3 years on | Family Saturdays (In conversation with Livy Nelson)

As the crowdfunding campaign to #SaveFamilySaturdays gets underway, we’re using this opportunity to reflect upon the last three years of running these free and inclusive arts workshops.

The sessions, which started in 2016, have provided over 3,000 children and families with the opportunity to get creative, developing new skills whilst spending quality time with their parents/guardians.

We’ve sat down with our Workshop Leaders, also practicing artists, to get to to grips with what makes these creative sessions so important to them, as well as the children and families who take part every week.



Livy Nelson originally took part in our student development programme in 2018 - in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth’s Faculty of the Creative & Cultural Industries. Following this she joined Jordan to lead Family Saturdays, whilst also running Broken Bones Collective -- a creative collective focussed on adrenaline sports.

Livy has also donated artworks as rewards for pledges to our crowdfunding campaign. CLICK HERE to see what’s up for grabs - and how you can support these workshops.

Aspex (A) - What is your favourite part about your job?

Workshop Leader (WL) – That’s a hard one! I really enjoy planning but actually being at Aspex with the families is so rewarding! One of my favourite parts is when I can see the kids really engaging with the idea I have put forward; it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job.

A - Since joining these sessions in January, what has been your most memorable moment?

WL – I’ve had a few to be honest! But if I have to pick one, there was one session where I didn’t think one of the children where that interested in the planned activity - so I found him a few other materials and worked with him to develop some some ideas.

At the end of the session he presented me with a hand made book! Not only did it have lots of great drawings but it was also really funny! It was a pretty great moment.

A - Why are these sessions - or in general, taking part in creative activities, important for families and children?

WL – Where do I start! I think it is important for everyone to take part in creative activities if possible, not just because of the benefits to your brain but also because it’s fun!

I think these sessions are amazing. They allow the kids and parents to discover new ways of making art, new materials or simply new ideas which they can then apply at home. This space allows people to make art in a creative environment, which I think can be encouraging for those who may not feel so confident around new materials and concepts.

A - What would you say to parents/guardians looking to take part?

WL – Come! It is a great atmosphere, there is such a buzz. You can stay for the whole session or just come for a little bit, either way we would love you to join in the fun and get messy (or not, we have aprons!).

A - Why should people pledge their support to support Family Saturdays?

WL – Art and creativity are so important. Don’t take my word for it, there is a lot of research out there that proves it! Family Saturdays is an amazing community of people of all ages and abilities, sharing in an experience, developing relationships and their creativity.

A lot of work goes into creating Family Saturdays behind the scenes and we need your help to keep it going! If you love the workshop and/or you believe that art has the power to change communities and society for the good, please help Aspex keep it going by pledging!