Art at the Heart logo


Art at the Heart CIC was founded in 2016. Alarmed by the rising levels of mental health issues and the numbers of teenagers coming to art and design as a last resort, the founders decided they needed to act.

With 25 years’ experience in post 16 education, they had witnessed how arts and cultural education positively affected lives. Kamaljit and Mukesh set up Art at the Heart CIC to work with communities, employers and schools to embed the arts into everyday life. Arts and culture can play a preventative role against some of society’s challenges, assisting with reducing stress, increasing wellbeing and creative problem solving. Art at the Heart reached out to Cranfield Trust in 2022 as it was applying for National Portfolio status with the Arts Council. To strengthen its application and ability to deliver projects on a larger scale, the CIC was aware it needed to be more in tune with the Art’s Council areas of focus, including governance.

Art at the Heart wished to build on its mission, vision, values and three year plan to help it grow and develop and to meet the Arts Council brief. It had appointed a Chair, but needed support in building the rest of the Board, finding the right people with the right skills. An appropriate volunteer was identified: Deirdre had experience in the arts sector, and knowledge of fundraising for arts organisations.

A young girl wearing glasses and a yellow dress crouches over some paper
A group of adults and children posing with certificates.
“Cranfield Trust clearly understands the varying needs of the sector and provides an exceptional and personalised service – our organisation has benefitted enormously. Thank you.”

Overall Impact

Art at the Heart improved in all four project areas. The journey travelled within the main project area of Leadership and Strategic Direction saw the organisation move forward by 32%. Within Performance and Impact, Financial and People management, they did equally well. Whilst the J2E Consultancy Project focused on Leadership and Strategic direction, working diligently on board development and business planning, the entire process contributed to improvement over all four areas. Improvement beyond the main consultancy area reflected their commitment towards better performance across the whole organisation.

Bar char showing J2E results

In the post-project assessment, Art at the Heart travelled forward in 38 out of 48 possible areas. They acknowledged the need for continued improvement and with support from Cranfield Trust and our volunteer Deirdre they now have renewed confidence as well as robust business practices to enable the organisation to continue in their mission, supporting wellbeing and combating inequality through creative and cultural education. 

Founder Director Mukesh commented on the impact of the project, and J2E:

“Deirdre brought clarity to our vision, helped us to realise our potential, sharpened our monitoring and evaluation systems to deliver higher quality services, and facilitated the process of becoming tender ready.”
Registered Charity No: 800072 | Scottish Charity No: SCO40299 | Company No: 2290789 | Telephone No: 01794 830338
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