John and Frances Sorrell set up the Sorrell Foundation in 1999, with the aim of inspiring creativity in young people. Using their previous experience of running a successful creative business for 25 years, they have developed a unique approach which brings together schools, schoolchildren, teachers, universities, colleges, students, tutors and professionals. The common aim is to help young people unlock their creativity, gain new skills and explore their potential for further and higher education and future careers. Over the last 18 years, they have developed pioneering new models for education which work alongside, but outside, the formal education system. They have worked with more than 100,000 young people across the UK on initiatives such as joinedupdesignforschools, the Young Design Programme, myplace and Design Out Crime. Over the last eight years they have developed the National Saturday Club model and set up a new charity – the Saturday Club Trust – to take it forward. John and Frances have received the D&AD Lifetime Achievement Award, the Misha Black Award, Homes & Garden Award and the Montblanc Cultural Award in recognition of the Sorrell Foundation’s work.
John and Frances will explain the thinking and background to their work and focus on two case histories – ‘Two Chapters’ – from the story of their work to create pioneering educational models.
Sir John Sorrell is co-chair of the Sorrell Foundation and co-founder and trustee of the Saturday Club Trust. He has served as a UK Business Ambassador since 2009, appointed by successive Prime Ministers to help promote Britain’s Creative Industries abroad. He is chairman of University of the Arts London, Europe’s leading specialist art and design university. Sorrell is co-founder and chairman of the London Design Festival, now in its 15th year. He recently co-founded the London Design Biennale, which took place for the first time in 2016, with 37 countries exhibiting at Somerset House, London. Sorrell is founder and chairman of the Creative Industries Federation, the independent voice for the UK’s Creative Industries. He is advisor to the Mayor of London on Brexit and London’s Creative Sector. Previously, Sorrell co-founded and ran Newell and Sorrell, one of Europe’s biggest and most successful design businesses. He has chaired the UK Design Council, the Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment and the Design Business Association. He was awarded the Royal Society of Arts Bicentenary Medal in 1998 and has Honorary Fellowships from the Royal Institute of British Architects, The Royal Academy of Engineering, Falmouth University and Plymouth College of Art. He holds Honorary Doctorates from De Montfort University, Greenwich University, The London Institute (now University of the Arts London), Middlesex University, Huddersfield University and London Metropolitan University. Sorrell was appointed CBE in 1996 and was awarded a Knighthood in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List for services to the Creative Industries.
Lady Frances Sorrell (née Newell) is co-chair of the Sorrell Foundation and co-founder and trustee of the Saturday Club Trust. Sorrell is Chancellor of the University of Westminster, London, founded as Britain’s first Polytechnic in 1838. She has Honorary Fellowships from the Royal Institute of British Architects, Falmouth University, Hereford College of Arts and Plymouth College of Art. She holds Honorary Doctorates from the Open University, Coventry University and University for the Creative Arts, and has been a visiting Professor at University of the Arts London. Previously, Sorrell co-founded and ran Newell and Sorrell, one of Europe’s biggest and most successful design businesses where, as Creative Director, she won over a hundred awards for creativity and effectiveness. These include 12 Design Effectiveness Awards, five silver D&ADs, four Art Directors’ Club of Europe Awards, four Marketing Design Awards, five USA Clios, six Gold Awards and the Grand Award in the New York Festivals. Sorrell has been a Trustee of Mencap, Director of the Royal Academy Enterprises Board, Director of the National Institute of Employment Studies, member of the NHS London Design Advisory Group, board member of the National Media Museum and member of the Affairs & Awards Committee of City & Guilds. Sorrell is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers. She was appointed OBE in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to art and design education.
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