Arts Emergency

Our Network: FAQs

What is an alternative old boy network?

It is our practical and creative response to inequality of opportunity in the UK. With hundreds of volunteer members from all walks of life, the alternative old boy network provides connections, confidence and opportunity for those young people most able to benefit from, but least able to access, the existing networks of privilege that dominate UK cultural, political and economic life.

By becoming a contact in this network you are pledging to help our student members and mentees (and other contacts too) when your experience and/or contacts may prove useful. It is down to you how you help but most volunteers meet students face to face, talk on the phone or email offering information, advice and guidance relevant to their experience. Many also offer work experience, taster days and further access to others in their personal networks. It really is just like any other secret network of privilege except we are there for everyone! As a member, you too can send a request via the network pages when you need to.

Meet some of our alternative “old boys” here.

How do I join/sign up?

Whether you wish to be a contact in the network, or train to become a mentor with us, you fill in a simple application form here and make yourself available via email or in person to our students when called upon. Some members also offer one day work experiences, access to further people in their personal networks and organise fun or campaign activities nationwide, but this is entirely up to you.

What if I don’t have an arts, humanities or social sciences degree?

Not a problem! Some of our most valued contacts are scientists, factory workers or self-trained artists who left school at a young age. What IS important is that you have a passion for social justice, love the arts and are willing to do what you can to help young people facing a toxic mix of pressures at a pivotal time.

How do I set up an alternative old boy network in my area?

Although the network is largely online, we have volunteers in almost all regions of England, Wales and Scotland. IF you want to get active locally in your area we will give you all the support you need to grow membership and kick start a network in the community too, so get organising and sign up today!

How else can I make a difference?

Arts Emergency relies on donations from generous individuals to carry out our work. In order to remain independent, we do not accept funding from governments, corporations or political parties. We can’t do it without your help and regular donations are very much appreciated. Our funders are a vital part of the alternative old boy network and you will be invited to our events, hear from Josie and Neil on a regular basis and get the latest news from our front line services. Click here to donate now.