About us - Creative Communities Group

About us - Creative Communities Group

Mar, 31 2020

The Creative Communities Group (CCG) was formed in 2012 as a catalyst for University and Community partnerships. Its humble beginnings were at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston (co-founded by UCLan Honorary Fellow Russell Hogarth and colleagues), but over the years it has evolved into a model of best practice for active citizenship and lifelong learning on a global level.

We firmly believe in the power of partnerships and how working together can transform communities and educational institutions. Working closely with a local community partner can achieve more than can be done alone, as communities can tap into different knowledge sets to generate and expand new understandings of social problems and situations – they alone, know what needs to be achieved in their own backyard, and the CCG listens, advises and supports worthwhile causes without judgement or agenda.

The Creative Communities Group has over 400 members, nationally and internationally, and we focus on visual and performing arts, great stories and narratives to inspire others to ‘make a difference.’ Our members raise awareness of important issues and inspire others to get involved in the common good. By combining insight and will into the community our aims can be reduced to micro levels; such as a campaign to clean up a local street; medium levels such as the community funding project Preston Soup and macro levels, such as educating people on the importance of active participation.

As a direct result of our collaborative partnership model we have helped to generate dozens of new student placements, played a key role in student retention and helped to enhance the profiles of universities and their local communities together. The CCGUK was run by volunteers until is became core business at UCLan and Nigel Farnworth developed into the first paid CCGUK employed manager in 2015.

We have been published on several occasions, including the 2015 McMillan Palgrave publication Creative Education, Teaching and Learning - Creativity, Engagement and the Student Experience . This book has allowed us to specialise in creative teaching as a pathway to inclusion and accessible education.

We deliver classroom seminars and conference workshops throughout the UK and Europe that provide a voice to the harder to reach and seldom heard voices in society. Specifically, ‘Towards a Better Tomorrow’ has been recognised and highly evaluated by students, academics and community partners and is now very much in demand throughout the United Kingdom (UK).

In 2020 we were successfully awarded the international Silver Rose award by our European Union (EU) partners SOLIDAR (a cooperative worldwide network based in 29 counties that aims to advance social justice) for lifelong learning and active citizenship (Silver Rose 2020 Awardees). This award has strengthened a working partnership with numerous EU colleagues, and we are proud to say that those relationships will continue beyond the UK EU withdrawal agreement at the end of 2020.

CCG members our all very proud of our philanthropic, voluntary organisation and the contribution that we are making in society and education.