A programme of creative activities for children and adults on the spectrum.

As well as regular workshops like SEN Hour and Aussie Girls Creative Social Club, we offer mentorship and guidance to individuals who wish to build their portfolio, work experience opportunities with a chance to take part in our ‘Young Minds’ programme and gain Art Awards by volunteering with us, a welcoming and safe studio space during our Creative Studio Sessions on Creative Wednesdays, and we regularly collaborate with local artists who’s work exemplifies inclusivity and tolerance. Every year we run a ‘Baubles for Inclusion’ project where local SEN children attending mainstream schools make decorations for the Christmas tree at Ken Aston square, to promote diversity and inclusion within our community.

We believe creativity cannot exist without community, that’s why we remain flexible and responsive to what is needed for individuals to thrive in our ‘Art for a Cause’ activities. We believe everyone deserves an opportunity to grow and shine, all they need are the right conditions to do it in.

Please have a look at all of the activities we offer under Art for a Cause, book your place for the next session and join the local SEN community today!



Barkingside Art Club was built on the principle that inclusion and accessibility in art can bring communities together.

The SEN Hour is a free weekly session run by our founder Eliyah Qureshi for children with Special Educational Needs who attend local mainstream schools. The programme aims to improve social relationships through art and develop a connection with the library, as well as familiarise themselves with the process of finding and borrowing a book.

The first half of the workshop is dedicated to teach pupils about browsing through the books with guidance of their LSA and library staff, to help them build a better relationship with the library. The second half is dedicated to exploring various art techniques and learning new skills, which encourage pupils to explore their creativity. At the end of the session, they create an art piece inspired by either their chosen book or exploring different art materials and techniques. These sessions are mutually beneficial - as it helps to create common understanding of methods of communication between our students and the library staff.

Thanks to Fullwell Cross Library who are supporting us for our workshops within the library by offering us a free space, and schools collaborating with us, the programme has been a great success. There is nothing that brings us greater satisfaction than positive feedback from the children and the community! We run these workshops for free, with all art materials provided, art lesson plans and as well as guidance. Barkingside Art Club was created in belief that inclusive, communal art workshops have the power to connect us, so we actively strive to create workshops and events which do just that!

Since all our SEN sessions are free we rely on donations and support from our sponsors to keep creativity inclusive. Please have a look at our past events to see just how much joy inclusive art sessions can bring to our diverse communities, and consider donating to help us keep SEN Hour running. There is no amount too small! If your organisation or business would like to sponsor SEN hour please get in touch through our contact page.



Autistic Girls Creative Social Club

Barkingside Art Club is home to the only workshop in the local area specifically designed for girls on the Autistic spectrum, their families and siblings.

These are sessions where Aussie girls who are so often overlooked in day to day life can explore activities in a creative environment, within comfortable surrounding sand with guidance from dedicated mentors experienced with working with SEN children. 

As well as art workshops which explore a variety of techniques and materials via printmaking, painting, drawing or sculpture, The Aussie Girls Creative Social Club also offers an additional activity delivered by guest mentors alongside the alongside the art workshops, so our participants can chose what they’d like to do best. Currently we are are holding Yoga sessions delivered by Shahana.

Aussie Girls Creative Social Club happens every term time Friday, from 4.30 to 6.30pm at Fullwell Cross Library. The library is wheelchair accessible, please do let us know if you have any special accessibility requirements prior to your session. 

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Focus on your practice in a supportive, inclusive environment.

During Creative Wednesdays and Art for a Cause Fridays we open our studio doors to the public, we welcome those who wish to work by themselves, those looking for a bit of company or some feedback alike. It is simply a safe space in which one can focus on creativity, we offer materials and some guidance to those who want to improve their work. The Creative Studio Space is also a network of artists who live locally and share the same passion, so it is a great way to meet others with similar interests and share your knowledge.

We often use the Creative Studio Space for 1 to 1 mentorship sessions, give portfolio advice and discuss projects with guest artists, we have also met artists at the Creative Studio Space sessions who are now working with us to expand their practice, and will be working with us to deliver BAC projects as guest artists in the future. 

Creative Studio Space at Fullwell Cross Library:
Term time Wednesdays from 12:30 - 2.30pm
There is no need to book, just drop in and use the studio for only £10. 



As part of Art Awards offered at Barkingside Art Club.

Barkingside Art Club is a registered Art Centre offering Art Awards to all our workshop participants and volunteers participating in our ‘Young Minds’ programme. As well as delivering the Discover, Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold Art Awards, we have worked with Trinity College London who manage Art Awards to establish SEN Art Awards. 

Our Sen Hour and Aussie Girls Creative Social Club workshop participants as well as children and adults participating in certain project and events are able to gain an SEN Art Award as our sessions are designed to inherently meet the requirements for the award. 

We encourage everyone attending our workshops to consider signing up for art award as it is a great incentive to inspire children to explore creative activities and build self confidence while doing something they enjoy. We aim to make Art Awards as accessible as possible which is why we only ask parents to cover the moderation fee which varies for each level. 

Please take a look at our Art Awards page for more information.



An opportunity for young people to gain valuable experience with Art Awards.

We understand the difficulties young people face to find employment and qualifications outside of the mainstream education system, this is especially difficult for those who experience financial difficulties, those in the care system and those who have special educational needs. In order to tackle this problem we have created the ‘Young Minds’ programme, which facilitates the achievement of Silver and Gold Art Awards while volunteering with us here at Barkingside Art Club during workshops and projects. 

It is a great way for young people aged 16-25 to gain valuable work experience, learn new skills, build their CV to gain employment and continue to further education as the Gold Art Award is worth 16 UCAS tariff points. By volunteering with BAC they will receive opportunities to work in areas within the industry which interest them the most i.e. photography, marketing, social media, event organising, workshop delivery.

Our Young Minds programme is open to anyone aged 16 to 25 with an interest in the art industries and a thirst to learn more. It is an inclusive programme designed to give opportunities to those who need them most, if that sounds like you, please take a look at our Art Awards page for more information.




Every year we run a very special project called ‘Baubles for Inclusion’ where we invite local SEN children attending mainstream schools to create baubles which are then used to decorate the Christmas tree at Ken Aston square. Children involved in the project attend a bauble making workshop with all materials and guidance provided for free. 

The Christmas season is all about spreading joy and acceptance, sharing and appreciating those around us, there is no better way to embody that than through an inclusive Christmas celebration which shines a light on the talent and diversity of local Children. 

In 2018 we have received support for the project from the Vision Redbridge Culture team to deliver ‘Baubles for Inclusion’ as part of the ‘Barkingside Light Up’. This was a great opportunity to encourage the local community to support inclusive projects and we are looking forward to delivering this project again this coming Christmas season. 



local artists donate artwork for sale - all proceeds go towards SEN HOUR



Eliyah Quresh has printed a second edition of her sold out christmas cards - they are available for purchase online or directly from Eliyah during the workshops leading up to christmas! all the proceeds go towards SEN HOUR