Dr Nick Owen MBE PLUS

Working in and on the Business of Cultural Education


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Day Ten of the Basketball 2.6 Challenge: counting the cost but feeling the value.

Believe it or not, this campaign is not really about how many basketballs I can throw in a hoop in 26 minutes, how many near misses I can frustratingly curse at or how many complete no-hopers have found themselves on the neighbours side of the fence.

 No, it’s part of charity wide campaign to draw attention to how children and young people in the East Midlands have been feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last year.

And actually, it’s not really even about that: it’s about recognising that the real crisis that young people  face both here and across the UK, and indeed the world, is one of child poverty.  For the 5th richest nation in the world, our country’s child poverty statistics are disgraceful.

This is why we at The Mighty Creatives have established direct relationships with the End Child Poverty Campaign and regional organisations who have highlighted the roles of food banks in communities and how arts resource packs  can make a material difference to families’ financial welfare and quality of life.

“It takes the pressure off and – all these lovely things that people have got, but not had to go into debt for. For lots of people these things are normal, but not for everyone. They were extra things that we could provide for them, for the whole family, although it is for the kids it helps the whole family.”

Many of our partners in the areas hardest hit by poverty have highlighted how important receiving an arts pack which stimulated young people’s creativity was to their mental health:

“Mental health problems are so entrenched in our area – and we all know the effects a creative experience can have to remove the mind from the rabbit warren. We would do it again in a heartbeat. We felt very proud to be part of it, and part of the chain that got those packs out.”

We now want to extend our relationships with organisations working to address poverty. 

Our vision is to show people directly how just an apparently modest donation of arts resources can have life changing effects and this is where your help comes in. 

Just £2.60 can help a young person find the pleasure of finding a creative moment in the time of a heartbeat.

 A £26.00 donation can help that heartbeat moment shape a life time’s memory of the pleasures of creativity.

The cost is one thing: but the value of your donation is immeasurable.  That’s one thing I’m not forgetting in counting those misses, near misses and baskets.

And for those of us who love the numbers, here’s today’s results:

DayAttemptsNear MissesBasketsEffort (Baskets/ Attempt)Baskets/ Minute (BPM)FeelGood Factor
1N/AN/A8N/A0.308N/A
2194N/A157.73%0.577N/A
31898721.06%0.07746.03%
419010773.68%0.26956.32%
5192105115.73%0.42354.69%
616710863.59%0.23164.67%
7174114148.05%0.53865.52%
8Training Day
9180108168.89%0.61560.00%
101661181810.84%0.69271.08%

You can find out why I’m taking the 2.6 Basketball Challenge here  Any help you can offer is much appreciated!.


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Day Six of the Basketball 2.6 Challenge: this is The Why.

For all the fun to be had in trying to throw basketballs into hoops, there is a serious intent behind all this.

It’s about raising awareness of Child Poverty, about contributing to the fight against it, and to actively provide children and young people with the resources to develop their own creativity, expressiveness and to find the fun in culture.

Along with many other colleagues from The Mighty Creatives, we’re finding our own fun in culture – whether this be singing, dancing, experimenting, throwing basketballs or the many other possibilities that are available to us. We’re the lucky ones: but many yougn people aren’t and this is why this campaign is so vital.

By supporting our campaign, you will be supporting our ‘Not Just a Box’ programme, born out of the national ‘Lets’ Create’ programme last year in which over 25,000 packs of creative resources were distributed to children and young people across the country.

We did our bit then, and we’re continuing to do that now.

The Not Just a Box programme supplies Lets Create packs, boxes filled with creative resources tailored by age to support children to get creative in their homes. Each pack provides vital materials such as paper, pens, paints, craft kits and digital tools, resources which they would otherwise have limited access to outside of education.

With £15 of your support, this will help fund one Let’s Create Pack to support a child living in poverty.

With £20 of your support, this will help fund a Let’s Create Family Pack for 2 or more children living in poverty.

With £3000 will help us to fund a Let’s Create Cupboard ( at a local FoodBank across the region) for one holiday period, serving over 200 children and young people living in poverty.

So it all helps – there’s no such thing as a Small Donation!

You can find out more here.

And thank you, in advance, for any support you can offer.

(And in case you’re following the statistics… here’s the good news about day 6. Never mind the BPM, just check out the FeelGood Factor!

DayAttemptsNear MissesBasketsEffort (Baskets/ Attempt)Baskets/ Minute (BPM)FeelGood Factor
1N/AN/A8N/A0.308N/A
2194N/A157.73%0.577N/A
31898721.06%0.07746.03%
419010773.68%0.26956.32%
5192105115.73%0.42354.69%
616710863.59%0.23164.67%