9th June saw Chris Riddell appointed as the newest Laureate, replacing Malorie Blackman and with his new role he hopes to get children drawing every day.

Chris Riddell, illustrator and creator of the Goth Girl series among others believes children drawing every day have better imaginations.

A children’s laureate is a writer or illustrator chosen by a panel of esteemed judges from a range of organisations put in place to encourage children to get involved in the arts across the UK. Past holders have included Quentin Blake, Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson.

Riddell said: “There comes a point where children decide that they can’t draw. I want to say, ‘don’t stop drawing – carry on, and do a sketch a day.’

“I think stories can grow out of the visual. It can be an engine for literacy.”

As recently reported on our website, Forever Manchester like to encourage and support people interested in getting their communities together via arts projects.

With this recent appointment of Chris Riddell and his encouragement to get children involved in drawing, we’d like to focus on Laffs and Crafts, a community project in Oldham.

Forever Manchester funds and supports local community groups and projects helping a variety of causes, and one of these causes is getting children involved in the arts.

Laffs and Crafts is a group for children and their parents to make arts and crafts things and draw.

The group brings together children and their parents to engage and play by learning new art techniques. It also encourages them to continue to take part in arts activities outside of the group while at home.

This group was one of the first ever groups awarded with our Cash 4 Graft awards, a pilot scheme set up to encourage local people to do extraordinary things together. For more information head to our funding page.

The group was set up by Lyndsey Ashworth after meeting our Community Builder Helen Smith. The relationship with Helen and Forever Manchester from this encourage Lyndsey to get involved in further projects with us, and she is now employed full time while still continuing the group.

Now in its third year, the group is going from strength to strength with over 30 people attending.

If you’d like to fund great community projects like this one, you can make a difference by DONATING TODAY.