Here’s a simple guide to what I can offer to potential projects, people and places:  

Publicity from the 'Far From Home' project, which drew together students and local residents.

Publicity from the ‘Far From Home’ project, which drew together students and local residents.

Community Engagement

Community or public engagement involves universities forming purposeful and mutually beneficial partnerships with local groups and businesses. These partnerships can be around themes such as research, knowledge exchange, problem solving, education and many more. I have been helping to support community engagement projects with individual staff and students within the faculty of Creative & Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth over the last couple of years. In addition, I was part of the working group which helped to establish the newly formed UK Community Partner Network, which was originally funded through the AHRCs Connected Communities programme. I can offer practical advice and experience around planning and running community engagement projects, in way which is valuing, creative and inclusive for everyone involved.

A colleague from the faculty recently commented:

“Sharon’s professional and personal skills include the ability to deal with people of all levels and in diverse situations. She has excellent organisational, fund raising and administrative skills which alongside her strengths in ideas generation and creative solutions is a perfect blend for community projects working with an academic environment.  Sharon has a strong work ethic and has a dynamic but charming personality and I hope to work with her again on future projects.”

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original photography by Sharon Court

Creative workshops on a theme

For the last four years I’ve been running open-access sessions at Portsmouth and Highbury colleges as part of the Youth Chaplaincy project (Youth Chaplaincy Project) These sessions are for staff and students and have covered a range of themes including bullying, self-esteem, gender equality, beginnings and endings, stress-busting techniques (especially handy in exam season!), mental health, faith, hope and lots more. These themes were explored through crafting and making activities, which were suitable for beginners, but had enough scope for the more confident to extend themselves. I can offer creative workshops tailored to a theme and designed to suit the audience.

WooToo, the KnowsNot, a character from the North End Playscheme story 2014

WooToo, the KnowsNot, a character from the North End Playscheme story 2014

Storytelling

I can create and perform stories to a theme and have done for a variety of projects, including the Engage Conference (Bristol, Dec 2014), North End Playscheme (Portsmouth, since 2011)  The Lost Hour Festival (Portsmouth, 2011 and 2012), St Mark’s Primary School (Southampton, 2011) and others. My storytelling style is interactive and engages children and adults alike. Search for ‘storytelling’ in this website to find out more.

 

30 limited edition hardback books, were created as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded project: Somerstown Stories project

Project Management – creative, heritage, faith or education projects

I have extensive project management experience, with a particular specialism in the areas of creativity and culture, heritage, schools and faith-based work. I choose to work collaboratively with the people involved in a project because I want them to be able to gain skills, knowledge and understanding for themselves. That’s my ethos and a core principle in how I work. I will support you, encourage you, challenge you and journey with you through the process from beginning to end with the aim of helping you recognise your own strengths, skills and abilities by the end of the process.

 

This candle holder was hand finished with individual glass tiles.

This candle holder was hand finished with individual glass tiles.

Individual commissions

Making makes me happy and the things I make might make you happy too! If you see something you like on Facebook- The Potting Shed or Instagram – Sharon Court then drop me a line and we can discuss making you something unique and original.

 

 

Your project or idea not listed here? Don’t let that put you off – drop me an email to sharon.court@gmail.com I may well have the skills you’re looking for and if I can’t help, I might be able to recommend someone who can!

 

Sharon