Cool Things Darlington

Cool Things Darlington

A partnership with Darlington Virtual School to facilitate creative opportunities and mentoring for care-experienced children and young people.

Blue Cabin worked with Darlington Virtual School to facilitate creative opportunities and mentoring for care-experienced children and young people.

Darlington Virtual School works with care-experienced children and young people aged from two to post-16 to help them reach their full potential. The Virtual School is part of the local authority and works with a range of professionals and educational settings to secure the best outcomes for looked-after children.

We planned to begin the project with an exploration day for young people aged between seven and 11, in the beautiful and inspiring spaces of Theatre Hullabaloo and Darlington Hippodrome, with opportunities to take part in drama, visual arts and Arts Award activities.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the project had to be re-imagined…

Cool Things activity packs

Blue Cabin’s fabulous Associate Artists, Nicola Golightly, Pady O’Connor, Michelle Wood, Elena Miller and Alison McGowan, helped us create activity packs that care-experienced children and young people could use in their homes.

Bursting with imagination and creativity, the packs included ‘make and do’ activities for children and their trusted adults to try together, including puppet theatre, drama games and dream catcher crafts.

More than 100 packs were delivered to children and young people across Darlington.

Three young people were also matched with a creative mentor, who supported them on their journey of discovery in using the arts. Mentoring sessions took place online and were relaxed and fun.

Cool Things Summer School

In summer 2023, young people from Darlington Virtual School took part in a Cool Things Summer School. They visited Redcar and worked with Blue Cabin Associate Artist, Laura Degnan, to create short films using stop motion animation. 

The young people all achieved Arts Award Explore, in recognition of the new skills they gained.

You can watch more of the films the group created here

Cool Things Days for Virtual Schools 

Our Cool Things Days are unique, creative experiences for care-experienced children and young people. They help care-experienced children and young people to:

  • Improve relationships with the people in their lives
  • Gain confidence
  • Improve their resilience
  • Increase their sense of belonging
  • Increase their sense of pride
  • Be seen, heard and valued
  • Develop their love of the arts and creativity
  • Learn new skills

“(P) enjoyed trying new things and doing the activities together…felt it had developed the communication with carer and young person.” Gill Etherington, Darlington Virtual School

Blue Cabin can help your local authority or virtual school deliver a Cool Things Day. Find out more here.

Find out more about creative opportunities for your Virtual School pupils

We would love to talk with you about bringing Cool Things to your local authority, virtual school or setting. Email to arrange a cuppa and a conversation.

You can also read about our Cool Things Days packages here.

Project Partners