Originally formed in 1991 as a community theatre project for Oldham’s Asian community, Peshkar has evolved into the UK’s leading participatory arts organisation targeting young people who are deemed hard to reach or socially disadvantaged.

An Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation with regular support from Oldham Council, Peshkar works across multi-platforms utilising the full range of arts forms, acting as conduit for young people from the margins of society to better access a cultural offer or using the arts as an intervention in the lives of young people to better enhance their life chances on a personal and professional level.

Our work is underpinned by a commitment to excellence in participatory arts practice framed around our core values of ‘participation,’ ‘inspiration,’ ‘innovation’ and ‘progression.’  We expect the young people that we work with to be inspired by our innovative policy and practice to the extent that they will progress to a higher level of engagement with society through improved life chances.

We are proud of the successes we have experienced empowering disenfranchised young people through our programmes of work to make positive changes in their lives over the long term.

Each strand adheres to our process driven methodology which
•    Has a thematic approach.
•    Engages young people from our target group within the theme as ‘enquiry partners’.
•    Uses a variety of traditional and non traditional engagement tools including digital media applications in the generating of content which utilises this original user voice.
•    Presents this content in a variety of ways and settings.

The key driver for this process is our artistic policy that:
•    Is an authentic voice using the dynamic language of modern young people.
•    Is contemporary and has a resonance with today’s society.
•    Connects with a wide, diverse audience.
•    Can be presented on multi platforms.
•    Utilises contemporary arts practice including music and multimedia.
•    Is relevant to young people from hard to reach backgrounds.

Based in Oldham, Peshkar continues to deliver projects across Greater Manchester and the North West and actively delivers outside the region including international work. We consider ourselves as a beacon of best practice within our field and where possible are keen to act as bridge point for shared knowledge and understanding from organisations and individuals from across the world.

Our programmes of work are bespoke and are tailored to fit the needs of the user group.  With this in mind we regularly partner with organisations outside of the arts to deliver on project activity.  In recent years this has included People’s History Museum, Keeping Our Girls Safe, Oldham Race Equality Partnership, AGMA, Bangladeshi High Commission, Great Places Housing, Cheshire County Council, Tameside Council, University Campus Oldham, Lifelong Learning, Huddersfield University, Home Office and the BBC.

We are always interested in hearing from individuals and organisations that are looking to partner up with us.  If you have an idea please get in touch.

There are a number of ways that you can get involved with Peshkar and the most direct way is to send an email and one of the team will get back to you.  Opportunities can range from being a young person wishing to get do their arts award, as a volunteer on one of our projects, as an artist wishing to work with us, a potential new trustee or as an organisation with an idea for a partner project.
Yes please!  As a registered charity not for profit, we rely on the support of the individuals and organisations to continue the important work that we do changing young people’s lives through arts intervention.  We actively welcome donations from private individuals and commercial sponsors.  Please email us for how you can make a donation.

We are keen to continue to take our work where it is most needed and engage with young people as both groups or as individuals into their cultural entitlement because we believe that culture save lives.   We tend to work in post-code areas experiencing significant socio-economic issues, often with young people experiencing notable barriers toward engagement.

In the recent past we have delivered projects across a range of settings including:
•    Young people not in employment education or training
•    Young women at the risk of sexual exploitation
•    Young people at the risk of gun, gang and knife crime

While much of our work is bespoke,  at the heart of our work is a best practice Arts Award that offers accreditation to the participant. We run dedicated Arts Award projects and support individuals to complete their awards at every level through our ‘Arts Award Olympians’ peer to peer support group.

Peshkar are also an Arts Award Supporter Organisation which means that we can help young people to complete their Arts Award at any level, whether Peshkar is their chosen Arts Award centre or not. We can offer:

  • Involvement in our workshops and projects
  • Artist liaison opportunities
  • Volunteer and leadership opportunities
  • Placements
  • Artistic opportunity signposting

To discuss our Arts Award offer contact Steph Brocken