Create change with The Make Bank

Posted on September 22, 2020 by Sarah Robertson

Can you imagine a design industry that’s representative of our society? A future where every young creative has the opportunity to follow their dream? A world where those who aspire to pursue design careers have access to the tools they need? Here we introduce The Make Bank, a social project that’s creating change.


Founded by Kirsty Thomas, director of the design studio, Tom Pigeon, The Make Bank aims to tackle issues associated with creative poverty and help disadvantaged young people pursue educations and careers in the creative industry. Day-to-day, the initiative works with schools to provide materials, support and inspiration for pupils. And through its business partnerships, The Make Bank donates art and design kits, shares inspirational stories and provides career advice to future talent.

Kirsty notes: “More than 33% of children are currently living in poverty and in some areas this figure reaches a staggering 62%. An increasing number of young people are dropping out of creative subjects at school because they don’t have, and can’t afford, the materials they need to complete basic coursework or don’t recognise the scope of opportunity that exists in the creative industries.”

One of the small steps we’ve taken as a business is to donate a design kit to a child each month. These kits include materials to suit all areas of art and design. And through its work with teachers around the UK, the initiative has made sure that pupils can pursue their studies both in school and at home, offering many disadvantaged pupils the chance to develop their skills.


By supporting The Make Bank, design businesses can encourage young people to thrive in their creative educations and careers.

Kirsty comments: “We hear a lot, and rightly so, about food banks and hygiene poverty, but kids are also living without adequate clothing, heating and housing and going to school without the tools they need to succeed. Teachers are working incredibly hard to poverty-proof their schools but, as school budgets become stretched, teachers are increasingly putting their hands in their own pockets to provide for the kids they teach.”

In recent years, there’s been a rise in secondary pupils dropping out of creative subjects, which can happen for many reasons including lack of affordability,  inclusivity and representation. The opportunities exist, but young people are questioning whether there’s a place for them. It doesn’t have to be this way.

By supporting The Make Bank, businesses can encourage the future generation of creatives to learn and to thrive. We can all play a part in moving towards a more accessible, equal and fair design industry.

Let’s make art and design is a choice. Donate a kit through, or share your story with, The Make Bank.