Testimonials

KTS Training

"KTS Training which offers an educational study programmes Study Programmes (16-18yrs). We will help you to achieve nationally recognised qualifications, in a range of areas, as well as build your confidence and self-esteem.

This is the second time I have worked with Olas Art doing the graffiti workshop and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the learners engage and the time Nick takes to help each learner achieve something.

This was some feedback from our learners: “It was Sick”, “It was amazing, I want to do it again”, “It was bless, he was sound”, “When is he coming back”, “Can’t wait to do it again”, “That was the second time I’ve done it and it was still good.”

Dwayne Smith, Centre Manager, St. Pauls, Bristol (Dec 2015)

Feedback from Young People in a variety of workshops

"I was having a bad day, feeling proper stressed and not in the mood
to do anything because this is anniversary of the death of my baby
sister. But the drawing has sorted me out, I've been drawing for two
hours now and I forgot about everything because I was just focused on
doing my art. I made a RIP piece for her with her name, angel wings
and a love heart. It's looks better than I thought it would, I'm going to put it on my wall".

(Resident at The Foyer, Knightstone and 1625ip - Emergency accomodation for 16-21 year olds in Bristol)

Social Action Youth (SAY Project)

"Social Action for Youth (SAY), was a Cabinet Office funded pilot programme to engage with year 10 and 11 students. From January 2014 to March 2015, Young Bristol engaged 90 young mentors (year 10 and 11) and 120 young volunteers (years 6-9) across Bristol.

 The aims of the project were to:

  1. Put young mentors through an NOCN Level 2 Youth Work qualification
  2. Enable young mentors to develop communication, team work and leadership skills.
  3. Give young people a voice and a platform to identify and tackle community based issues so that they could make a positive impact on the places where they live.
  4. Embed social action and volunteering as a natural pathway for children and young people.

Nick Halahan (Olas Art), was instrumental in helping Young Bristol engage with our young people through the medium of graffiti art. Nick’s ability to engage with some of the hardest to reach students and develop their skills and confidence to identify issues that were important to them encouraged meaningful engagement in community issues."

Marguerite Doherty,  Young Bristol Team Leader (April 2015)

 

Atkinson Unit: Restorative Approach to Secure Children's Care 

"Nick has been coming to the Atkinson Secure Children's Home, providing art workshops for two years. He has an excellent rapport with the young people and is able to supply interesting and exciting sessions, whilst at the same time being aware of the health and safety issues around our young people; eg. providing canvases without staples in them.

The work that he has enabled our young people to produce has been placed on the walls around the Home, and the young people are very proud of their work. His sessions are always popular and for these reasons I am very happy to recommend him to other establishments."

Jane Leadbetter,  Regimes Development Officer (March 2015)

Shelter - Realising Ambition in Sheffield

"The young people we work with are often not engaged in any positive activities and present with challenging behaviour. The graffiti sessions were aimed at providing a controlled space in which to do something creative and fun and for the young people to gain a new skill. Nick quickly established himself within the groups he worked with and gained the respect of the young people with his own personal stories and his art. He was confident in managing the young peoples’ behaviour and encouraged them all to participate by spending time with them individually. The vinyl disks we used were effective in allowing the young people to express their individual identities and interests.

Our experienced support workers were very impressed with the relaxed atmosphere Nick created and maintained throughout the sessions, the level of concentration the young people demonstrated, and the pride the young people took in their art (several children have since told us their work is pride of place in their bedrooms). We would highly recommend Nick Halahan and Olas Art. 

Faye Davidson, Team Leader (February 2015)

Feedback from a young people who lives in temporary accomodation at The Bristol Foyer

"I think they're sick man, there's something for everyone: there's an advanced bit, but also simple stuff like tracing that everyone can do. Everyone's done a piece of art. As soon as you go into their room they are like, "look at my picture! You should see mine, it's like Aladdin's cave..there's no space on the walls!" 

Andrew aka Scottish, Resident at The Bristol Foyer (Nov 2014)

Shirehampton Primary School

"We have recently had the pleasure of booking Nick Halahan to design some Restorative artwork for our playground. He worked with a number of children in KS2 and designed a wall mural and two Restorative boards. We are very pleased with the finished product and the feedback from our school community has been very positive. Nick had a very positive and refreshing outlook on our project and was able to meet the needs of our children with the skilful, professional way that he allowed them to be creative and part of the finishing product."

Simon Penrose, Learning Mentor (Oct 2014).

 

Kings Oak Academy Summer Camp

"Thank you so much for the three sessions that you ran at King's Oak. The graffiti disks can now be found all around the school in the various departments and the board will have a frame made and be put up in one of the corridors. The students and the staff involved were very impressed and I will pass on your details to our Art department in September. We are hoping to run again next year, it would be great if you were able to be involved."

Nicky Younger, Kings Oak Summer Camp Lead (Aug 2014).

 

Bristol Play Bus & Sensory Truck 

"Bristol Play Bus is a Children’s charity operating across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Operating out of our Double-decker bus we work with children and families suffering deprivation either socially, economically or through Disability. The Sensory Truck was a new project funded by The Big Lottery fund with the aim of taking specialist Sensory equipment directly to disabled children and their families.

Nick was tasked with coming up with an original design that represented The new Sensory Truck Project and the exciting technology onboard. He kept me involved all the way through the process, showing me images and samples and was very responsive to my opinions. Nick was extremely pleasant to work with, always calm and good humoured and delivered the project on time and on brief. I would highly recommend Nick and OlasArt to anyone wanting a personally designed piece of artwork but particularly to anyone wanting an artist who can positively engage with young people, these skills are what set him apart from other artists."

Katie Hanchard-Goodwin, Play Bus Project Manager (Dec 2014).

 

Bristol Youth Offending Team

“Nick has been delivering Graffiti Art sessions to one of my young people who was sentenced to a Community Order. He was ordered to do 15 hours Reparation, and we used these art sessions as a way of putting something back into the community. He completed the full 15 hours and engaged very well with Nick. This piece of work had a positive impact on the community and the individual, who was able to express his emotions and thoughts in the black community in Bristol of which he is a part.”

Damhnait Kelly, Bristol Youth Offending Team (Nov 2014).

 

Feedback from young person with tinitus 

"I've got tinitus, like a ringing in the ear. I've had it about 6 years and it gets worse with stress, but I went into my own little place colouring it in, it was really calming like, I couldn't really hear it when I was doing it".

Arron Pointed aged 18 (1625 Independent People, Bristol)

 

Appleton Academy Anti-Bullying Week

"Individuals who exhibited low self-esteem, poor attitudes to different cultures and ethnicities, low confidence in their own culture or heritage and those who have in the past been bullied or bullied someone else.

The aim of the project was to allow a space for young people to express their views on what issues affect them as young people. You have proved that informal education positively impacts young people's standard of work similar to formal education. The board symbolises not only a story of some of the lives of the young people but also acts as advise and a 'pick me up' for those that are still going through difficult times". 

Mrs. Salma Sharif, teacher at Appleton Academy, Bradford (2013).

 

 East Moor Secure Children's' Centre

"East Moor Secure Children's Centre is a 27 bedded secure children's home for males aged between 10 - 17 who have been remanded or sentenced by courts or placed with us on Welfare grounds.

Nick was able to communicate with a large group of young people at their level and kept their interest throughout the session. The young people within East Moor have various learning styles and needs and many present extremely challenging behaviour. Nick adapted his delivery style to meet the needs of all young people within the group and it went ahead without disruption.

Young people enjoyed the session and requested that it happen on a regular basis. Subsequently we have re-booked Nick to take part in our Enrichment weeks." 

Jo Birtwhistle, Care Planning and Interventions Manager (Aug 2013)

 

Workshop at The Prince's Trust Fairbridge Programme

 "The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge Programme works with some of the hardest to reach young people, including those with mental health issues, challenging behaviour, or young offenders. It is often difficult to engage them in arts courses, but Nick was extremely well prepared and had something to suit all needs.

Nick delivered the session with confidence and patience, and was able to check the progress of each young person and individual support if needed. Nick relaxed and understanding manner was huge hit with the young people and the workshop was a great success. We would highly recommend him to other organisations".

Natalie Redd, Development Tutor at The Prince's Trust Fairbridge Programme, Stokes Croft Bristol (July 2013)

 

Positive Futures, Leeds 

"Nick Halahan worked on a number of projects for Positive Futures Leeds. Nick engaged with groups who have been traditionally very hard to divert away from crime and show them other positive outcomes. 

Nick did this by not only being very skilful in his art form but for me the most important aspect was the way he engaged the groups by his extremely effective communication style.  We would continue to use Nick if he was still in this area. I guess it’s our loss but another projects or areas gain!"

 

Daniel Busfield, Positive Futures Officer Leeds (June 2013)

 

 

Little London Urban Arts Project

"Youth Point has employed Nick Halahan as an Art based Youth Worker to plan, deliver and project manage the Little London Urban Arts session from October 2009 to the present day. The project took place in a deprived inner city area of Leeds where young people faced issues such as poverty, neglect, unemployment, substance misuse and crime. 

Nick excels in building rapport and meaningful and trusting relationships with vulnerable and socially excluded young people aged 13-19 who do not engage with any other services. The young people Nick engaged with on this project had often been 'written off'' by other services however due to Nick's perseverance, skilled judgement and emotional intelligence Nick succeeded where most other young people's workers have failed."

 Lisa Matera, Youth Work Manager at Youth Point, Cardigan Road (March 2013)

 

 Bradford Youth Offending Team, Nacro 

"I have worked with Nick off and on since May 2009. Nick delivers Graffiti Art workshops to our young people, these sessions allow the young people to express themselves in a way they might struggle in other sessions. Nick has a very relaxed attitude, he is able to engage the most difficult young people, and he encourages and supports the young people to complete graffiti artwork which they take home. He is able to impro ve their confidence and self esteem and is a pleasure to work with. Nick has a gift of working with young people that cannot be taught but is instinctive."

 Pauline King, Outreach Support Worker at Bradford Youth Offending Team. Nacro. (Jan 2013)

 

Cottingley Springs Traveller And Caravan Site 

"From September to December 2012 nick worked in partnership with Leeds Youth Service at what was the first 'official' site for Travellers built by Leeds City Council in 1969. The primary function of the workshops were to help young people make positive choices and to build positive relationships with the Youth Service. Nick was instrumental in developing this piece of work.

Thanks to the hard work of Nick the young people committed to this project and learnt a range of skills. The community as a whole have shown exceptional interest with vehicles stopping and residents including adult males and families stepping out of their vehicles to express interest and praise to the young people. This piece of work encouraged an exploration of values, identities and behaviour and ultimately respect for each other. Nick's friendly and informal way of working proved a great hit with the people on the caravan site and I would highliy recommened him to other organisations that work with hard to reach young people".

Stephen Harper, Youth Work Manager Bramley, Leeds. (Dec 2012)

 

Family Intervention Service South +10

"Here at the family intervention service, we work with families with multiple and complex needs. The young people often lack self-esteem and can be reluctant to get invovled in activities which they feel may give out the perception of failure to others. We asked Nick if he would deliver an art group to our young people and create a positive feel to our activity room for young people. 

Nick did an excellent job at engaging the young people and encouraging them to have a go at creating their own piece of work in a group setting. It was clear that Nick has a good understanding of how young people with confidence issues need to be worked with and he managed to create a positive feel to the workshop. I would recommend Nick to complete work with any organization with young people as our young people took a lot away from the experience. Thanks. 

Andrew Bierley, Deputy Mangager at Family Intervention Service, Middleton, Leeds (April 2012)

 

Leeds Youth Offending Team, ISS workshops 

"Young people are made subject to ISS by the Court as a result of prolific and/or serious offending behaviour. Herein, they are required to adhere to a stringent programme of supervision and surveillance comprising twenty-five hours of contact per week in adition to an electronically monitored curfew. Our young people often present with extremely challenging behaviour and can be very difficult to engage in constructive activities.

That being said, the artists were inspiring, motivating and immediately formed a professional bond with the young people: their non-judgemental and relaxed approach immediately appealed to our hard to reach clients. Every young person involved in the project left the session with a real sense of pride in what they had achieved."

Jennifer Low, Youth Justice Worker, Leeds Youth Offending Team (Jan 2012)

 

Skillz Education Programme with Swallow Hill Community College 

"Over the last 2 years Nick has done workshops at Skillz and each one has been a success both with the young people and staff at the centre. At Skillz we work with challenging young people who for various reasons are unable to learn in full time mainstream education. The young people are always really pleased with the work they produce which gives them a confidence boost and they respond really well to succeeding at something in such a short space of time".

Lucy Tomlin, Quality Assurance Manager, Skillz (Jan 2012)

 

October half term Signpost Graffiti Project 

"The graffiti group engaged 7 young people from hard to reach backgrounds throughout the October half term. The group seemed to really enjoy the course and especially the opportunity to personal a local youth club with their own designs. It was also considered a great success by the Signpost staff, as this group of young people were considered a tough group of young people and often struggle to access group work opportunities due to their challenging behaviour".

Matthew Tattersley, Signpost Family Support Worker (Dec 2011)

 

Project with The Getaway Girls in partnership with Leeds City Museum 

"Leeds Museum and Galleries have worked with Nick on a series of projects, on all we have found him to be professional, approachable, flexible and creative. The museum was so proud (of artwork produced with the Getaway Girls), that we took it out to Breeze on Tour, which is a 10 day festival at 5 different sites around Leeds. The box was seen by hundreds of people and was used as a case study in a funding bid".

Esther Amis-Hughes, Learning and Access Officer Leeds City Museum. (Nov 2011)

 

Workshops in a high security forensic clinic NHS for young offenders with mental health problems. (Roycroft Clinic, Newcastle)  

"I am more than happy with the work you have done so far. The kids have really enjoyed the project and are already asking if they can paint more parts of the outside space. I think that may be a project for next financial year."

D.Henderson, Forensic Service Manager NHS (August 2009)

 

Kala Sangams Bradford Youth Offenders Programme,  ISSP. 

"The youth offenders (14-18yrs) always show great levels of concentration during Nick’s sessions with the quality of the work produced paying testament to this. Nick is non-confrontational, relaxed and clear in delivery which the young people react well to, perhaps as they don’t feel the need to “act up”.

Aaron Christie, Kala Sangam Arts Coordinator (August 2010)

 

Art workshops interpreting fire safety and road safety messages with young people with behavioural problems 

"Nick's ability to connect with this type of young person and keep them interested was second to none. It was because of this that I had no hesitation in asking him to help me with a similar project I was running in 2010. And once again he was an integral part of the project."

Ken Hunter, Youth inclusion co-ordinator West Yorkshire Fire  Rescue Service (August 2010)

 

TShirt and Canvas Workshops at youth centre in Beeston, Leeds  

"Some of the young people (13-18yrs) who attend the sessions find it hard to complete tasks as they have a short attention span, and find it hard to concentrate over long periods of time, but they attended both sessions and completed everything. They had a great sense of achievement once they saw there finished products and are looking forward to participating in future sessions. They loved it". 

Seriah Powell, Youth Service Leeds Council (September 2009)  

 

'Your Shout, Your Say' consultation events in Bradford to find out what young people think of their area and how it could be improved 

"Young people thoroughly enjoyed the graffiti art workshops, and you worked so well to encourage them express their ideas of the area and changes they wanted to see. They gained a real sense of achievement. We really appreciate your enthusiasm, energy and professionalism. The events were a great success in terms of the numbers attending, the ideas that were generated and the enjoyment experienced. Thank you for helping us achieve our planned outcomes".

Heather Esiri, Senior Manager of Bradford Council Youth Service (July 2009)

 

Improving community relations project between two groups of young men in conflict, using graffiti art as a tool for introducig and engaging people in discussion while on outreach. 

"Nick's participation in The Girlington Project was invaluable for a number of reasons. Firstly by providing an activity (graffiti art on vinyl records) that engaged the young people in the vital conversations around the issues (causing conflict between British Asian and Eastern European young men).

Secondly by helping the team build trust with the young people by giving them something they had produced to take home. By using high level conversational and engaging skills as well as excellent artistic ideas Nick was  an invaluable member of the team and the project itself would not have succeeded without him."

Lorraine Knott, Community Accord, Project Development Manager (Sept - Dec 2009)

 

Workshops for NHS Mental Health Service young people 

 "We contracted Nick to work with 23 young people between the ages of 11 and 16 who were accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Leeds. The aim of the project was to collate service user views and experiences via the medium of art. Nick maintained professional standards, demonstrated commitment to the project and took lead of a team of three artists. Nick demonstrated excellent communication skills through his ability to engage with individuals with a wide variety of emotional and behavioural challenges; modifying his approach to meet individual needs. I would happily, and have since recommended Nick for future projects. Not only were the workshops percieved by all to be enjoyable but they also achieved their aim."

Clare Wyke, NHS Patient and Public Involvement Facilitator. (May 2009)

 

Graffiti mural at Springfield Pupil Referral Unit, Wakefield  

"I would like to thank you for the completed mural, which now adorns one of our walls. I would also like to thank you for the way that you interacted with my students - not the easiest bunch of youngsters to relate to and engage in positive activities! I was very impressed with the end product of your afternoon here".

Tony Peckham, Head of Centre (June 2009)

 

Art workshops at the Leeds Central Library to make the youth space more youth friendly 

"They didn't stop talking about it till 8.00! Marc said he hadn't done any art since primary school and was really happy with his board. Sophie took her board around the whole Library showing it to everybody and Martin who did the DJ board said that he never thought he'd be able to help produce anything like that and that he wanted to do more and practice his own drawing skills. They have all asked to do more and said thanks more times than I can remember!"

Dawn Stanley-Donaghy, Leeds Central Library (July 2009)

 

Workshops at Bingley Youth Centre with the aim of raising awareness drugs; the effects, risks and consequences. The artwork was displayed at an NHS Lifecheck launch in Bradford. 

“It was really good to see people getting involved that had no confidence – so many of them are used to failing that they often don’t want to try new things. But they were convinced to have a go and it was a real confidence booster for them…and it must have been good because they all wanted to do it all again!”

Diane Gillard, Bradford Youth Service, Bingley (Feb 2009)

  

Graffiti project in which participants gained acreditation (Bronze Arts Award), based at Youth Point Cardigan Road, Leeds

 "Nick started the session getting the participants to write words using their natural hand writing style and from this starting point using different design techniques like shading, 3D and block lettering to develop the words until they were happy with a piece they could transfer to board. Nick also evidenced great youth work skills in addressing behaviour in the group, bringing himself to participant's eye level and instilling confidence in their work.

Once the participants were happy with their progress Nick led the session on a trip round the local community to look at art work discuss styles, colours and techniques that the participants could then reflect and develop their work further. It was a really positive session that led to positive debates, such as the difference between art and vandalism."

Leon Corbett (Youth Worker at Youth Point. May - July 2008)

 

Art workshops at Sutherland Secondary School on themes of environmental awareness in partnership with Bridges 

"With the help of Nick, the young people produced an amazing, large scale display with a strong environmental message. There are plans to display the work in school, in the local community and for it to tour Shropshire!"

Local press release by Bridges Shropshire's Development Education Centre (June 2009)

 

Commission mural designed and painted for Re:Cycle Engineering bike shop, 2 Norwood Rd, Leeds. Aug 2008 

"To say that I'm very pleased with the final result is an understatement. I feel that your work has brighten up the shop and given a well-deserved boost of colour. A welcome boost to turnover has already been witnessed.

Customers appear to be more inclined to walk through the doors and confident to spend more time browsing. I was also impressed with the process in which you took the time to discuss my expectations and ideas as the design evolved. Thanks again - an investment already paid for in sales!"

Written by the proprietor, Mr Sudesh Parmar.

 

Little London resident talking about a graffiti art mural painted with young people on Friday nights at Carlton Towers 

“Instead of us all fighting each other it’s about time someone brought people together to make it a better place to live… It’s the best thing I’ve seen in the time I’ve lived here…and I must have lived here at least 60 years! its right nice and colourful”

Clifford, aged 91years (March 2009)

 

Graffiti art workshops for Learning Partnerships and the Youth Action Team to be displayed at the project launch. Sep 2008 

"Nick worked with the young people to plan the artwork and ensure their ideas were at the forefront of the design and assisted them in their colour and style choices. On the day Nick supported 5 volunteers and ensured that everyone had a fun and interesting day.

He worked with those who were a bit nervous and convinced them to give it a go; everyone took part and learnt about different techniques to produce different effects. The end result was 2 amazing eye catching artworks that were prominently displayed at the launch event, giving it a much desired youth focus. We are able to use these again at various events as publicity materials.

Nick was inspiring and insightful in aiding the Youth Action Team to create this display. The Youth Action Team is keen to work with him again on future projects. Our team would definitely recommend Nick for both his intuitive skill in working with young people to create interesting and bold artworks and for his ability and knowledge of graffiti styles and techniques."
 
Liz Sharkey (Learning Partnerships: Youth Projects Contract Manager)
 
 

Commission artwork for The Shrewsbury Dubclub
 

"Since dubclub was established in 2003, we have commissioned Olas Art to design and produce artwork to fit with our needs. He has excelled our expectations everytime, producing brilliant artwork that we have used to transform our plain venue into a bright, exciting and welcoming space.   

Olas Arts work has also been very valuable in promoting the dubclub online, so for all of these reasons I highly recommend him for any art/design related work."  
 

 Mr. Harris, Managing Director of The Shrewsbury Dubclub, (2009).

 

Working on graffiti workshops at Youth Point run by the ace graffiti artist, Sune TPN. (see links in clients page)  

"Nick came down and joined in as part of the group and worked from there. He assessed the situation and then designed his position to fit. But most importantly he listened to the youths and saw it as a learning process. Try and work with young people in areas like Woodhouse and Little London where there is less for young people to do".

Toby Heaps, Sune (August 2008)

 

Feedback from art workshops at Festivals 

"Well done to Nick and everyone who helped him set up the graffiti area at Unity Day 2008. It was excellent to see local talent being used constructively." The Hyde Park Unity Day Commitee, 08/2008

"Thanks for putting together the painting workshops, and dropping us an email with your pictures of them. Hope to see you their again next year". Peace in the Park organisers, Sheffield 06/08.

"Well done you guys, its little things like this that make it special, thank you so much" Cath and Alan Denton, Solfest 08/2008

"Great idea! For kids and big kids, love it". Parent Syl Walker, Solfest 08/2008

"I liked it because I liked doing different colours and I had never done it before". Participant Billy, aged 9, Solfest 08/2008