The Burton at Bideford in partnership with Red Earth Developments, developers of the Brunswick Wharf scheme East-the-Water, recently started a new initiative to support the Women’s First Art Club into employment.

The ‘Women First Art Club’, began in 2021 is a partnership between Encompass Southwest, NDADA and Mind and they support women who are rough sleeping, sofa surfing, or living in temporary or insecure accommodation. The monthly drop-in art group is open to all of the women they support and gives attendees an opportunity to engage in art projects, explore their creative side and socialise with other women in similar situations, providing respite from their current often chaotic lifestyles

Chloe has been regularly attending art club since October, she was originally engaged with the Women First project due to experiencing a number of complex issues including being street homeless and in an abusive relationship. Chloe has managed to turn her life around over the past year and due to her hard work and dedication The Burton at Bideford has given her the opportunity to join their team and she is now working one morning a week supporting our learning programme. This employment opportunity will build up Chloe’s experience, confidence and allow the Burton to give her a reference to help secure employment in the future. 

Chloe says

‘I really appreciate the opportunity I have been given, it couldn’t have come at a better time.  I was a broken person and it’s brought myself back. I now feel like a creative person that can work with a real mixture of people. The support I have been given from the Women’s First team and art group has made a real impact on my journey of recovery’

Ian Danby Director of the Burton says’ “ It is great to be able to work with someone as dedicated, full of ideas and energy as Chloe This validates our belief that the arts have the ability to change people’s lives and we thank Red Earth Developments for their continued support”

Emma – Women First project

‘The opportunity the Burton have given Chloe is invaluable, we often see clients making huge changes to their lives, but they then struggle to find suitable accommodating employment, the Burtons flexibility has been brilliant to enable this to happen. It’s a real privilege to see Chloe fully embrace this opportunity, get her confidence back and thrive in the workplace. Chloe has always had an interest and passion for the arts and employment at the Burton has really nurtured this and enabled her to have wonderful opportunities.’

Red Earth are currently developing the new Brunswick Wharf site on the East-The-Water side of the old Bideford bridge. Five new design studios will be built alongside the apartments, retail units, restaurant and café. The project will also provide a brand new landscaped public square and riverside walk.