Creative Mentoring

What is Creative Mentoring?

The Rotherham Creative Mentoring project started in 2018 and draws on the extensive knowledge and experience of the original Creative Mentoring project created in Derbyshire.  

Creative Mentoring is an exciting opportunity which has potential benefits for a wide range of pupils; for some it may be proactive support which seeks to enhance social and emotional skills, wellbeing, and resilience. For other pupils Creative Mentoring may support rebuilding trust in adults, engagement with positive activities or developing basic communication and interaction skills. Creative Mentoring is a broad, inspiring, and inclusive intervention which seeks to gently enhance strengths and abilities, develop, and grow an awareness of self and others and in some cases steer young people back towards engagement in education and their community, through personal development and creative activity. 

A blue box filled with craft projects.   Young person looking up through a camera set on a tripod.   A silver dinosaur made from silver foil and smarties tubes. Craft supplies are in the background.   A computer designed image of some pine trees and a large leafless tree with a heart.

Derbyshire Virtual School operates by directly employing independent Associate Artists as Creative Mentors, who then deliver the Creative Mentoring sessions. Rotherham Virtual School works in collaboration with Grimm & Co, creating a partnership approach. Rotherham Virtual school identify children and young people who may benefit from the Creative Mentoring. This information is then passed on to Grimm & Co, who then support the Creative Mentors to deliver the sessions. Within Rotherham, sessions usually take place in school settings, but support can be provided in a range of community and care venues depending on need. 

What does a Creative Mentor do?

The Creative Mentor takes time to get to know the young person, sensitively developing a professional relationship, while creative activities are introduced. The means of working with the child is always practical, using a range of different tools (for example: film, drama, music, poetry, photography, story making, etc) to help young people safely explore the world around them, learning new skills, communicating with others and perhaps addressing social, personal and emotional issues from a ‘creative distance’.   

Through planning activities collaboratively with the young person alongside their supporting adults, Creative Mentors help to identify personalised pathways for progression. They carefully nurture young people’s social and emotional development, enabling them to develop their interests and engage fully in learning and focus on their ambitions. 

If you would like to find out how your school could support Looked After Children in this way, please contact