Entrepreneur brings art to Hartlepool’s younger generation

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AN entrepreneur is bringing art to the younger generation in Hartlepool.

Shirley Anne Wood, 39, started ARTventurers Tees Valley more than a year ago and now it runs art, sensory and messy play classes for children in the area.

Shirley has a background as a freelance digital media artist and, after maternity leave in 2013, was looking for a new challenge.

That’s when she decided she wanted to make a difference for children in the area.

Shirley has now run ARTventurers Tees Valley classes for over a year and said: “I set up the classes when my son was nearly one year old. I wanted somewhere I could take him where we could do explore arts and crafts together but I didn’t really want the mess in my own home.

“Being a new mum, I didn’t know where to go or what was available for my little boy and I wondered if there were other parents or carers who felt the same too.

Most parents I talk to would love to do more of this type of activity at home with their little ones but they are put off by the thought of the mess and clearing up.

“I took the plunge and set up some classes for babies/toddlers in Sadberge Village Hall in Darlington and they proved really popular.”

Now, the Hartlepool class is also keeping it in the family.

Relative Lauren Taylor, 18, who has been volunteering with Shirley for over a year will be running the new class which launches on Saturday, May 2, at 10.30am, in the Belle Vue Community Centre.

The class will continue on the first Saturday of every month.

Shirley’s own background is in photography and media production and Lauren is currently studying BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies at Teesside University.

The ARTventurers classes follow a different theme each session, exploring different art and craft materials and techniques, sensory materials and messy play.