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About Project 18

Young people learn new ways to design and make products along with having a better understanding of how a business operates. Communication and public speaking sessions give the participants the confidence to sell and promote the project.  

Our mission is to upskill marginalised young people in the local community – encouraging them to be creative whilst growing their confidence and self–esteem. We would like to think that we played a part in their creative path, be it studying, further training, employment or maybe producing some creative businesses along the way.

There is no cost to take part; the only requirements are commitment, passion and creativity. We are able to fund the project by receiving public and private funding and the sale of items made during each cycle.

Why Project 18? Deborette the founder became concerned with the demise of creative subjects being taught at secondary school level over the last few years. A maker and experienced teacher of Art, Design & Design Technology, she decided to work with young people ‘outside’ of the curriculum by creating a project that not only gave them studio experience but also an opportunity to design, make and sell.

Deborette Clarke


Deborette started her creative journey as a young person who regularly attended art sessions at the MAC and entering creative competitions whilst still at school. She left school at 16 where she started a diploma course in art and design at Art College.

Fashion courses followed and after a stint working in Fashion and Interior Design, she began working as a maker and later fell into teaching. A confessed life long learner, she teaches part-time at a secondary school as well as teaching adults how to make leather goods.

Garfield Meredith


Garfield has spent the last 16 years’ working with young people in a variety of roles within education, social care and working with young people on social action projects, which has given me a breadth of knowledge and understanding of what drives and motivates young people.

I have always felt a sense of pride, commitment and empathy with education, as I can still remember the impact that my educators had on me as a student, however, over the past few years, I started to feel less and less connected with the current model of education, as it only seems to be about qualifications, we appear to have forgotten that as educators part of our job is to support the growth of every student, be that academic or, as in many cases, in a more practical and creative way, which is why along with Deborette we decided to work together to create Project 18.