Changing Lives

Shaping Futures

Welcome to Creative Arts & Futures 

Our aim is to: 

‘Positively impact on people’s lives through providing fun and creative education programmes and needs-led support for under 25's and the Voluntary Sector’ 

We are an exciting, passionate and innovative charity that began work in 1998 in the ex-coal mining communities of West and South Yorkshire. Since our inception we have supported over 4000 children and young people and 100’s of families from areas of high social disadvantage. Over the past 10 years we have provided over £2.4 million worth of education and personal support programmes through commissioned work and grant funding.

As well as providing direct arts, environmental and sports education programmes for children and young people , we have been a champion for the work of the Voluntary and Community Sector. In 2004, we set up the first ever network of over 390 groups and organisations working with children and young people across the Wakefield District (Wakefield Voluntary Youth Organisations Network). Over a period of 3 1/2 years, we chaired and co-ordinated this network through providing regular training, information sharing, training programmes and a huge Annual Fire Festival attracting over 4500 attendees and raising £1000’s to support the work of the sector and local groups. 

'Working together is the best way to share experience, expertise and ensure that workers are well-supported, well-informed and feel valued'


In 2015 we moved to Blackpool from our base in Buxton Derbyshire after serving the community there for 7 years and running our own Social  Enterprise Business - The Hydro Cafe & Restaurant . So why Blackpool?...Well, we believe this is the ideal time and location for our charity as the local area is experiencing some of the highest levels of deprivation in the whole of the UK and we hope to make a positive difference. So over the next few years we hope to work in partnership with the change-makers in the area and support a bright, vibrant and creative future for local residents and tourists.

Children & Young People...

As the song goes ‘We believe that children are the future’ and our charity is passionate about supporting future generations and creating a caring, educated and fair society.  From our experience many of  our young people are living in extremely poor home and social environments which often leads to ill health, poor educational achievement, anti-social behaviour and little hope for the future. Our charity can't always 'wave a magic wand' but we do care and we always work the resources we have to achieve the needs and wants of the individual, so they have better life chances. 

In the Beginning...

Creative Arts & Futures Ltd was formally called Escape Training & Development which was set-up in South Elmsall in 1998 by friends Pete Bradley and Simon Bassett.  

Over the past 11 years the charity has been headed up by David Hirst, a passionate Education & Arts practitioner who has over 25 years’ experience as a qualified Youth Worker and Senior Education Manager for Statutory Services and the Voluntary Sector.  From his experience in the youth work field he saw that many children, young people and families were ‘falling through the net’ of support provided by the local authority and voluntary sector due to funding cuts or services just not being available in certain areas.  With this in mind, the charity strived to fill some of these gaps and challenge some of the effects of social disadvantage and poverty.

Please click here for more information on the history of our charity, thanks for reading.





"If it wasnt for the amazing workers I don't think I would still be here today. They gave me something to live for and I had a great time on residentials and activities." - Dan 16 years old

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