Start Up Slam 2017

Start Up Slam Job Club was a 2-week summer school that ran from 24th July – 4th August at Ideas Test.

Funded by Kent County Council, it aimed to engage young people aged 14 -16 with creative entrepreneurship.

Using creative methodologies and practices drawn from drama and storytelling, young people learned soft skills and help to generate ideas for what they might like to pursue in the future.

The Young People also learned team-building and confidence boosting techniques from Freya Briley and discovered how visual communication methods can aid and support their learning from Molly Fuller Abbott.  A DIY music session led by locally-based music professional Kevin Grist helped them to tune into their musical talents and street artist Gregg Stobbs will introduced them to the wonders of street art and graffiti.  An introduction to film making techniques was be led by the talented Gordon Lamont, who worked for the BBC amongst his extensive CV, and Russell Dean from the wonderful Strangeface puppet team who let them explore the magic that puppetry and puppet making can produce. Stephen Joseph showed the group how to perform Urban Hip-Hop with James Walsh putting them through Contemporary Fusion dance moves.

Spray Painting at Greg Stobbs’ Graffiti Workshop
Photo by Kyra Cross

The programme was designed to motivate and stimulate interest and to develop practical transferable skills which will increase young people’s employability skills and improve their life chances.  Each young person was assigned a personal mentor who supported and guided them through their journey.

During the 2 weeks, presentations were given by members of the Ideas Test team that gave participants a real-life insight into the diverse job roles within one arts organisation and gave them the opportunity to ask questions about the different roles.

The project aimed to enhance cognitive ability, boost confidence, stimulate curiosity as well as helping to improve communication skills, teamwork and perseverance through the 2-week programme.

Feedback from the participants suggest that it was a great success.

In answer to the question ‘what new skills do you think you have learned?’, they said:

“Confidence, how to watch myself (on screen), different ways you can go into life, about university, and not laughing!”

“I learned new skills in dancing and the behind-the-scenes in filmmaking.”

Parents response to “Has your child enjoyed the Start Up Slam programme?” included:

“Yes, my daughter has had a great time. In this two-week period, I have seen her more happy, more confident, more enthusiastic than ever!”

“They have loved it. They have been inspired. The theatrical make-up and print-making workshops were particular highlights.”

“Yes, variety and quality of workshops. Learning something new and information on real life.”


“(She) has loved it, meeting new people and the make-up.”

“Absolutely! She came home every day totally inspired and enthusiastic about everything.”

“Yes, she enjoyed it all – mostly dancing, graffiti, screen-printing and theatrical make-up.”

Creating a Stencil with Greg Stobbs
Photo by Frances Chiverton

Watch this space for a follow up programme…in half term holidays in February 2018!

Please email for further information.