The Creativity Centre Educational Trust (CCET) is a UK charity set up by Dr Marilyn Fryer and Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke to widen access to creativity education and development. Creativity in this sense is about enabling people to think and act in more innovative ways so that they can find new or improved ways of dealing with challenges as well as developing the skills to create new opportunities for themselves and others.
The charity is overseen by its Board of Trustees: Sally Bassett (Chair), Dr Richard Perkin, Coll Bell, Alison Milner and Iain Burns. Dr Marilyn Fryer is the charity’s chief executive. Dr M K Raina is the charity’s external advisor, succeeding the late Dr Morris I Stein and Dr E Paul Torrance.
The Charity's Mission
To enable individuals and organisations to develop the creative abilities they need for tackling complex challenges more effectively, for creating and developing opportunities for themselves and others, and benefitting the community as a whole.
To be the go-to place for training, facilitation and information about creativity and innovation.
What we do
The charity has been working in the area of creativity and human development for over 20 years and has an excellent international reputation for this work. We run a range of community projects in Torbay and Devon as well as our international e-journal, Creativity & Human Development. Our work is published and presented internationally. Locally, we enable people to learn creative problem solving and other skills that they can use to overcome the problems and challenges they face such as unemployment, loneliness and social isolation. We also run creativity development workshops for the voluntary and education sectors. We really enjoy working with members of our local community and local colleagues as well as our colleagues overseas.
Our current projects
The Creating Your Future Programme
We are running the 8th cohort of this popular course, currently funded by grants from The National Lottery Community Fund. The aim of the Creating Your Future programme is to enable people (currently women) who wish to return to employment, self-employment or training, to discover what career they would really like to do in the future. They learn a range of creative problem solving skills and strategies they can use to tackle any barriers they face, which will also be valuable to them in their chosen careers. As participants realise just how creative and skilled they are, they grow in self-confidence and self-esteem.
Here are just a few quotes from some of our participants:
'Group meetings helped my confidence and helped me learn to manage my anxiety'
'You've helped me get my life on track and started me on the road to a better life for me and my son'
'I’m now thinking of doing something I never would have thought of before'
'The activities and support have been wonderful'.
The Merry Widows Project
We started this project in 2015 because we were tired of hearing that the older generation was seen as ‘a problem’ when in fact it’s a great resource of experience and expertise. This project has three aims, to bring together older women to share common interests and skills and to develop new ones, as a friendship group, and as a force for good in the community. To give just one example, one of our participants, a former health visitor who had previously had a stroke, wanted to create a Totnes branch of the charity, Different Strokes, which supports younger stroke survivors, since there was no such resource for miles around. This is now a thriving support group which meets regularly and is going from strength to strength.
The Merry Widows on a rainy trip to Dartington Hall
Men's Innovation Group
The Men's Innovation Group was set up recently to support men who have been bereaved or facing loneliness in later life. They meet monthly in Paignton, where there is a high incidence of social isolation amongst the increasingly ageing local population. Facilitated by a former national company manager, the men's group utilises their skills and expertise to create projects which reflect their interests and benefit the local community.
Walking on Water
Our Men’s Innovation Group, together with members of our Merry Widows Project, are undertaking Torbay Local Heritage project, ‘Walking on Water’. Currently they are busy collecting local people’s memories of Fleet Walk in Torquay, where in the 1980s a shopping centre was constructed over the River Fleet. This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund via Torbay Council.
National and International Activities
Creativity & Human Development
Running our Creativity & Human Development international ejournal is a key element of the charity’s work. The journal co-founders and editors are Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke, Dr Marilyn Fryer and Venu Dhupa. The aim of this independent, interdisciplinary ejournal is to publish research papers and features on all aspects of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and human development – bringing together these fields of study. It includes work in education, psychology, science and technology, arts and culture, business, and health and well-being. In particular the journal aims to provide:
- A place where individuals and organisations can obtain impartial information on creativity in its widest sense – being creative in one’s life and work
- Access to a plurality of views and perspectives on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship
- Access to both high quality academic research papers and more popular features.
We are particularly keen to include high quality work which is not normally accessible to a wide audience and we welcome material from all disciplines, cultures and countries. The journal includes blind peer-reviewed academic papers, popular features, art works, interviews and book reviews. From time to time, we invite key researchers to guest edit special issues featuring creativity research in their country. And we really welcome readers’ suggestions, comments and questions.
This journal is funded by sponsorship and subscriptions from universities and other organisations. Feature articles, book reviews and interviews are free to view, whilst academic research papers are by subscription only.
Some of our earlier work
Previous examples of the work of charity staff include the UK's first international conference on Creativity & Cultural Diversity. We have also developed learning materials for the Department for Education & Employment (DfEE), undertaken creativity education consultancy for the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority (QCA), the National Advisory Committee for Creative & Cultural Education (NACCCE), and many others. Our work has been published and presented internationally - in Eastern & Western Europe (including by the European Commission), in the USA (Torrance Lecture Series), in Japan (Annual Educational Psychology Association Conference) and in Malaysia, in conjunction with the Opening of the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition, including keynote panel membership for Forging the Creative Agenda for Malaysia.
Equality and diversity in employment is very important to us and we have been glad to participate in a number of relevant projects such as the ESF-funded Bradford Equal, and Disability Enterprise Support in West Yorkshire commissioned by Asian Trades Link (ATL), as well as a project for the Learning & Skills Council on the benefits of a diverse workforce.
Our charity’s work has been supported by multiple grants from:
- Awards for All - National Lottery Community Fund
- National Lottery Heritage Award – via Torbay Council
- European Social Fund (ESF)
- NHS South West
- NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund
- Tampon Tax Community Award
- Devon Community Foundation
- South Devon Foundation
- Arts Council England
- Torbay Community Fund
- Torbay Community Investment Fund
- Creative Scotland
- Norman Family Foundation
- McCarthy & Stone Foundation
And by sponsorship from:
- Lloyds Bank Foundation
- London Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Various UK universities
For more information about CCET’s work or how you can support it, please contact us.
If you would like to make a donation to support our work we would very much appreciate it. Please note this is not the same as a subscription to the journal which is on this page.
The Creativity Centre Educational Trust is a UK registered charity and non-profit company limited by guarantee.
Registered charity no. 1095342. Registered company no. 4023948.
Registered Office: First Floor, CEF Building, Broomhill Way, Torquay, TQ2 7QN, UK