Q & A with our new Youth Programme Manager, Jack

Photo: Thomas Felton-Hunt


We’d like to welcome Jack Finch-Harding to the Ideas Test team!

Jack is our new Youth Programme Manager responsible for creating events and projects for all young people up to the age of 25.

We asked Jack a few questions to get to know him a little better.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a Kent boy born and bred. I grew up in Swale, on the Isle of Sheppey. I trained as an actor at East 15 Acting school and since graduating have worked as an actor, director, casting director, agent and acting coach. I have been involved in many different projects in various places such as theatres, youth centres, schools and even caravans. I’ve enjoyed working on all these projects and look forward to working on many more whilst at Ideas Test.


How did you find out about Ideas Test?
I found out about Ideas Test through seeing people I know connect with the organisation via social media. I was interested in what was exhibited here, and when I saw the job role advertised I was extremely excited about applying. I hadn’t accessed any of the work here at Ideas Test but had heard great things – and now I’m really excited to be part of the team.


What made you want to work at Ideas Test?
I wanted to work at Ideas Test, and in particular on the Youth Programme because it’s about being able to bring art and creativity to young people in Swale. Growing up in this area and now living here as an adult I can see the need for this type of work. It’s exciting, relevant and has the potential to make real change.


As someone from Swale what are your thoughts about the area?
Ideas Test needs to be here. The area needs this type of work and clearly benefits from it. Swale has some beautiful areas and it’s exciting to be able to work in an organisation having an impact on this area. Having moved away and subsequently come back to Swale I have noticed how much has and hasn’t changed and am excited to be able to work within an organisation that’s ethos is cemented in empowering the creative lives of people in the community.

What have been your Swale & Medway arts & culture highlights?
One of my highlights would have to be the Faversham Hop Festival. The mix of music and theatre with the Hop Fest Fringe is fantastic. Watching theatre companies such as Hand of Doom locally is always a great way to spend an evening. Check them out. Another great theatre company to check out, who tour nationally, and have strong Kent connections is The Pantaloons. Having seen many of their productions at The Gulbenkian, and Mount Ephraim Gardens in Faversham, they are another company to look out for!


Jack (left) pictured with canine friend.
Photo: c/o Jack Finch-Harding


Many of the Ideas Test team are creatives, or artists themselves. What are your creative pursuits?
I love theatre and performance. I am always seeking out ways in which I can build on my skills in this area. I love to watch theatre, participate in theatre and write for theatre and I get a great buzz from this. I’m currently reading a play by Jonathan Harvey and loving it.


What do you hope to bring to the Ideas Test team?
I want to carry on the great work of Frances, the previous Youth Programme manager, and bring interesting engaging programmes for young people to get involved with.


To contact Jack about his role as Youth Programme Manager and the many projects & events Ideas Test creates for young people in Medway and Swale, email jack@ideastest.co.uk