200 art boxes for young people are funded following city initiative success

Solent University and Southampton City Council have been working together to produce and distribute pizza art boxes for young people in the city.

Pizza Art Box ready for deliveryTwo hundred pizza boxes, packed full of art materials, creative ideas and activities from Southampton City Art Gallery and Mayflower Theatre, have been funded by the Violence Reduction Unit, part of the Stronger Communities Team at Southampton City Council.

The art boxes aim to help vulnerable young people express how they are feeling during the Covid-19 crisis and in May, 70 ‘pizza art boxes’ were delivered to looked after children and young carers in the city.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Culture and Homes comments: "It is important our vulnerable young people are not forgotten during this pandemic. This initiative is a great example of art and culture being used to bring local organisations together to help support the health and wellbeing of our young people. A big thank you to everyone involved. These art boxes will be distributed across the city through Community Groups, Foster Carers, Children’s Services and our police colleagues. Let's continue to work together to find creative solutions to benefit and enrich our local communities.”

PC Lauren Aiken from Southampton Police’s Neighbourhood Team said: “It’s been great to go back to young people after an incident and be able to give them something to cheer them up and engage them in a positive activity”.

Megan Smith, an Art Student at Solent University, has been working hard to put all the boxes together, and hopes to see the completed works by young people displayed in the Solent Gallery as part of a special ‘Life in Lockdown’ exhibition in due course. This special exhibition will provide an opportunity to create a lasting record of how local young people responded to lockdown to give voice to their hopes, fears and concerns during this challenging time.