Helix Arts square logo in black and white

great art
since 1983

Make it Happen

Make it Happen is a tried and tested action learning programme for community volunteers and staff working in grassroots organisations, where people who are involved gain the confidence, motivation and skills to co-produce events, exhibitions, festivals and projects in their own neighbourhood.

Helix Arts’ Make it Happen (MiH) is a flexible, participant-centred programme that provides training and support to encourage and enable people to design, manage and deliver their own activities with their own communities and with experts in the field. Whatever appeals - Helix Arts can help you make it happen.

Volunteers of all ages, all abilities, whatever their circumstances share how their health and wellbeing improves during these programmes, while fresh pathways to employability open up. They will feel empowered to get things moving and get other people involved where they live.

Both our long and short programmes involve a mixture of learning and doing, delivered through workshops and supported through independent work between sessions. Everything is built around the group and community organisation’s needs. Groups work collaboratively on their project, bringing together people from their community and surrounding areas. Each project is allocated a budget of up to £2,500 to make it happen.

Volunteers explore their community – looking at specific challenges, strengths, assets and the artforms that are likely to appeal. Sessions cover programme planning, management and coordination; artist recruitment and management; budget and controls; monitoring and evaluation; fundraising, sustainability and legacy.

You just don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for! But the magic started straight- away because Helix Arts’ Creative Producers made everyone believe they would be able to produce an arts event where they live. As a group we mixed well from the outset: the team at Helix Arts made sure everyone had a voice and were very clear about the structure. The modules on finance and the artist’s brief were a challenge but Helix Arts’ Creative Producers are so comfortable with the process they shared with us…it all worked. It would never have entered my head that I would be able to make such a difference in my community. The positive change in my life is down to Make Art Happen and Helix Arts. Liz Keating, Make Art Happen Gateshead volunteer

Helix produces learning materials for each topic and these are gradually being made available online. All sessions bring Helix Arts’ expertise, knowledge, networks and support in a practical way to support the learning.

Thanks to an award from the National Lottery Community Fund, Helix Arts is able to offer Make it Happen in Gateshead and Sunderland with a reduced financial contribution from community partners. We are very happy to outline costs for Make it Happen elsewhere. Do get in touch with us 0191 241 4931 or email Cheryl.

Course outline

MIH Long Course Outline (Topics)

MIH Short Course Modules Overview

Make it Happen Sunderland

Helix Arts logo in black and white

Make it Happen is working across Sunderland with key partners, stakeholders, community groups and volunteers.


Make it Happen Gateshead

Helix Arts logo in black and white

Make it Happen is working across Gateshead with key partners, stakeholders, community groups and volunteers.


2nd Floor
51 Bedford Street
North Shields
NE29 0AT

Charity no. 700956
Company Reg no. 2114849

Helix Arts is a Living Wage employer

Helix Arts is an Artsmark Partner
Helix Arts is IIP Accredited

Helix Arts is an Arts Award Centre
Helix Arts is an Arts Council England NPO