2019 marks the launch of a new charity initiative that is close to the hearts of Branch Arts. The charity, AT The Bus, will launch later in the Autumn at Cherwell School, Oxford and will provide group workshops for children and young people who face particular challenges and might benefit from the powers of creativity to support them. As both patrons and trustees of this wonderful new charity, we are thrilled to be taking an active role in helping to get it off the ground, at a time when more and more vulnerable children and young people are facing challenges and dealing with mental illness. 

Working closely with Cherwell School’s leadership team, AT The Bus will work with groups of children who have been referred for an array of reasons which are distracting them from fully engaging with their education. Concentrating on providing support for children’s mental wellbeing, the sessions will use art as a therapeutic process to re-engage and provide vital reinforcement to self-esteem and communication.

Bus design by Camille Walala

Bus design by Camille Walala

The sessions for young people promise to be beautifully designed using the methodology developed by AT The Bus founder Juli Beattie over many years. Cleverly using themed projects and transforming everyday objects, the students will be given nurturing support within a safe environment. 

Following on from its initial intervention with Cherwell School, the aim is for the AT The Bus team to then travel around the country in a specially designed double decker bus, enabling them to provide much needed therapeutic support to vulnerable children all around the country. 

50% of mental illness starts before the age of 14, so if we can help to build this charity up to provide support to as many children as possible, in as many buses as possible and with a collective approach, such intervention will start to tackle the current crisis in mental health of young people around the UK. 

Find out more about AT The Bus here.