HCEP Test and Trial Creative Programmes

Projects: Dacorum, Letchworth and Watford

Creative Producer/s: Glow Training (Ian and Sarah Golding)

Glow is a Hertfordshire based learning & development organisation that specialises in using creative skills and techniques from the world of theatre to help people in the real world be more confident, impactful and successful in the situations they face day to day, to help people unlock their glow.

Sarah Golding is an independent cultural producer with over 25 years of experience working in arts and heritage settings leading innovative, accessible, high-quality engagement programmes for all ages. Until April 2019, Sarah was Associate Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) where she worked with some of the country’s most cutting-edge creative practitioners to develop and realise award-winning theatre productions and arts and heritage engagement programmes; working in both formal and informal education settings. During lockdown, she has been working as a consultant for the UK’s leading theatre for young people, ‘the Unicorn’, in London, to create their new Learning and Engagement strategy and is completing a Masters in Immersive Storytelling (VR & AR) at Royal Holloway University, London.

Ian Golding is a communication and impact expert with over 14 years of experience in designing & delivering innovative communication skills training, seminars and 1-on-1 coaching to private and corporate clients around the UK and across Europe including Lego, Lloyds Bank and Google. Ian was a professional actor for 11 years and he applies this knowledge, experience and creativity in the training and development he delivers. He has recently completed a Masters level course in evaluating arts & cultural projects at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

Details: In Dacorum, Glow enabled a co-created programme through youth consultation and the development of a creative network with a view to feed into local cultural decision-making and supporting creative career pathways.

For Letchworth, they supported a co-created outdoor learning programme with schools to explore the local heritage linked to Letchworth Garden City through critical friend support, and with a view to producing a sustainable model which can be replicated in other areas of Hertfordshire.

In Watford, Glow focused on collaborative working between cultural and education sectors leading to the development of youth voice to feed into cultural decision-making and diverse creative career pathways.

Project: Stevenage

Creative Producer: Pam Pellen 

Formerly an Advanced Skills Teacher for Drama and Performing Arts, Pam Pellen is now a freelance Drama and Creative Writing Practitioner.  She has worked in a variety of contexts throughout London and Hertfordshire, but throughout her career has been an enthusiastic advocate of working-in-role.  

As well as being interactive and fun, drama workshops are an excellent way to explore ideas, issues, and identity. They also provide a safe space to develop creativity, wellbeing, and mindfulness. Performance is not essential, but drama processes are crucial to child development and active imagination.  Of course, if participants do wish to develop performance work, Pam is willing and able to share her experience of live drama and theatre.  She enjoys creating customised scripts or structuring related creative writing exercises, and thrives on artistic collaboration and has worked closely with local artists and media producers to support emergent work.

The Creative Producer applied for this role after seeing an opportunity to draw together the artistic and heritage ambitions for Britain’s first New Town, and to be in their element making a difference with children and young people.  Pam believes that people make places, and everyone has a story to tell.

Pam developed a collaborative programme that supports pupil transition from year 6 to year 7 using creative practice. Primary and Secondary schools will co-create a programme with a cultural provider/s to support student outcomes in a targeted area, alongside support from Specialist Leader in Cultural Education (SLICE) to enable young people to begin their journey of Arts Award.

Project: Welwyn Hatfield

Creative Producer/s: Our Cube (Hannah Cushion and Emma Darvill)

Hannah and Emma have over 20 years of combined experience working in the culture and heritage sector. Emma is dedicated to enhancing the cultural learning environment for children and young people, giving them a voice and autonomy to lead their own learning. Emma currently works in museum learning and is an experienced problem solver and project manager. Hannah is an experienced artist-educator, programmer and consultant who is passionate about building collaborative partnerships. Hannah works across multiple museum and heritage sites and enjoys making these spaces accessible to a wide range of audiences through creating opportunities for engagement through dialogue, exploration and play.

Our Cube is a creative collective that aims to deliver school and community-led projects and develop opportunities for partnership working in association with public and heritage spaces; encouraging dialogue, investigation and exploration in order for participants to develop the confidence to take ownership of these spaces to foster a sense of belonging and to increase cultural capital.

Our Cube aimed to increase engagement of young voices from underrepresented groups and enabled target schools to be Artsmark-ready, with an overall view to develop a Creative Network to support schools to utilise more local cultural opportunities.

Evaluators: Always Possible (Vicky Tremain)

With extensive experience in research, evaluation and facilitation, always possible is a development consultancy with a breadth and depth of knowledge in assessing the impact of funded community arts projects across the UK. The evaluation and research team is led by Vicky Tremain, an experienced project manager, fundraiser, cultural development specialist and music teacher who has worked on a range of strategic projects bridging creativity and young people. 

The Evaluators were responsible for the overall evaluation of the test and trial programme, devising an evaluation framework and producing interim and final evaluation reports. Using a formative approach, Vicky and her team supported HCEP in understanding the criteria for success for the programme of activity and made recommendations for its development.

Partnership Investment

HCEP has successfully secured investment from Royal Opera House Bridge. This two-year programme aims to develop and strengthen the infrastructure of the HCEP.

The Partnership Investment Programme has three phases, and will take place over two years:

Phase 1 – Needs analysis/research: to enable us to understand differing needs of geographical areas. E.g. rural isolation, socio-economic deprivation, cultural diversity

Phase 2 – Commissioning: to test interventions that address the outcomes of the needs-analysis. It will focus on five areas of focus: Dacorum, Letchworth, Stevenage, Watford, and Welwyn Hatfield

Phase 3 – Evaluation and next steps: to evaluate outcomes of the commissioned work, develop fundraising strategy and refresh the action plan


The University of Hertfordshire (UH) is the lead partner for the Partnership Investment Programme. The following partners have invested in the programme:

  • Dacorum Borough Council
  • Letchworth Heritage Foundation
  • Stevenage Borough Council
  • Watford Borough Council
  • Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
  • West Herts College
  • University of Hertfordshire (School of Creative Arts, School of Humanities, Widening Access and Student Support (WASS))

Creative Networks

Creative Networks are designed to identify, develop and support creative and cultural learning in geographical areas. They are open to anyone working within an educational setting (including Governors) and place the responsibility of shaping discussions and delivery with those who attend.