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Upskilling the next generation of design practitioners at the National Saturday Club Masterclasses

The National Saturday Club gives young people from across the UK the chance to discover their strengths and develop new talents by attending free clubs every Saturday at their local college, university or museum.


The Saturday Club Trust was founded by John and Frances Sorrell in 2009, inspired by the Saturday morning art classes they attended at their local art schools in the 1960s. Building on the simple idea that every young person should have the opportunity to study subjects they love, for free, the Club has grown from strength to strength. About to celebrate its 10th year, the network has blossomed to include 71 Clubs in 56 locations reaching 1500 young people every year. 

Attending a Saturday Club is a brilliant process of discovery and learning outside of the school curriculum. Throughout the year, club members often encounter many personal firsts such as their first time in a university or college, their first time in a capital city, their first time in a gallery or museum, and the first time their work has been shown in a public exhibition.

 “We are always impressed by the quality of work produced by Club members in our Masterclasses, by the levels of participation and appetite to try new things. They are a credit to the Saturday Club.” Natasha Freedman, English National Opera.


Among these notable achievements is their first encounter with industry experts as part of the Masterclass Programme. Every year, the country’s leading scientists, engineers, architects, designers, artists and many more give up their time to deliver exciting hands-on workshops that provide valuable insight to young people about their industry.

“Our Masterclasses this year was an especially useful experience in helping members understand how the design process works, and that thinking, writing and talking are important parts of that process” Kate Dunstone, Tutor, Manchester School of Art.

Masterclasses are vital in exposing Club members to the sheer number of career opportunities available to them within the design industry. They give young people the chance to meet new role models, ask questions and gain first-hand advice on how to succeed.

The opportunities provided by the National Saturday Club are more vital than ever. Every year independent evaluation shows that the experiences involved allow young people to grow in confidence, make lasting friendships, discover new disciplines, and explore new futures. The Saturday Club Trust is working hard to make sure more and more young people have the opportunity to attend a Club and expand the network as widely as possible across the UK.

If you would like to get involved and support this aim, you can find out more through the National Saturday Club website

Watch the video to discover why the National Saturday Clubs are an invaluable experience for students, tutors and designers involved:

The DBA is working to ensure creative education is supported, securing the development of the next generation of design talent for our industry. Together with the All Party Design and Innovation Group (APDIG) and The Design and Technology Association (DATA) we’re making the design industry’s voice heard in government.

Read more on how, here.


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