Burberry Inspire Impact Report
November 7, 2022

Click here to view the full report with images.




Today, we celebrate ‘Burberry Inspire’, a programme launched by The Burberry Foundation in 2018 to encourage and empower a cohort of students in Yorkshire – the home and heart of our trench coat – to uncover their creative potential and immerse themselves in the arts. The programme subsequently expanded to New York City, providing support to underrepresented communities in the US and UK.


As the programme concluded, Burberry partnered with The Ideas Foundation, Bean Research and the Policy Institute at King’s College London to publish a series of papers and a longitudinal study to detail the impact of the initiative on students, teachers and communities across the Yorkshire region. Insights from the programme in the US have been developed by The City University of New York’s (CUNY) Creative Arts Team separately.




Guided by Burberry's enduring belief that creativity opens spaces, Burberry Inspire is the flagship programme of The Burberry Foundation and the first in-school arts and culture programme of its kind. It was founded to support, empower and inspire young people, and according to the teachers involved, it did just that, with all citing that the Burberry Inspire programme “increased students’ ability to take risks and try something new.”


By utilising community networks – uniting schools and local, renowned art organisations – the programme has enabled more than 10,000 students across the globe in 15 different schools to think positively about their future.


The programme was designed by the Ideas Foundation and four cultural partners in consultation with Burberry’s Corporate Responsibility team. As leaders in the field of arts education, the four partners chosen to nurture the creative ambitions and skills of the students through dance, theatre, film and art included the Northern Ballet, Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Young Film and The Hepworth Wakefield. Each partner and their artists-in-residence worked closely with the schools to offer cultural experiences and training to upskill teachers in the use of arts and culture within their classroom, as well as to support with embedding content and inspiration from the cultural partners into in-curriculum learning.

In 2020, Burberry Inspire expanded to New York City, working with The CUNY Creative Arts Team, the American Ballet Theatre, Reel Works and Studio in a School NYC to support students from underrepresented communities. Arts and culture organisations who ordinarily wouldn’t work together collaborated internationally to champion creativity, share best practice and provide continuous support to students while schools were impacted through the pandemic.




Over the four years of the Burberry Inspire programme and as part of our longitudinal analysis, more than 26,500 surveys were collected from students analysed alongside over 200 one-to-one student interviews. Surveys were collected at the beginning and end of each school year to compare the effect of the programme in schools that took part (‘treatment schools’), with other local schools that did not (‘control schools’), to estimate the effect of the programme on students’ self-esteem, aspiration and internal locus of control (the extent to which students believe they control their own destiny).


The findings revealed that during the years in which activities were mostly delivered in person, the programme had a significant impact on the extent to which students in participating schools felt they were in control of their own destiny, as well as a significant effect on self-esteem in the years prior to the pandemic. Interviews with students who had a high level of engagement with the programme also revealed improvements in their own skills and competencies such as confidence, leadership, their focus in school, and their professional and educational aspirations.


Highlights from the results of the programme include:



As testament to these findings, our partners offered the following comments:


Heather MacRae, CEO at Ideas Foundation - ‘Burberry Inspire has been a ground-breaking project that has demonstrated how brands can invest in local cultural partnerships and inspire students and teachers through creative education initiatives. It is a model that demonstrates how organisations can really demonstrate social value and support social mobility.’


Dr Kirstie Hewlett, Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London – ‘From the students we spoke to, what was special about Burberry Inspire was the experience of taking part in novel or different activities that are “out of the ordinary”, achieving a sense of agency over creating something original, and the opportunity to meet and work with new people in school and with professional and skilled artists-in-residence.’


Leanne Kirkham, Director of Learning at the Northern Ballet - ‘Burberry Inspire has opened the door to arts and cultural opportunities for young people in Yorkshire who wouldn’t usually have access to such a wide range of art forms and experiences. Embedding the programme within the school curriculum allowed all pupils to engage through access to world class artists-in-residence in their school, and the chance to experience the culture on their doorstep, including theatre and gallery visits, residencies at cultural venues, and their own opportunity to perform in a professional venue. At Northern Ballet, we could not be prouder of the pupils we had the privilege of working with, trusting us to try something new, and finding new ways of being expressive and creative.’


Debbie Maturi, Manager at Leeds Young Film - ‘Leeds Young Film has found the Burberry Inspire project transformational in delivering meaningful screen-based activity within the school curriculum. The programme enabled us to empower young people, within whose lives the screen industries play a huge part, but who often have very little voice to engage with it meaningfully, to progress their future career development as well as their wider education and creative expression. We found young people with whom we continue to work and who are progressing through pathways lit up by Burberry Inspire and we are continuing our engagement with school leadership and teaching staff to deliver programmes of work using film to support both learning and attainment generally.’


Alexander Ferris, Associate Director Creative Engagement at Leeds Playhouse – ‘We have seen first-hand the benefits that creativity in schools can bring to young people and the educational environment - young people finding their voice, advocating for themselves, using their newfound skills to overcome personal challenges and to not only imagine a future filled with possibilities, but to start to build the resilience and confidence to make it a reality. For The Burberry Foundation to recognise its value and act on it speaks to the importance of creativity to the country as a whole. Through Burberry Inspire the power of creativity was recognised, embraced and shared with thousands of young people in Yorkshire and New York. We worked across the curriculum embedding creativity in a range of subjects from history and English to PE alongside supporting young people to further their creativity in art, music and drama. As one of the leading theatres in Yorkshire we are proud to have been a core part of this impactful and dynamic project alongside so many other great creative cultural organisations. Yorkshire is a powerhouse of creativity and Burberry Inspire has lit a fire that will continue through all the young people who we were lucky enough to co-create with.’


Victoria Boome, Head of Learning at The Hepworth Wakefield - ‘The Hepworth Wakefield is incredibly proud to have collaborated with so many inspiring young people, artists and educators during Burberry Inspire. It has been a privilege to contribute to the transformative nature of the programme, engaging over three quarters of students in their first visit to an art gallery or cultural organisation and embedding new approaches to visual arts and sculpture into the arts curriculum. The collaborative programme of artist residencies, visits to cultural organisations and creative careers activities created a regional community of fellow-students, artists and practitioners that developed into a global community during the pandemic, when projects moved to digital platforms, supporting the wellbeing of young people in Yorkshire and New York City, and inspiring them to continue their creative journeys while at home. The bold creativity and resilience of young people participating in Burberry Inspire will shape and inspire creative education and opportunities for local young people at The Hepworth Wakefield.’


Jeanne Houck, Executive Director at The CUNY Creative Arts Team - ‘The Burberry Inspire project has been a truly innovative project. Burberry's support made it possible for four leading New York City arts organisations to partner and collaborate over three years to deliver arts education in diverse mediums. Students had an amazing opportunity to learn about the arts, develop their creativity, and learn how skills and ideas generated through art can be a part of their career pathway in the future.’


Stephanie Walter, Co-Founder & Chief Program Officer at Reel Works - ‘The work our counterparts in the UK are doing is so inspiring that Reel Works would like to emulate their process, and work with younger students, tapping middle schoolers for their unlimited imagination, by using film to further develop their cultural and artistic literacy. Reel Works plans on visiting our counterparts in the North, so we can witness first-hand the process of engaging young students in visual storytelling!’


Alison Scott-Williams, President at Studio in a School - ‘Our three-year partnership with Burberry Inspire and its collaborative partners allowed Studio in a School to provide enriched visual arts instruction to students in New York City. The support was especially pivotal during the pandemic as we reimagined programming with the support of our colleagues both in New York City and the UK. Our students, artists, and staff found the program to embody the spirit of the "Inspire" theme! Thank you to The Burberry Foundation for the engaging partnership.’

Richard Toda, Artistic Manager at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) – ‘Through a time when arts educators were asking “What’s possible?”, Burberry Inspire was a galvanizing force that kept ABT and our cultural partners connected to our school communities. Burberry Inspire launched a partnership between ABT and the Northern Ballet, where we were able to share exciting works, videos, posts and conversations on dance that both connected our lessons in schools and enriched the experience for all of the students participating on both sides of the pond. A highlight was the creation of two original ballets which were virtually set by ABT choreographers Zhong-Jing Fang and Ethan Stiefel for Northern Ballet dancers, which served as inspiration for our students who were unable to experience live cultural events during the pandemic. Thank you Burberry Inspire!’




Burberry Inspire was designed to empower young people, providing them with the opportunity to increase their social capital through creative education and experiences with local institutions. The series of papers created by The Ideas Foundation, Bean Research and King’s College London support this goal by not only illustrating the impact, but also the replicability and the potential for scalability of this type of four-year creative education programme.


VP of Corporate Responsibility, Caroline Laurie commented: ‘Burberry Inspire has been such a special project and an incredible opportunity to work with an amazing collective of partners, students, schools and organisations to bring creativity to young people. The initiative was designed to be replicable and scalable, and we hope, with the help of these findings, that elements of Burberry Inspire will be introduced into school curriculums and benefit generations to come. Whilst this four-year iteration of Burberry Inspire has now come to a close, we remain committed to supporting communities around the world. As we enter the next phase of The Burberry Foundation’s support, we look forward to maintaining our focus on empowering young people and developing programmes for the future.’


To discover more about the positive social impact Burberry Inspire has had on communities in Yorkshire, New York and beyond, click here.


For visual assets, click here.

For the programme video, click here.


Notes to Editors


About The Ideas Foundation


Ideas are the foundation of any creative endeavour. The Ideas Foundation understands this and works with young people, regardless of their backgrounds to encourage them to explore and develop their own ideas. stimulate their innate creativity and give them a voice. As the brightest ideas don't come from one place, or one type of person.

We do this in a variety of ways. We:


About the Policy Institute at King’s College London


The Policy Institute at King’s College London addresses complex policy and practice challenges with rigorous research, academic expertise and analysis focused on improving outcomes. Their vision is to contribute to building an ecosystem that enables the translation of research to inform policy and practice, and the translation of policy and practice needs into a demand-focused research culture. This is achieved by bringing diverse groups together, facilitating engagement between academic, business, philanthropic, clinical and policy communities around current and future societal issues.


About the Northern Ballet


Breaking down barriers to world class ballet is at the heart of Northern Ballet’s mission. As the UK’s leading narrative ballet company, we tell unexpected stories to reach as many people and places as possible, through touring, digital work, children’s ballets, and the Academy which trains over 1000 people annually. Each year the Company’s Learning Team engage with over 18,000 people, challenging preconceptions about who can access ballet. Through Burberry Inspire, pupils engaged in dance workshops, watched full-length ballets at the theatre, and created their own dance films, leading on choreography, performance, and the design and creation of sets and costumes.


About Leeds Playhouse


Leeds Playhouse has been one of the UK’s leading producing theatres for more than 50 years; as an award-winning theatre it is a cultural hub, a place where people gather to tell and share stories and engage in world class theatre. It makes work which is pioneering and relevant, seeking out the best companies and artists to create inspirational theatre in the heart of Yorkshire. The theatre was honoured to receive the award for UK's Most Welcoming Theatre at the UK Theatre Awards 2022. As an organisation built by and for the people of Leeds, the teams at the Playhouse work hard every day to serve the community. This award is a celebration of everyone who helps to embrace the Leeds City Region and beyond.

A dedicated collaborator, Leeds Playhouse works with distinctive, original voices from across the UK. Its Artistic Development programme, Furnace, works with new and established theatre-makers, providing a creative space to refine their practice at all stages of their careers. The sector-leading Creative Engagement team works with over 12,000 people every year, building, running and sustaining projects that reach out to everyone from refugee communities to young people and students, older people and people with learning disabilities. At the Playhouse, there is always a way to get involved.


About Leeds Young Film


With an ethos that exploration of moving image brings cultural, educational, economic and social benefits for all, Leeds Young Film was founded in 1999 as part of Leeds City Council’s City Development Department and has since worked with over 200,000 children and young people. As part of Burberry Inspire, students worked with industry guests, who shared skills, knowledge and career stories, opening new ways of thinking about the future. Filmmaking workshops, including VR, documentary, music video, social media and vlogging, advanced students’ technical, problem-solving and communication skills. Students also contributed to a screening during the Film Festival and held a showcase celebrating their achievements. This relationship continues through the Leeds Young Film Festival and Independent Directions Film Festival.

About The Hepworth Wakefield


Named after Barbara Hepworth, one of the most important artists of the 20th century (who was born and brought up in Wakefield), this award-winning art gallery presents major exhibitions of the best international modern and contemporary art and is also home to an impressive compendium of modern British and contemporary art. The gallery’s learning programmes engage over 30,000 participants a year, supporting young people into employment in the creative industries and restoring vitality to our communities as we collectively navigate the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Through Burberry Inspire, pupils engaged in artist-led workshops at the gallery and in the classroom, after-school art clubs, creative projects during home learning and lockdowns, creative careers events, and collaborated with artists to produce large-scale sculpture and performances for the annual Cultural Runway celebrations.


About Creative Arts Team


Founded in 1974, the Creative Arts Team (CAT) at the City University of New York uses theatre and interactive drama as a catalyst to address academic and social issues. CAT serves more than 19,000 New Yorkers at 180 schools and community sites annually and has a staff of sixty educators and teaching artists who deliver programs to promote the education, growth, and well-being of pre-K through to 12th grade students, college students, teachers, parents and adults. CAT is part of the Office of K-16 Initiatives at The City University of New York, a unit that creates innovative pathways for young New Yorkers to envision and achieve success by engaging strategic partners in confronting systemic educational inequities.


About American Ballet Theatre


Recognized by an act of the United States Congress as America’s National Ballet Company®, American Ballet Theatre (ABT) is one of the great dance companies in the world. Few ballet companies equal ABT for its combination of size, scope and outreach. Founded in 1940, ABT performs for more than 300,000 people annually. It has made more than 30 international tours to 45 countries and has been sponsored by the State Department of the United States on many of these engagements. In keeping with its long-standing commitment to bringing the finest in dance to the widest possible audience, ABT has recently enjoyed triumphant successes with engagements in Hong Kong, S.A.R., China, Brisbane, Singapore, Oman and Paris.


About Reel Works


Founded in 2001, Reel Works mentors, inspires and empowers underserved NYC youth to share their stories through filmmaking, creating a springboard to successful careers in media and beyond. Using a one-on-one mentoring model, Reel Works challenges teens to tell their stories and have their voices heard. In turn, they build skills in literacy, leadership, and self-confidence to create productive futures. Reel Works serves 800 youth annually from middle school through high school, helping them graduate, get into college, and launch media careers.


About Studio in a School


Since 1977, Studio in a School has nurtured the creativity of over one million students through quality visual arts education taught by professional artists. At the same time, Studio has introduced tens of thousands of school administrators, classroom teachers, and family members to the intrinsic value of the arts to students’ learning and growth. Studio NYC engages over 30,000 students in all five boroughs each year, predominantly students who live in New York City’s most economically disadvantaged communities. The Studio Institute, now operating in six U.S. cities in addition to New York, focuses on research and dissemination of best practices in visual arts education as well as college and career readiness for teens and young adults.


About the Burberry Foundation


The Burberry Foundation was set up in 2008 by Burberry Group plc as an independent charity for general charitable purposes and grant-making. The Foundation Board comprises two Burberry representatives and an independent trustee. The Board meets four times a year and is responsible for upholding the Foundation’s vision and ensuring delivery of its charitable purpose.


Considering the varied social, environmental and economic impacts of the luxury industry on communities worldwide, the Foundation is dedicated to using the power of creativity to drive positive change in our communities and build a more sustainable future through innovation. It is therefore taking a long-term approach and focusing its grant-making on promoting the STEAM agenda, tackling educational inequality, reducing waste and supporting social and economic development.


About Burberry



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