• Image: Ben's Den, CAST-Off, August 2020 1/6
  • Image: botanical drawing, CAST-Off, August 2020 2/6
  • Image: boat building, CAST-Off, August 2020 3/6
  • Image: natural pigment making, CAST-Off, August 2020 4/6
  • Image: CAST-Off, August 2020 5/6
  • Image: origami boat racing, CAST-Off, August 2020 6/6

In response to the pandemic, the CAST-Off programme offered creative activities for children and families off-site and out of doors, replacing CAST’s usual summer ‘Think and Make’ workshops.

CAST-Off 2020 provided a self-guided trail for families, offering creative things to discover and do along the Cober Valley in Helston– from Lowertown, through the Moors beside the river, to the boating lake, Penrose and Loe Bar.

CAST’s learning specialist Lucy Grant designed a special activity map and families were encouraged to pick up a free map, sketchbook and pencil from the CAST building and set off to find out more about the history, geography and nature of this special place.

In addition, on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout August, artists were stationed at key locations to inspire invention and making. 

Given the overwhelmingly positive response to the first year’s activities, CAST-Off returned in the summer of 2021.

In August 2021 there were two main bases for the programme of artist-led creative activities, which again took place on Tuesdays and Saturdays – the walled garden in the National Trust’s Penrose estate and Ben’s Den, in a little wood on the edge of town near the Bulwark housing estate. Lucy Grant designed a beautiful new activity map, with a number of challenges and tasks and small prizes for children who completed them.

In August 2022 the CAST-Off programme again took place again in the walled garden at Penrose, and CAST also developed a new programme, CAST-Away, which took place at four different locations on the Lizard peninsula. Drawing on aspects of local heritage and the natural environment, CAST-Away took a range of creative activities directly to local communities, with sessions at Polurrian Cove, Poltesco, Gweek and Porthoustock.

In 2023, CAST-Off returned to the walled garden at Penrose, with additional sessions also taking place at Coronation Gardens in Helston and on Gunwalloe Beach on the Lizard. Prior to this, CAST’s learning team ran CAST-Off sessions for local primary schools, where Lucy Grant’s newly-designed activity maps were handed out ready for the summer programme.

The development of the CAST-Off programme was enabled by the generous support of the Garcia Family Foundation.