LJMU has launched subject specific Saturday clubs to raise aspirations of young people in Merseyside.

The first Saturday club was launched by the Liverpool School of Art and Design (LSAD) who have been hosting weekly workshops for young people aged between 13 and 16 years after LJMU joined the Sorrell Foundation’s National Saturday Club programme.

The pupils from our outreach partner schools complete an 18-week programme of workshops and events, covering different subject areas such as art, graphic design, fashion, print-making, photography, architecture and curatorial practice.

Members have been able to explore their own identity by customising fashion garments and creating brand identities through print making processes.

Senior Lecturer in Art and Design Jon Spruce, who is co-ordinating the Saturday Art & Design club, said: “It has been a very enjoyable experience to help provide young people with the opportunity to take part in a range of creative activities free from the constraints of their school studies.

“They are free to develop their own ideas as far as their imagination can take them.”

Local artists, academic staff and undergraduate students from LSAD have been involved in delivering and supporting the workshops.

In addition, Liverpool Screen School recently launched a Writing & Talking Club specifically designed to meet the needs of students interested in creative writing.

The club is led by Professor Catherine Cole and Liverpool novelist Caroline Smailes, with student helpers Liam Porter and Anah Sharif who devise weekly writing exercises offering new ways for members to approach stories and poems.

The aim of the club is to encourage members to explore their writing ideas and skills through different themes.

Members have taken part in visits to the Walker Gallery where they took inspiration for their writing from the gallery’s paintings and sculptures; and the Liverpool Museum where writing exercises were held in an old Liverpool tram.

Comedian Tim Miles has also hosted a masterclass encouraging members to write gags and perform for an open mike event.

 The best of this material will be developed into an anthology for a National Saturday Club exhibition held in Somerset House, London in June.

It is envisaged that there will be opportunities for cross-disciplinary activities to be developed between the clubs in the future.

John added: “Taking part in National Saturday Club programmes places LJMU amongst a progressive group of colleges and universities around the UK that believe in the value of creating opportunities for young people to engage in inspiring activities.

“These clubs will help to raise their ambitions and broaden their understanding of potential future careers within the creative industries.”

It is an essential part of LJMU’s role in the community to encourage pupils from a diverse range of backgrounds to consider continuing their studies and reach their potential.