Arts Emergency co-founder Neil Griffiths joins Bryony Armstrong to talk about:
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If you work in the creative and cultural sectors, love arts and humanities, and want to break down barriers to entry, check out the mentor information here.
Rishi Sunak's speech announcing the intention to get children to study maths until 18 can be found here.
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Artwork: Riduwan Molla https://www.canva.com/p/riduwanmolla/
Music: Madaan Mansij https://www.pond5.com/artist/mansij_tubescreamer
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Hello, and welcome to What's the point, the podcast where we discuss the need for arts and humanities today. I'm your host, Bryony Armstrong. We're living in a time when the arts and humanities are under threat. And I know this firsthand, having studied both English and maths at university, and now doing a PhD in English. Each week, I'll be joined by a guest talk about what arts and humanities do for the world. If you've ever wondered, what's the point of the arts and humanities, then this is the podcast for you. My guest today is Neil Griffiths, the co-founder of the charity Arts Emergency. Arts Emergency's mission is to help underrepresented young people get a fair start in arts and humanities and flourish in higher education and the cultural industries by providing mentoring and a long term support network that currently has over 8000. members. Let's get into the episode. So how did you come to choose an arts and humanities path?Neil Griffiths:
Well, I mean, I studied English Literature at university, and I was the first person to go on...pretty much on the estate I grew up in, let alone my family. So it was really influential, to be able to have that opportunity, just the lifestyle of going to university, living away from home, meeting different people, and then the exposure to the unity of knowledge that is literature. So in that sense, I had a personal investment in it, but my path is largely, you know, in terms of where I am now, is largely through my activism. So I felt a really strong link between my ability to have had a higher education to enhance my critical thinking skills, exposure to different philosophies, different ideas, different worlds. And when I left university, which was in 2004, obviously it's a very different political landscape. I was a campaigner around global workers' rights through a No Sweat campaign. And I just felt really strongly that I wouldn't have been doing that if I hadn't had this sort of grounding in humanitarian ethics and that kind of empathy that started off, really, with, you know, with studying English at secondary school. So when we hit 2010, and we had a new government come in, and the fees hadn't gone up, but it looked certain that they would go up for university, it felt really important. I was 28 or 29 at the time, and I had had a successful career in some ways in which I've kind of bungled my way into via activism. It felt really important to do something to help people from working class backgrounds, and non traditional Black backgrounds. And yeah, that's kind of how I ended up in the arts and humanities. I mean, I'm definitely not an academic. Any postgraduate qualifications I've got are honourary, you know. I think I understand it from a citizenship perspective, you know? I think it's really important, not just that we represent diverse voices within arts and humanities, but the function arts and humanities serve, is just super important for democracy, and for a sense of agency and for a sense of unity between people that might feel superficially different. So that's...I kind of just felt that really strongly, and the further I went into organizing Arts Emergency and putting a practical edge onto that...that kind of moral framework, it felt really, yeah, it just felt like the real crux of the matter. For me.Bryony Armstrong:
Yeah, I love what you say there about English kind of bringing that like Unity of knowledge for you, and like, exposing you to different like philosophical and political ideas, because that's also been my experience of studying English. I think it totally does that. It's kind of everything, it opens a million worlds to you, but like through this lens of literature, I find,Unknown:
Yeah, well, that's the beauty of learning isn't it? Everything's connected. You can study history, philosophy, art, literature, and you'll always come back to a central kind of human core of ideas and wants and needs. So yeah, it's important in a really fundamental way, I think.Bryony Armstrong:
Yeah, exactly. Which is why I always think like actually studying these subjects gives you like huge amounts of skills and knowledge that can be applied in so many areas, but for some reason, people don't always see it that way. So talking of Arts Emergency, which is sort of why, why you're here, I wanted to begin by asking about the word emergency in there that just kind of like strikes me straight away, in the name of your charity. What exactly is at stake here? That's kind of like implied in the word emergency?Unknown:
I've had that question so much over the years, especially being in the arts and culture space. People are like, what do you mean, emergency? Like, you know, a political phrase or, you know, a kind of war zone kind of language? Well it was an emergency at the time when we set up, in the sense that, you know, we felt very strongly that we wouldn't just...this is my co founder and I...felt that we wouldn't have gone to university if we'd have been charged 9000 pounds, and we'd have to spend money on rent and work on top. So that was the initial feeling of you know, this is an emergency, then the first coalition government cut, the very first cut in this decade plus of austerity was to the public funding for arts and humanities at the public university. Which...you can trace a thread from where we are now with the state of political discourse and Brexit, and all these, you know, unfortunate circumstances that we find ourselves in right back to that immediate chopping of the root of critical skills and holding power to account that, for me, arts and humanities represent. And then it really is an emergency on a personal level, because we work with people who are 16 and 17. And every year, every year, the conditions that they find themselves having to make big choices about their future, are getting more and more trying. The pressure of debt, the threat of unemployment, changes to Universal Credit, the abolishing of educational maintenance allowance, bursaries and grants cut at university for those that are from the lowest socio economic groups. It's an emergency every...every year, because every year we're losing a whole raft of potential voices, and activists and thinkers and artists. Because, you know, the arts and culture have been set on fire in this culture...in this country. It was really apparent, you know, through through the pandemic, how important the space we create as an organization has become, for young people to reflect, to express their highest aspirations, and not be afraid of kind of saying, you know, I want to be...this is the person I want to be, and I know it doesn't make sense. But without all these outside forces in play, you know, that made me feel completely invalid in terms of what I want to do. But it is an emergency because it really is, it feels to me even now, 10 plus years into organizing this project like it's an existential struggle for the soul of the people, you know, like they...they by which I mean the government, policymakers, vested interests...have done a lot of damage. And I don't think it needs to be listed here for us to know what's been done to public life in this country, to welfare in this country, to health and care systems. And the education system underpins all of that. So you can't fight for your rights, you can't fight for a sense of agency, if you don't understand the world around you. So it is an emergency that people are being forced out of these critical realms and creative ways of thinking about the world and ourselves and our relationships. That's how I explain it after being asked this question so much, over the years, in a snidey kind of way like, oh, what's the emergency? Not enough poets? You know, but yeah, it's pretty much that we haven't got enough poets, you know?Bryony Armstrong:
Yeah, I mean, I agree so much, obviously, like doing this podcast. And I wanted to ask kind of about, about the young people that you support and sort of thinking about like, this charity, giving them agency and sort of opening, like, different career paths to people and making...making it fair through the support and mentoring that you do. So what kind of impact does having a fair start in the arts and humanities have on the lives of these young people that you work with?Unknown:
I mean, it's, it's a profound question. If you think back to when you were 1617. And it's the reason we started to work with young people this kind of age, or one of the reasons, you're constructing your identity, you're coming out into the world as a burgeoning adult. And every influence that you come into contact with can strike you in a profound way. So there's a very subjective human reason for why we have impact. On the one hand, which is just we do create safe space for young people to lean in and sense check their highest aspirations, to express their romantic personalities, to have that luxury, that privilege that many people that come from very different economic backgrounds have to pick and mix from a buffet of the world laid in front of you, and to pick up influences and make connections and to construct...literally to construct your idea of yourself, and build your expectations in terms of how you will participate in the world and build a life. So that's a very subjective kind of visionary way of saying why it was a passion project, founding it like this, and why it was a sort of process of backwards engineering on the path that my co founder and I both went on, to recreate those advantages for other people. And then on a practical sense, it literally is about access to information, access to opportunity, access to new ideas, building experience, so that you can compete in really rarefied spaces where even the most privileged people can can struggle to get a foothold. And giving people...it's an act of redistribution, that's the impact we do, you know, I'm a bit of a layperson, but keying in on systems change and systems theory. And I really believe that networks are a fantastic way of redistributing resources around the wider system. And I really believe in the innate decency of people. Even, you know, the people that even Tory MPs, you know, probably are kind to the people around them in their immediate sphere. You know, you'll hear that about even history's most evil characters. People will say, Oh, but they weren't, you know, they were great to their family and friends. And there was a kernel of truth in that, that I just thought, you know, build a network, find the people that are willing to kind of share their resources, their capital, in terms of like, their social cachet, their, you know, donate to projects, as well, of course, the monetary, but the social and cultural capital that a lot of people have, and bring people closer together from different backgrounds and see what happens. And the impact we've had has been largely through learning, through focusing on safe space, safeguarded programs to sort of enhance that connection between people. But I don't often...I don't often talk about it in those terms. You know, my, my delivery colleagues, and my trustees, and people will talk about it in that sense. For me as a co founder, it's...the impact we have is we just recreate privilege for people without privilege. And it is that space, and it is those options in front of you to dip in and have a taste, and have a little experience of all kinds of different things rather than to say, right, we're a charity project, what is it you're interested in? Okay, here's your railroad into that career. Because that's not how arts and humanities, that's not how culture works. It's a constantly evolving nonlinear living organism. So yeah, the impact we try to have is to literally recreate that and, and slowly, we see people segue into the real kind of milieu, and they really are in there, you know, and they're entitled to be there. And they feel a sense of agency, and they expect to succeed, expect to pursue that path. And that's a really important thing. In terms of the impact we have, is we give people the tools, and then they come away after a long time in our project, building connections, meeting peers. They expect to get in and I think that's important, because not a lot of people do expect to succeed. One of the big barriers is that it's super insecure, you have to be independently wealthy, etc. to survive, and that, sadly, that is true, but we're pooling resources together and giving people a foothold as best we can, really.Bryony Armstrong:
Did I read somewhere that your, kind of, idea of networks and sort of like redistribution sort of came from...was it a sci fi book that you were reading? Sort of the idea of like imagining a world differently? Is that right?Unknown:
Yeah, it was, it was Kurt Vonnegut's quasi autobiographical novella where he...it was a post apocalyptic America. And there were two mutated twins, one of whom was the President and to reconstitute society they connected people arbitrarily by giving these groupings of middle names, and I just thought it was a wonderful idea. And yeah, it kind of...I kind of fabricated the bones of Arts Emergency from...from, it's called Slapstick, a novella, and its a weird and wonderful, short little book. And it just...I was just reading it at the time, you know, it really fits. And yeah, the idea of arbitrarily connecting people in a world that had been rendered atomized and hostile to our better natures felt a little bit like a bit of a premonition of where we might have been heading under coalition and then Conservative government. So, sadly, that turned out to be the case. And it has felt like that at times, you know? And the peer support that young people find with one another through our project has been super important. So yeah, I did turn that into a real thing. It's a bit weird, isn't it? 12 years later. But it just shows you, doesn't it?Bryony Armstrong:
No, I love that example. Yeah, I mean, it's an amazing example to me of how sort of studying literature or studying arts and humanities, and reading...the power of imagination to actually be applied to sort of like trying to alter sort of the socio economic makeup of the country you're in and how the arts and cultural sector works.Unknown:
It's a creative process, isn't it? It literally is, it's making connections where connections didn't previously exist. And, yeah, it was a genuine...it was literally a eureka moment, like, Archimedes because I was sat in a bath while I was reading it. And I just suddenly, I started to draw these patterns on a piece of paper, you know, sort of...people in your hearts, people in Further Education, and you know, kind of, that's where I started to stitch it all together as an idea, I suppose. But yeah, I love that it came from that, and I love that it was Kurt Vonnegut, because in terms of my higher education he was one of the most important authors that I discovered for myself, you know, off curriculum. A great humanitarian and a great set of values. I think that really resonated with myself. And with Josie my co founder, actually,Bryony Armstrong:
Yeah, that's amazing. Yeah, and I love what you say about, kind of...that it shouldn't be a luxury and a privilege to kind of pursue these avenues .I was talking, I think it's maybe episode two, to someone called Xine Yao who was saying, like, the problem with defunding the arts and humanities is that they won't disappear, they'll just disappear except for very privileged people who can sort of live in areas that are more expensive to live and access sort of more elite institutions that are expensive and less accessible. Yeah, and I think we, you know, I've talked about this issue from every conceivable angle in terms of trying to get a hook into new networks, new volunteers, and I think one of the real drivers in the early days, and it's not quite true, was that I used to talk about the regentrification of the arts. And talk about it in those terms, because it is, yeah, it is like an occupying, a taking away of like, psychic intellectual space for people. And it's really damaging, and it's invisible. So it's really insidious in that way, and very hard to pin down. I think we've done a good job of drawing it out. And making it a popular issue as much as possible, I suppose with 40,000 Twitter followers, 10,000 volunteers and supporters, I guess we've...we could say we're certainly quite a mainstream cause in as far as arts and humanities goes as a cause. But yeah, it is insidious, because it's invisible, and you lose things without realizing it. And I definitely see that when I look around. Yeah, invisible and I think we'll maybe get on this later, but wrapped up in other guises of trying to say that stuff like STEM enhances social mobility, when maybe that actually isn't quite true. So before we get onto that, I just wanted to ask kind of the vice versa question, about impact. So we've talked about the impact that Arts Emergency has on the lives of young people, but what about the impact that giving everyone a fair start has on the actual arts and humanities sector? So what is the impact when more people are given a fair start to kind of access those sectors?Unknown:
I would answer this from a sort of all of society standpoint, really, because diversity of thought gets you the best ideas and gives you the best solutions. So the more voices you have involved in any form of decision making or creation or collaboration, the better your outcome will be. That is something like I...I know is sort of verified through all sorts of research, but I also like just believe really fundamentally in the power of diverse voices. Like 100 people who are not experts will probably come up with a better solution than one expert to a problem. You know, I do believe that and I think in terms of arts and culture and the humanities, a in the way that it applies to democracy, I think it's obvious that the more voices you have actively taking part give you a healthier democracy, therefore, a more just and hospitable society. And in terms of creativity and ideas, just like we're saying about how I came up with the idea for Arts Emergency, the more people you have, the more connections there are, the more creativity you have in your system. And I think that is, it's just so obvious, it's almost boring to go on about it nowadays, because everyone understands that. We all understand that. We don't need to make the case for diversity. I think, we have to admit that there is political intent behind the shrinking of the platform that we all try to take our place on. Because I don't think it's...I don't know who we're making that argument to anymore. Because I think it's so obvious. It's implicit. So yeah, it's a good question. But yeah, I take it...for me culture is politics, you know, and they are indivisible. They are the same thing. So yeah, I think diversity of thought and the ability to play your part in one or the other is literally a sign of the health of that system.Bryony Armstrong:
Yeah, totally. Yeah. Because I think, for me, part of the importance of talking about the worth of Arts and Humanities and why I see supporting arts and humanities as a social justice issue, and I know Arts Emergency does too, is because sort of the more diversity of thought we have, there will be change. And in my opinion, and I know your opinion, positive change. But for people who don't want change, because the status quo suits them, that's a scary thing, and not something that they want support.Unknown:
And also, it is insidious, and if you're not represented in the culture, you do not exist, you literally do not exist. So if you're a minoritized group of people and you're not part of the wider picture you will be dehumanized. You know? You are...you just are dehumanized by your lack of representation without, you know...and at the same time, there's, there's such a vast wealth, culture is such an alive...and it's just everywhere. And you think of colonialism, and then the way it's squashed. Such a treasure trove of folklore and history and stories and ways of looking at the world. And it's...it's a vast gargantuan historic tragedy, that these, you know, that it's, it's become a charity project, you know, to have representation, that we have to push to decolonize curriculums. And it's, yeah, to me, I just sort of nowadays, now, I'm 40, and I sit back, and I'm just like, flabbergasted at the state of it. Because it just seems so obvious that the wealth and riches we're purposefully denying ourselves as a people. It's just, it's rotten and making the case for diversity on a sinking ship, you know? It kind of gets a bit dispiriting, I think, looking beyond that, the potential we have, you know, if we win, if we win this particular phase of the struggle and we do manage to get representation, we do manage to get arts and humanities valued, we'll be in such a good position to actually flourish as a species, you know, it's, yeah, I know, it all sounds very highfalutin, and a bit esoteric, but I do think it's like, it is that important, this stuff. No one talks about it. I always tried to talk about it from a slightly different angle.Bryony Armstrong:
And why not think big? Exactly. So a question I have come up against making this podcast, I wonder whether you've also been asked the same thing, is this question of, I guess, maybe like arts and humanities naysayers, or even not, might ask, like, is it responsible to encourage people who want to to pursue arts and humanities when wages are at the moment generally lower in arts and cultural industries? And what I was alluding to earlier was that we just had that recent announcement from Rishi Sunak, that they want young people up to the age of 18 to do maths, and one of the reasons that was cited was to supposedly help people end up getting paid more. I think that isn't really necessarily true, because the more of a surplus there is of STEM labor, the less companies have to pay them. I read that recently in a book called The Innovation Delusion. So I have lots of my own thoughts about this, but I kind of wanted to get your perspective and ask if you'd like to give your own answer to this question and sort of like...why not just channel our own energies into getting everyone to pursue STEM like, what is it about arts and humanities?Unknown:
There's a lot of questions there. And I think, to start with the government...I think the government are willfully ignorant. I think they're dangerously negligent. And I think that, you know, silly policies like study math until you're 18 because you get more money...I mean, how dumb do you have to be about emerging industries and the way the world is going to not realize you're...you know, you are, you are the utilitarian economists, you are the...the dullards that focus on the numbers. You must understand that the interdisciplinary space, emerging technologies, these are the new thresholds economically right? And that to profit in those worlds is not to turn people into robots, it's to lean into, okay, let's lean into the things that humans can do that robots and spreadsheets can't do you know? Upskill people in empathy and creativity and communication. And it...yeah, it beggars belief that they genuinely don't see that arts and humanities, just on their narrow level, are profitable and useful spaces to invest in. I go back to...there's a McCarthyite poster that I used to use a lot on Twitter in the very early days. That says, and it was provocative, deliberately. But it says, Beware of artists, they are the most dangerous because they mix with all classes of society. And I think that...I'm not saying they've deliberately looked at the country's cultural power and said, well, we need to stop this because they're going to...they're going to be moaning about us in the Guardian or satirizing us to death. But I do, I do think there is something in here about certainly policies like keeping people in higher education or further education to 18. And then the increase of tuition fees, these are not tools to boost the economy. These are tools of social control. And it seems obvious to me that denigrating the arts andhumanities, cutting the funding, making it harder for people to study and engage in culture and ideas, is also an attempt at social control. So just to Rishi Sunak, and the government, I just...this...where do you debate with people that are, you know, throwing dead cats left, right and center? I've got no time for their policy announcements. You know? What's the point of spending energy creating content around that? That's all they want us to do. I, for me, let them get on with it. Because we'll win the war. These are battles that we're losing left right and center, you know. Arts Emergency started, and I was passionately defending higher education. And now I'm in a space where people are apologetic about higher education. And, and that's terrible. And no one says that, but that's totally...for a working class person like me, and recognizing the value of being able to go to university. And now everyone in positions of power is saying, well, degrees aren't...you shouldn't ask for a degree, it feels crazy, because actually, arts graduates...graduates are useful to society. It's not just about the ability to even be employed. Like, learning things to a high level, and like studying society itself is important. And we've just forgotten that. And that's because we've been buried under dead cats for 10 years and, and genuinely life threatening policies, at the other end of that are cutting people's ability to literally survive in the world's fifth, or sixth, seventh could be 10th at the time of writing richest economy, you know. So I've got no time for it, in a really nice way. I'm just interested in the work we're doing. And I'm very confident that if you give...you give people the tools in the space, and you let them unite, they will come out on top. And I think the future is very bright. And I,you know...when I look at who we're working with, and how we're working with and I look at thousands of volunteers and young people, they're all flourishing despite what's going on. And I just, you know, I just want to focus on that now. I think it's been such a hard, hard 10 years, battling on so many fronts, and almost now I personally am at the point of actually engaging now, is what they want, they want to tire us out. So I'm kind of looking after my own garden here. If that makes sense? So not to dismiss the question, but just literally, I definitely think there's a lot of smart politics at play with the way the government have gone about staying in power for so long. You know? I've got plenty of stories from my early days as an activist, learning from people that you know, battled the factory race regime, and the tactics that have been used this past 10 years are exactly what I was told it was like in the 80s. So let them carry on, they won't be here for much longer. And we'll have another government to be fighting with soon enough to make this...it's called the struggle, it is the struggle, and it is a struggle. So sometimes it's important just to focus on the growth and the good stuff.Bryony Armstrong:
Yeah. So to end with...with...with to end with doing that, what...what does, what does give you hope, at the moment, from from what you're seeing in your charity?Unknown:
I mean, honestly, I just, I'm such a believer in human nature. I'm terrified by the climate crisis, I'm terrified by this government. I'm terrified by the wars around the country...around the world that half of which we don't hear about. It's a terrible set of affairs that we find ourselves in. I do believe that fundamentally, people are kind. I do believe that people can come up with very good answers to very difficult questions. And I think as a, as a generation, we have so many difficult questions to answer. And I do think like we can, we can come up with the answers. The way things are now is not the way they have to be. I think the arts and humanities show us that things...oh, everything's made up. Like I literally say this all the time. If younger activists or organizers, like, want to hop on a call with me, often, I'll just say that, because I get looked at like, I'm a Grand D now, which is really weird. I certainly don't feel like that. Like impostor syndrome is literally 90 per cent of my time. I tell people, everything is made up. And once you kind of realize that, it's kind of scary, but also, you kind of feel empowered to make your own stuff up and your own organizations, your own...all of it is constructed. And what I see at Arts Emergency that gives me hope is the limitless wonder, the limitless energy. And it's not to go, oo young people give me hope, or you know, all the pressure's on the young people. Now they're going to fix all the problems that I didn't. I mean it just in the sense of, it's just almost like a natural wonder, to behold that much energy and kindness and generosity going on. It's like we're in a little bubble and around us, the world is so hard. But when we all come together through our mentoring projects, or for events, or through our young community, that is time for us to kind of share and allow each other to grow and to encourage each other. And I think as an organization, we do that very well. And it's not something that you can kind of put in a funding bid, you know? I don't think the leveling up agenda is gonna be knocking on our door to get us to embrace fecundity and wonder. But that is what I see. And I think I can also see how it can grow quite a lot more from even where it is now. And I think that's a really positive thing. And I think we're not the only movement that's doing that. I think there are a lot of interesting things going on in the space of activism and campaigning, community building around the world, that gives me a lot of hope. Yeah, we could talk about all sorts of different ideas that are floating around in the ether and potential technologies and applications of...you know, it...there's a lot going on that is positive. And that's not to ignore the negative, but it's just to, you know, I choose to look at that stuff most of the time and just push on, and hope that wins out in the end, you know? That's a bit waffly, isn't it?Bryony Armstrong:
No, it's so interesting to think of the bigger picture like that. And yeah, creativity, imagination, the role of questioning culture. That's what arts and humanities is. And you're right, those are the...those are the qualities that will solve big problems.Unknown:
Yeah, I know, I talk about this from that level, I look at the big picture on purpose, because the young people that join us, when you're 16 or 17, you're all big picture. You look at the world like that. And you want...I want people to feel empowered by taking part in these things, to see what the ceiling is, and not just talk about it in terms of vocationism or representation because those things should be implicit. You know? It's, it's your power to change the world and the way we see the world and the way you see the world, and it's your power to make the world. And I think that is like, just...it gets so forgotten in the dirge of daily politics and austerity. And you know, and it's important and I feel like as an organization and me as the person that set it up and talks about it a lot publicly, I Just want to set that...set that scene in and kind of, you know, I think it's important, I think these things are massively valuable. And it's, it's, it's beyond the minutiae here. It really is, like, existentially important and exciting and empowering, and just the joy of learning, and making stuff and reading new ideas. Like, it's so fundamental, it's mad that you have to sort of break it up into a business case. It's just valuable, you know? It's just obviously innately super valuable, you know? Arts graduates we need...everyone should be an arts graduate that wants to be, not because it gets them a job, because it literally just, it makes the world a richer place. So, yeah, I get to be idealistic sometimes, because I suppose day to day we're like, super, super focused on on my wishes. So thank you for giving me the space to do that and have a big waffle.Bryony Armstrong:
Aw, I'm glad. So to end, what can people do to help Arts Emergency if this has piqued their interest?Unknown:
Well, all my big picture talk boils down to the the action we take every day. And at the heart of all of our work is a wonderful mentoring project, to 16 and 17 year olds that connects them to a mentor who is handpicked, and well trained by my amazing team. And we're working in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, right across London and in Brighton, with projects with state school pupils, and we would like to do it in more places. And we are funded...I think it's around 70% of our income every year comes from individual donations, 10 pound a month, five pound a month. Some people that can give more. We are the place that individuals come to stand up for the arts and humanities and people's right to take part. So I would say visit our website, make a monthly donation. It doesn't matter if it's a pound or 1000 pounds. This movement has been built on regular commitment from people either through time volunteering or through donating. And at the moment, we definitely want to get more projects started. We're looking at Leeds, Bradford, Newcastle, Gateshead, a number of places around the country where we want to expand access to our network. Because we support young people for 10 years. You join at 16, and by the time you're 26, you know, we have young people that are moving into our mentoring pool or are donors now and that's how we want it to be. So yeah, have a look online and if you work in arts and culture, or you care about it and believe that it's important, then I think we are a very good place to put put your shoulder to really. I deliberately carved us out a niche to be different to other organizations and to do something different to other organizations and in this space, I think we are the most focused on young people and their individual needs. And we meet those very well. So yeah, a donation wouldn't go amiss, I think.Bryony Armstrong:
Yeah, I'll leave a link in the show notes for this, so any potential donors or even mentors can can have a look. So yeah, thank you for telling us that and thank you so much for coming on What's the Point today, just brilliant to get your perspective on on all of this.Neil Griffiths:
Thank you, it's nice to be asked!Bryony Armstrong:
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