Arthur and Finley’s Art Club Story
Finley and his dad told us how darts offered amazing opportunities to compliment Finley's howe education
Art Club is a programme of creative activity for children and their families in Doncaster, with weekly sessions taking place at The Point – our state-of-the-art community space in the centre of Doncaster. Art Club is free and accessible to all, with a particular focus on those facing barriers to arts engagement, including low-income families, families with English as a second language and Disabled children and young people.
Creative activity is delivered by darts’ team of highly-skilled professional artists, who design workshops around the regularly-changing exhibitions showing at The Point’s light-filled gallery, increasing participant engagement with the artworks on display and exploring topics such as the climate crisis, natural world and local histories. Over the course of each block of sessions, workshops explore different mediums – from printmaking to photography, and collage to cyanotype – Art Club offers children the opportunity to engage in new experiences, whilst building confidence and making friends.
Arthur and Finley’s story
Finley has been coming to Art Club with his dad, Arthur (not their real names), for around a year.
Having attended mainstream school for several years, Finley and his parents found that, although the education system he had been part of had systems in place for students with Autism, it wasn’t equipped to meet the needs of young people diagnosed with trauma on an individual level. Having struggled and failed to gain the relevant support for their son from the local authority, they finally decided to move their efforts into educating and supporting their son full time.
Schools are treating him for Autism but really it was trauma – totally different things… we’ve been trying to match what he gets in school through different things. Of course, this place compliments everything else.
Like many of darts’ programmes, Art Club is free and open to all, with the aim to reduce barriers to arts engagement and accessible for everyone. Arthur told us that, to ensure the best provision for his son, he stopped working so that he could focus on providing a quality education for Finley. However, the local authorities did not provide any financial support and the family struggled to find high-quality activities to compliment Finley’s learning which wouldn’t place further financial burden on them as a family.
In such a relatively short period of time our son has accomplished many things at Art Club that we wouldn’t have thought possible. This is all down to the amazing staff who put in so much effort each week.
As they became regular participants in Art Club, Arthur and Finley found that The Point and the sessions came to provide them with a safe, welcoming and familiar environment that they both looked forward to being a part of:
“We find All Aboard Art Club sessions are well organised, engaging, informative, supportive and inclusive of all who attend. Each session is held in a relaxing and inspiring space, and our son really enjoys learning new ways to experience and appreciate many different forms of art.”
In making the switch to home education, the family found it was essential for Finley to gain new opportunities to socialise and make friends whilst trying something different. Finley and Arthur told us that, in coming to Art Club they found an activity that was enjoyable and sociable for Finley, and inspiring for Arthur, too:
He gets socialisation, he gets to try different stuff. And it’s a really inspiring place to be as well. I’m feeling creative and inspired… I love coming here.
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