At Seed Creative Academy, we have established a very strong and evolving partnership with Leicester College. So, we were delighted to be invited to host and manage, on behalf of the college, the latest market-leading event, focused on establishing the imperative bridge from creative study to creative employment: The Creative Garden.

Leicester College is a member of the Association of Colleges, and had arranged this event as part of their commitment to promoting student engagement in authentic learning, whilst forming networks with local community groups and employers.

Held at the Seed Creative Academy, The Creative Garden was a one-day workshop attended by over 60 students and supported by a raft of professionals and associated organisations.

At Seed, we are very proud of our vast network of creative professionals and organisations, from which we invited four outstanding guest speakers for the morning session. The students heard interesting and relevant short talks from Ruth Singer, Textile Artist; Matt Culpin, Creative Director at Jadu; Stephanie Macdonald-Walker, Fashion Label and Shop Owner; and Scott Chouchino, Freelance Photographer. The talks were packed with essential information, providing the students with an excellent insight into making the daunting leap from learner to professional.

Lunchtime gave the students an opportunity to enjoy the autumnal sun and to explore the Cultural Quarter, whilst using their creative skills to take part in the photography competition.

In the afternoon session, the Seed Creative Academy was  transformed into a creative marketplace, with the 60 attending students able to talk to a range of organisations offering support to their creative aspirations. The organisations that attended the event were: The Princes Trust (Enterprise Programme); Creative Coffee; Echo Factory; James Burkmar, Workspace Manager for LCB, Makers Yard and Phoenix; DMU Student and Academic Services; Voluntary Action Leicester; John Coster, representing The Documentary Media Centre; and Creative Leicestershire.

From the energy and vibrancy evident throughout the day, it was clear that the event was excellently received by the students.

We believe that events like these make a huge economic impact on the developing creative industries sector in Leicester, given the essential networking links that have been established for learners. These links are within critical areas of progression such as internships, placements, funding, workspace availability and volunteering opportunities.