In a wonderful celebration of youth social action, a vibrant mural with symbolic flower designs has been unveiled on Buttermarket in Ipswich.  Commissioned by Ipswich Central, the mural is part of the #thomaswolsey550 programme and was created by a team of young artists from Suffolk One Sixth Form College, in collaboration with Joel Millerchip, an illustrator and mural artist based in Suffolk.

We were thrilled to partner with the Ipswich Social Mobility Alliance to consult with young people of Ipswich on the mural theme ‘Safety’ and what it means for young people in their hometown.

Joel Millerchip, the artist leading the project, has extensive experience working with groups of young people to produce collaborative artwork and murals. The theme of the mural ties neatly to the Wolsey 550 project as Joel explains; “In Thomas Wolsey’s time, the Tudor Rose was a new, important symbol, signifying two Royal households coming together, expressing unity and strength. Following that example, these young artists have designed new flowers, each linking to aspects of protection and safety, to ensure happiness – all positive values for Ipswich.”

Volunteering Matters is proud to be involved in delivering youth social action in Ipswich as part of the #iwill movement. We are very grateful to local organisations, including Ipswich Central and Wolsey 550, for their collaboration in promoting the “Power of Youth Charter” led by the #iwill movement. This charter ensures that young people have a voice in the development of their town.

Volunteering Matters’ Director of Business Development and Impact, Stephen Skeet, explains that this initiative is a great opportunity for young people to have a say in shaping the future of their community;  “We are committed to working with young people to make sure their voices are heard, turning their passions into action in their hometown. Ipswich has become the UK’s first ‘Town of Social Action’, and there are hundreds of young people involved in youth social action here – from litter picking to challenging racism and inequality to taking part in this mural project.”

The young artists behind the mural are Nikki, Roxie, Sahel, Sam, Keisha, Mirabel, Aine, Jack, and Eve, Year 12 and 13 Foundation Art students at Suffolk One Sixth Form College.

There has been a really positive reaction from passers-by as several people remarked over the weekend: “Thank you for doing this. It really cheers the place up.” Which is what this amazing project is all about.

Click here to read the full press release.