Liverpool charity helping to change young people’s worlds through the arts celebrates 30 years
3 months ago
A Liverpool charity that aims to help change the worlds of isolated young people through the arts is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year.
The Yellow House Charity on Dale Street was launched by George McKane to support the emotional wellbeing and development of people from 15 to 25 by introducing them to painting, performance, film, and more.
And it was created especially for those who might otherwise have had no-one else to turn to.
Yellow House will mark its three decades with a fundraising evening in September to help continue the valuable work it does.
Rachel Corbett, programme and development director, says:
“We’re a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades organisation but essentially we aim to use art, and all forms of the arts, to help all those kids who are cut off from society, young people who are battered and bruised by their situations, and isolated from those around them – something we are seeing more of as the effects of Covid start to come through.
“We build and boost their confidence and support them, we give them skills to help them stay in work and school, and they in turn form positive friendship groups. At Yellow House, we want to continue to create something beautiful yet authentic, something relevant and innovative, something that shines light in the dark; and to provide a voice for those who would normally be unheard. At Yellow House, we want to change the world through beauty.”
Yellow House is so called because of George McKane’s love of the artist Vincent Van Gogh, who had a yellow house in Arles in France and worked with his door open so people could see he was a vital part of the community, even though for most of his life he too suffered from loneliness, isolation, and depression.
The idea behind Yellow House is to help people suffering from mental health issues through art and creativity.
It runs workshops and sessions exploring theatre, art, music, photography, film making, and more, to boost confidence and support people’s mental wellbeing.
“And we care,” says Rachel. “We sit with young people, we talk to them, and we offer advice and guidance.
“Primarily when it was started up the idea was to help those young people living in poverty; it worked with people from areas like Bootle and Toxteth. Now that’s expanded to meet the different world we live in now.
“We offer young people, irrespective of gender, ability, race, religion, sexuality, geography, or finance, a safe space where they can be themselves free from judgement.
“All young people are encouraged to partake in discussion, informal education and to speak up regarding the issues affecting young people within society today. We use the arts to increase their self-confidence, their interpersonal skills, and create friendships for young people who would otherwise be socially isolated.”
Rachel, 31, who now lives in Allerton, was 14 when she first went to Yellow House and it saved her:
“I lived in a single-parent household, in poverty, in Toxteth. Then my dad – who was a drinker – died when I was 16. I was at that age when I could have chosen any number of paths, but I believe I stayed on the right one because of Yellow House. I did theatre workshops and creative writing, film, and art, and like for others who come here, Yellow House showed that life could be different.
“I went to university in Manchester to study politics after first worrying about leaving my mum, and now I’ve come full circle to help others like me. And we are needed more than ever. As well as the support and the creativity we offer, we give people a sandwich if they’re hungry… people rely on us.”
Yellow House, which although it was founded before has been a registered charity for 30 years, will celebrate with a fundraising evening at Nova Scotia at Mann Island on the evening of September 15. There will be live music on the night and raffles to support the vital work it does, and people are welcome to attend. Rachel is appealing for businesses to support the anniversary with donations and raffle prizes.
“All the money we raise will go back into Yellow House, in particular to buy new art supplies and even food when people, including the volunteers who help us, come here.”
If you can help Rachel and Yellow House, contact her on 0151 236 4541, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.