CAST’s programme of free creative activities for children is back this summer, with two related strands: CAST-Off will take place in the walled garden at Penrose on Saturdays from 30 July to 24 August, and CAST-Away – a completely new project – will bring free creative adventures to four different locations on the Lizard peninsula on Wednesdays from 3 to 24 August.

CAST’s summer programme of outdoor creative activities was launched in the summer of 2020 on the initiative of artist and educator Lucy Grant in response to the pandemic. The first CAST-Off took place at sites along the Cober valley, providing imaginative free activities and opportunities for informal social interaction in the great outdoors. The programme quickly became popular with local families and a second CAST-Off was held last summer in the lovely gentle environment of the walled garden at Penrose. 

This summer CAST-Off will again take place in the Penrose walled garden, with opportunities for children to join in with a range of free creative activities including pigment making and painting, brush making, pottery, wood and clay construction, botanical exploration, cyanotype photography, stone carving, serpentine polishing, felt making and nature-based printmaking. 

Sessions on Saturdays run from 10 am to 12 noon and 2 to 4 pm. Just drop in – there’s no need to book. 

The new free CAST-Away programme, devised by artists Lucy Grant and Vicky Wiltshire, will take place at four locations on the Lizard peninsula. Come along with a friend or on your own. You don’t need to be with a child to join in. There will be plenty of things to do and lots of good company. CAST is encouraging participants to use public transport, including the new open-topped buses where available. Some destinations will involve a walk – or even a musical procession! 

The first free session will take place on Wednesday 3 August in Mullion and involves a walk down Laflouder Lane and a day on Polurrian beach (drop in any time between 10am and 4pm). There will be opportunities to join forces, shift sand and engineer dams and waterways in the stream, make pilchard windsocks and move together like a shoal of fish.

On Wednesday 10 August CAST-Away will be on Gweek Village Green, where the team will offer nautical inspiration and expertise to build little boats of all kinds. Drop in between 12 noon and 6pm to make and float a boat, or try signalling with flags. 

On Wednesday 17 August the CAST-Away location is the old serpentine works in the Poltesco Valley. Drop in between 10am and 4pm to polish a piece of Lizard serpentine, make pilchards from clay or make and launch cuttle fish barges from the tiny quay on the beach. There will be many other opportunities for creative invention as well. 

The CAST-Away finale will be held on the beach at Porthoustock on Wednesday 24 August, from 12 noon to 6pm, starting with a musical procession down the beautiful valley walk from St Keverne to Porthoustock. Gather at the entrance to the church in St Keverne at midday to make sound sticks with shells and bells. On the beach at Porthoustock you can do things with clay, join a Snail’s Creep dance and help make a bonfire towards the end of the day. 

CAST is commissioning Lizard-based artisan baker Alastair Cameron to make treat buns for each location – not the traditional tea treat bun, but something special and unique to CAST-Away. Most of the CAST-Away locations are remote, so don’t forget to bring your own food and drink as well.

From Saturday 23 July beautiful activity maps designed by artist Lucy Grant for both CAST-Off and CAST-Away will be available to pick up from CAST Café, 3 Penrose Road, Helston TR13 8TP. 

As in previous years, CAST’s summer programmes for families are supported by generous funding from Garcia Family Foundation, given to support CAST’s learning programme, and by grants from Helston Town Council and Feast. This year, as a result of the Pitch-a-Project scheme run by Cornwall Rural Community Charity, CAST also made a successful application to the Community Fund of The National Lottery, which has provided a grant of £9,300 towards research, development and delivery of CAST-Away.