About us

A Different View

The Thames Valley Partnership tackles social exclusion and creates stronger, safer communities. We find creative, long-term sustainable solutions to the problems of crime and social exclusion. We harness the energies, resources and expertise of different organisations to achieve the best results.

Good ideas are our currency. We invest in radical, innovative, sometimes even risky methods to tackle complex, seemingly intractable problems. Traditional approaches are fine if they work, but where old ways are failing, new ways must be found.

Over the last few years we have discovered the unique power of the arts to communicate, challenge, engage, motivate and build bridges. Experience shows that many different arts methods have the capacity to engage those who often find communication and participation difficult and to create new skills and opportunities.

Art has the power to transform lives and is particularly powerful with individuals and groups who may be difficult to engage in other ways. Art and creativity now runs like a thread throughout our work. A wide range of issues can be explored and illuminated using activities such as drama, photography, visual arts, dance, film, music and writing.

 

Art -

  • Offers different ways to engage, energise, learn and motivate
  • Develop social and life skills
  • Tackles risk factors and strengthens protective factors
  • Can heal and help people move on
  • Provides creative solutions to tricky problems
  • Gives a voice to those whose contributions are rarely acknowledged

We have been using art –

  • With young people excluded from school
  • With families affected by domestic abuse
  • For prisoners to share with their children
  • To celebrate achievements
  • To bring communities together

We make no compromises on artistic standards, believing that young people and those on the margins of society recognise, appreciate and deserve quality – and respond with high aspirations of their own.

We know that this works but how do we convince other people? We are not alone – other organisations working in the field of social exclusion and community safety are beginning to experiment with the arts as a powerful means of engagement and communication. But in order to secure the place of art and creativity in mainstream activity we need to demonstrate its effectiveness.

“A Different View” explores the narrative using the words out of people’s own mouths – seeing how it looks different from different perspectives, in different settings, using different art forms, with different groups.

Thames Valley Partnership and Creative Junction have come together to develop this on-line toolkit and we have piloted this with some of the projects that we have worked with over the last 18 months. The toolkit helps practitioners, artists and support staff to think more clearly about why they are using art:- how it has been transformative, how it encourages creativity in those participating and also how it challenges organisational culture.

The examples included in “A Different View” illustrate how people have experimented, learnt lessons and have built on their experiences to build sustainable, powerful ways of engaging.

“A Different View” is the narrative as told by the participants. But sometimes this is not enough to convince hardnosed funders and organisations driven by performance targets.

Thames Valley Partnership is also working with a new initiative – Social Return On Investment (SROI) – a model which seeks to put a monetary value on the outputs and consider whether the input (resources) achieves value for money.

 

Sue Raikes
Chief Executive

 

Judy Munday
Creative Arts & Community Safety

 


 

Creative Junction aims to be a point at which ideas come together, explosions occur and new turns are taken. We build partnerships with and for young people, to develop creativity and to connect powerful, innovative learning across sectors.

We are a new organisation working in the South East, using the knowledge and expertise gained from delivering Creative Partnerships since 2002, and building on the solid foundations of many years’ leadership experience in education and creative practice.

 

Creative Junction Thames Valley has been working closely with Thames Valley Partnership since 2006. Our work has an affinity with the ethos of Thames Valley Partnership; we both aim to challenge assumptions, go beyond the expected, push boundaries. We believe in making a difference and being relentlessly partnership spirited. We understand the value and power of creativity and creative learning and understand that small ripples can make a big impact.

 

Creative Junction nationally looks for collaborations in learning settings, usually schools. We have frequently taken ‘A Different View’ and looked to work with young people wherever they might be. Working with Thames Valley Partnership and others on this programme has been a significant part of this work.