Trelya, Cornwall

Trelya (Cornish for Change) is a charity based in Cornwall working with children, young people and their families most at risk of social exclusion in a positive, preventive and proactive way to support and enable children and young people to interrupt and break the cycle of social exclusion that accompanies social deprivation.

Trelya believes all young people, especially those most isolated, vulnerable and at risk, should have the opportunity to learn, grow and have fun through artistic expression if they so wish.

Trelya recognises that young people they currently work with do not currently access contemporary art spaces or get involved in mainstream arts projects by themselves due to a lack of self-esteem, a sense of not belonging and even physical factors such as the extra distance particular art spaces are from the estate where most of them live.

All of the young people that Trelya targets and works with are often denied access to even the most basic mainstream activities due to barriers such as cost, lack of parental support and encouragement, being excluded from school, lack of transport or having a criminal record.

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It is for the reasons above that Trelya has been actively offering creative opportunities to young people, especially those at risk. Opportunities range from offering a welcoming environment for young people to be creative to encouraging young people to have the confidence to enter their work for national art competitions, perform at events and work towards exhibitions.

Trelya has its own designated studio (Studio 15). The young people spend time, create work, read arts magazines and have their tea in there! Studio 15 has its own ‘steering group’ made up of children and young people who meet regularly and plan activities with support from the Trelya staff. The last year has been dedicated to building connections with other organisations enabling the young people to fully submerse themselves in arts, culture and community projects.

We were delighted to receive Artsmark Gold status in 2012. We have always championed the arts and to receive recognition for that and the work that the young people do gave everyone in the organisation and the young people a real sense of pride and achievement.