Community projects can grow into small businesses ...

Engage is our exciting project for unemployed young people in East London. We support these young people to deliver their own community project – and provide a mentor to help them plan their futures. Romie came up with the idea of face painting for children, which she now hopes to turn into a business ...  

"I studied Art & Design at college, so for my project I wanted to do something which involved art and creativity. I really enjoy painting and doing media makeup so I thought to put the two together and do face painting for children which is fun and creative.

152 I delivered the pilot project at a church in Tower Hamlets where a group of home educated children come together to do group activities. When I arrived on the day, after the children had finished their activity, I started the face painting (which took about 10 minutes to paint a face). I hadn't really done much face painting before, so this was a good opportunity to practice designs. It was good to do something fun for the children and it was nice to see them enjoy the activity and this is why I would say my pilot project was successful.

I also became a bit more confident in my face painting so I attended a Sports Day in Leyton in East London and did a face-painting stall there.  As part of the project, I then did my final face painting session at Stepney Greencoat school in Tower Hamlets as part of its school fun day.

The project helped me in different ways. While I was undertaking the formal training, during each session someone came in and talked about different areas of delivering a project like planning and costs. This really helped me because I'd never have thought about these tasks before I started with Engage. 157

Delivering my project has really encouraged me to want to start a face painting business for children's events, so I am glad I was involved. I already have some face-painting equipment, a banner and business cards so this gives me a good start.

I am currently looking for apprenticeships in childcare and I have also done a couple more face painting events for children's parties."

If you'd like to support young people like Romie to get into education, training or work, why not volunteer as a mentor on the Engage project? Take a look here.