CCI believes in the power of creativity. We’ve pioneered an approach that develops all children’s curiosity and imagination. We call this practice artscaping.
Artscaping gives children space and time to re-imagine themselves and their place in the world in ways that help them flourish. It transforms the lives of children and young people and is happening in schools all over Cambridgeshire & Peterborough and beyond. We’re building a network of schools committed to making Artscaping happen for their communities - make sure you sign up to keep in touch with new resources and opportunities.
Working with skilled artists and enablers, we focus on how the world just outside our doors can be opened up as a space for curiosity and imagination for everyone, allowing children’s ideas to be explored and valued, and giving them a voice. In turn, this gives all young people the confidence to think of themselves as citizens, enabling them to care better for their communities, and the planet.
It’s widely reported that schools and health services are struggling to cope with a mental health crisis among our children and young people. Our evidence-based approach is both protective and therapeutic and can make a real difference to the young people we work with, helping them develop the tools they need to grow into healthy, happy and productive adults. You can find our Case Study about Artscapers here.
More about Artscaping
What's the evidence?
Read here about our academic partners and their research on artscaping.
Our collection of free resources to support schools.
Case study: Being and Becoming Creative
The story of how one primary school transformed their approach to outdoor learning.
Advocacy and Support
Read here about work to connect communities caring for children's creativity locally, nationally and internationally.
Did you know?
The NHS can't keep pace with demand for mental health support for children and young people.
1 in 5 children don’t play outside on an average day at all
75% of children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates.
More than 1 in 5 children are overweight or obese by age 5.
68% of primary teachers say there is less arts education now than there was in 2010
Artscaping makes your brain adventurous. We like it that we go in and then out and then in again. We bring stuff from outside. We think about the environment… There’s a new strand in your brain. You see things other people didn’t.
Alper and Tellis, 8
Providing time and space early on for children to reconnect (or connect for the first time!) with nature and art is the actual 'medicine' that's required. Think of what could be achieved if more children worked with CCI! And think of the money that would potentially be saved in staff time, paediatrician referrals, expensive therapy.
Paula Ayliffe, Head Teacher, Mayfield School
The children we work with are very vulnerable - many don’t have a place they feel they can go in their community where they feel safe. Many spend little or no time outside. Many speak regularly about death and sadness. Yet the children who have joined our projects often say that these are their favourite two hours of the week, that they notice how happy they feel outside. This work is therapeutic, but not therapy.
Matt Edge, CEO and Therapeutic Practitioner, Cambridge Acorn Project
Our findings demonstrate significant changes among the children including increased resilience and capacity for risk-taking, greater collaboration and empathy and strengthened relationships between children and teachers.
Professor Nichola Walshe, UCL, on CCI’s work
You may be interested in
An Artscapers case study
Newly published in 2023, this short case study offers an excellent overview of our unique approach to supporting children and their communities.
The Fantastical Forest
An extraordinary and ever growing collection of exquisite hangings, each drawn from creative work generated in our schools programmes.
A consortium of voluntary sector organisations which CCI was part of founding, all working in partnership to support children and young people's mental health and well-being in the county.