We like making new friends here at Voluntary Arts Week and there are lots of organisations out there doing fantastic things to help support and promote creative cultural participation across the UK & RoI.

Here are some of the fantastic organisations that we are working with to help realise Voluntary Arts Week…

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Euan’s Guide is the disabled access review website and app that was founded in 2013 by siblings, Euan and Kiki MacDonald. The charity helps to share the world’s disabled access information by creating a community where disabled people, their families and friends can submit reviews and photographs of disabled access at different places they visit.

In partnership with Voluntary Arts Week, Euan’s Guide helped create this year’s Accessibility Checklist and listing guide – which offers guidance on planning and promoting events to participants with accessibility requirements.

https://www.euansguide.com / Twitter: @EuansGuide


Fest of learning

Festival of Learning (previously Adult Learners’ Week) is a national celebration of lifelong learning, with ‘Have a Go’ learning events taking place during May and June. The festival is coordinated by the Learning and Work Institute and takes place in England annually. This year we are working  together to cross-promote creative learning events during and after Voluntary Arts Week.

www.festivaloflearning.org.uk  /  Twitter:  @festival_learn  /  #lovetolearn


leftcLeftCoast contributed funding to establish the Voluntary Arts Week Microfund for Blackpool and Wyre, which offered modest pots of funding to creative groups, enabling them to open their doors and welcome new people during Voluntary Arts Week 2016.

LeftCoast is an organisation offering a programme of arts and creative activities across Blackpool and Wyre. Focusing on creating amazing art on people’s doorstep – we want to make art happen, from jaw-dropping spectacle to intimate, neighbourhood experiences – LeftCoast takes a proactive approach towards arts and supports creatives living in the area.

LeftCoast has been brought together by a local partnership of organisations including Blackpool Coastal Housing, Blackpool Council, Wyre Council, Blackpool Grand Theatre and Merlin Entertainments and is funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places Programme.



superswSuper Slow Way contributed funding to establish the Voluntary Arts Week Microfund for Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn and Pendle, which offered modest pots of funding to creative groups, enabling them to open their doors and welcome new people during Voluntary Arts Week 2016.

Super Slow Way is an arts programme shaped by the people of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn and Pendle collaborating with local, national and international artists and arts organisations.


The programme takes its name from a poem by Ian McMillan that tells the story of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the original ‘Super Highway’ of the Industrial Revolution that transformed Pennine Lancashire, bringing with it hundreds of mills and thousands of homes and placing it at the epicentre of global commerce and culture, 200 years on from the canal’s birth Super Slow Way wants to stage a creative revolution, this time powered by art and people, collaborating with local, national and international artists and arts organisations.




Festival of Museums 2016 – running from 13-15 May this three day extravaganza of exciting and surprising events in museums and galleries throughout Scotland never fails to impress. All museums are welcome to take part – the more the merrier!

We are excited to be officially partnering with Voluntary Arts Week for the second year running to connect museums and galleries with voluntary arts groups in their community to inspire creative events in May 2016 (and beyond!).

www.festivalofmuseums.com  /  Twitter: @FestofMuseums


Layout 1Museums Galleries Scotland is the national development body for the entire museums sector throughout Scotland. Our role is to work collaboratively to invest in and develop a sustainable museum and galleries sector, in line with the aims of Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries. Annually we run Festival of Museums, involving the whole sector in the national, and international, celebration of museums.

www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk / Twitter: @MuseumsGalScot


NDCUK2016National Children’s Day UK (Saturday 15 May) – encouraging as many people as possible to create events and activities that highlight and celebrate the Rights and Freedoms of Children. In 2016 we are looking at how vital adult wellbeing is for the health and wellbeing of children – and we know just how essential creative and expressive activities are to this process. In the UK both parents and teachers are struggling to achieve a healthy work/life balance and are showing increasing levels of stress. We are using NCDUK 2016 to highlight the issues and to partner with others in giving people access to some of the things that we hope might help.

People can run any kind of mindful, heartful, big or small event that they want for the week up to and including the day – but please let us know what you are planning via our website or Facebook pages. Happy parents, carers and teachers help to create happy, healthy kids!

For more information, please contact Rosie Dutton, Communications Officer, National Children’s Day UK –  rosie@nationalchildrensdayuk.com / 07950478782

www.nationalchildrensdayuk.com  /  Twitter: @NCDUK2016

matnMuseums at Night
is the annual after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. It takes place over the weekend of Wednesday 11 to Saturday 14 May, 2016.

www.museumsatnight.org.uk  / Twitter: @MuseumsAtNight



culture-24-300x147Culture24 is a non-profit cultural publishing organisation supporting arts and heritage venues to reach audiences across digital platforms. We collect and share cultural data, publish websites, run the national Museums at Night campaign and lead action research projects.

www.WeAreCulture24.org.uk / Twitter: @Culture24


Partners page logoMaking Music is the membership organisation for voluntary music in the UK, bringing together musicians and music groups of all genres and abilities. We support, connect and champion everyone who makes, performs and presents music on a voluntary basis. The services we provide allow our members – ranging from symphony orchestras to samba bands to community choirs – to cross the boring things off their ‘to-do’ lists and get on with making music.

Making Music are encouraging music groups across the country to reach out to new members by holding ‘Come and Sing / Come and Play’ events during Voluntary Arts Week 2016, click on the link to download the ‘Come and Play/Sing’ toolkit.

www.makingmusic.org.uk  / Twitter: @MakingMusic_UK



Reuseful UK is the national charity network of scrapstores and creative reuse centres. There are 90+ scrapstores in the UK making use of the tons of ‘waste’ materials generated by businesses every year. Children and community groups use these materials for play, art and other creative activities. Some scrapstores are only open to schools and voluntary organisations but more and more are have memberships available to anyone. Scrapstores distribute safe waste materials from industry to community groups enabling them to source unusual art and craft materials at low cost.

Visit the ReusefulUK website to find out more and locate your nearest scrapstore- a great resource for all your Voluntary Arts Week and CraftBomb activity!

www.reusefuluk.org  /  Twitter: @ReusefulUK  /  Facebook


NEWNODA_Logo2015.2The National Operatic and Drama Association (NODA) was founded in 1899 and is the leading representative body for amateur theatre in the UK, supporting amateur theatre groups and individuals staging musicals, operas, plays, concerts and pantomimes across the country in a range of venues, from professional theatres to village halls.

NODA aims to give a shared voice to the amateur theatre sector, help societies and individuals achieve the highest standards of best practice and performance, and provide leadership and advice to our members, including: regional and national conferences, workshops and seminars, health and safety advice, our social media helpdesk, three editions of NODA TODAY each year, our annual residential Summer School, long service awards, access to funding agencies and much more.

NODA are encouraging amateur theatre groups across the country to reach out to new members this Voluntary Arts Week and have produced this useful toolkit to help you plan an event.
www.noda.org.uk  /   Twitter: @NODAtweets  /  Facebook