Artventure Trust

4th April 2019

Artventure Trust is a community-based charity that works alongside adults with varying degrees of learning difficulties, enabling them to be creative, have fun and make new friends in a friendly and supportive environment.

We ask Paul Charlesworth, Trustee of the charity, just how their work is supporting individuals with learning difficulties in a safe and creative way.

Artventure has been running creative sessions for over thirty years and is currently based in its own well equipped, purpose-built studio in the grounds of St Peter’s School in Guildford. The sessions are designed and delivered by a dedicated team of professional art-workers, practicing artists and community volunteers.

Working in small groups, with one-to-one support where necessary, activities are designed to improve self-expression, develop skills and enhance self-esteem, while encouraging a real sense of achievement. Activities include painting, drawing, sculpture, printing, pottery, craft work, computer-aided design, ceramics and modeling. Staff and volunteers facilitate experimentation with a wide variety of materials and techniques, encouraging clients to produce unusual and exciting works of art.

The charity is proud to continue to support people who have regularly attended their sessions for more than 20 years, but we also love to see new faces. There are many families and carers that often tell us that, for those for whom they care, Artventure is a lifeline.

Case Study:

‘A’, who is learning disabled, has been coming to Artventure for several years. Over that time she has learnt many creative techniques and worked with a wide range of materials that were new to her. This has increased her confidence, giving her a fantastic ‘have-a-go’ attitude. She’s made wonderful sculptures, learned lots of printing techniques and made some beautiful ceramic bowls.

 Her work was selected to appear in the “Outside In” exhibition at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester and she’s previously had work featured in our Artventure exhibitions at Cranleigh Arts Centre and The Electric Theatre in Guildford.

 In A’s own words;

“Artventure helps me make different things. My artwork goes in exhibitions that let people see my work. It makes me happy that people like my art and buy it. I can come here and meet different people and chat to them while I do my work.”

Sessions take place between 9.30am and 2.30pm, from Monday to Friday during school term time. Most participants attend one morning each week, but some choose to come along on several days. In addition, during school holidays, we run theme-based workshops that are open to existing participants or newcomers.


Artventure Manager, Mariann Kehrling says:

“We take care to respond to the needs of each individual. We want participants to enjoy themselves, make friends, try new art-based activities and explore new and different materials. Artventure is a special place where the supportive environment and caring atmosphere is very much appreciated by those who attend the sessions as well as their families and carers. Social interaction with other participants, staff and volunteers is all part of the experience we provide, and we are often able to contribute significantly to the development of social and communication skills in our clients.”

At a time when local authorities are cutting back on funding for learning disabled adults, Artventure has been very lucky to have secured financial support through the Community Foundation for Surrey for two successive years. This has allowed us to carry on with our work in support of one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in our society – for which we are most grateful.

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to have awarded funding to Artventure Trust for this local creative project. The grants we make to groups are made entirely possible by the giving of individuals, businesses and trusts who we work closely with to help direct their giving to causes they are passionate about. To find out about other causes we have supported, please see our Case Studies page.