% of parents said they noticed an improvement in their child’s confidence after the workshop, with 100% of parents saying they would book again.

A young person who enjoyed the Blank Page Easter workshops with her friends said:

"I don't think any of us would know each other if it wasn't for the library. I volunteer at the library quite often and it's very fun. When there's workshops like this, we know that each other will be there, and we get to meet other people as well, and we get to make new friends – it’s fun!"

One parent said “It was lovely to see my anxious teen coming home so vibrant and happy. Thank you.”

A library staff member said: "I loved seeing anxious teens by the end of the day become fearless.”

The Summer Programme runs from Monday 22 July until 30 August and will feature 92 workshops across 13 of the county’s libraries, offering a total of 1,600 places.

The workshops are being run by 25 artists offering a wide range of creative opportunities and also include a free lunch.

Some of the workshop highlights include video game coding, making paper pages from scratch using recycled materials, creative weaving, mirror mosaic, 2D stop frame animation, clay ceramics, songwriting, special effects makeup and filmmaking.

There will also be a workshop at Chantry Library continuing on from the colourful mural created at Easter in memory of Sally Billison, a member of staff who worked at the library who sadly died last year.

Since its launch, The Blank Page Project has welcomed more than 1500 young people into library spaces.

There will also be a summer competition, inviting 10-18 year olds to experiment with their choice of artistic mediums to create something unique for the chance to win a 1:1 tutorial session with a Blank Page artist of their choice. The competition opens on Monday 22 July - more information can be found on this webpage.

Katie Puls, Suffolk Libraries, Youth Activities Producer, said:

“I could not be prouder of the project we’ve created for young people across Suffolk this Summer. It really does offer something for everyone and I’m looking forward to watching teens try new things, make new friends and develop their confidence through our unique offering. I can’t wait to see what they create!”

Summer workshops are taking place at the following libraires – select your local library to see the full details and book on to a workshop:

If you have any queries about The Blank Page Project, please contact Katie Puls, Youth Activity Producer, by emailing or calling 07380 193784.

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