A SOCIAL enterprise has been launched to help young people get into the creative industries.

The ‘Mind the Gap’ crowdfunding campaign by Winchester Creatives seeks to raise £5,000 during August.

The team seek to raise £50,000 to fund paid-for apprenticeships and mentoring places for jobless Winchester creatives between the ages of 20-24 years old, focussing on candidates from BAME and diverse backgrounds.

The campaign wants to support five fund apprenticeships in five disciplines over five months.

Also supporting 10 free mentoring places with 10 local creative leaders

Richard Coope​, co-founder of Winchester Creatives said: “Covid-19 has left a hole in  the futures of Hampshire’s young creatives. According to the ​BBC​, more young  people are experiencing feelings of hopelessness and job despair.

"The Resolution  Foundation Think Tank​ predicts the UK level of unemployment will rise leaving one  million under-25s out of a job for the foreseeable future. It is clear something has to  be done quickly to stop our young people from falling through the gap. The  Winchester Creatives team want to do something to change that”.

Winchester Creatives was started by Dan Benham in 2017 as a networking event to  encourage people to meet and share ideas. The regular events were  paused last summer and Winchester Creatives looked like it would stop for good.

Richard then won a ​‘Projects that Matter​’ grant from Winchester City Council and Crowfunder to relaunch the Winchester Creatives community in February. When lockdown happened Richard and Dan agreed to set up the not-for-profit social enterprise.

Dan said; “I left university in  2010 at the height of the last recession and remember what it was like trying to find  experience and work at that time, along with the hundreds of other creative  graduates in the local area. If we can help even a few young people find a job or a  work placement it’ll be a successful project.”

Every pound  that goes into the organisation goes to someone who needs it. Everyone involved in  the campaign has volunteered their time and are dedicated to help young creatives  to ‘mind the gap’.

The ‘Mind the Gap’ crowdfunder campaign is now live and runs until the end of  August.

Beyond the £5,000 that the team seeks to raise through the crowdfunding  campaign in August, the team are looking to raise a further £50,000 from local  sponsors and donors to offer five young job hunters fully-funded apprenticeships.

The founders are seeking to encourage candidates from BAME and diverse  backgrounds to get involved in the creative industry and help change it for good.

Richard added: “A vibrant creative community benefits everyone in society,  so it falls to every one of us to help the next generation get in and get on. Winchester  Creatives has set up the ability for us all to help, but it needs everyone in the  Winchester and Hampshire area to spread the word far and wide, donate and buy  the exclusive rewards, tell their friends, neighbours, family, colleagues, and for  everyone to give what they can. We need your support”.

Over the next month Winchester Creatives will be putting out news and updates on  the campaign's progress. More information can be found at  winchestercreatives.co.uk