Brighton’s Sophie Giblin is finalist at national youth volunteering awards

Sophie Giblin, creator of the Kollektiv Gallery in Brighton, has been named as one of just three finalists in her category for the vInspired National Awards.

Sophie has been selected from hundreds of nominations across the country to be named as a finalist in the most outstanding social entrepreneur category. Sophie’s Kollektiv Gallery aims to revive the local high street, while providing emerging artists with entrepreneurial skills and an opportunity to sell their work.

The project is made up of 15 artists who take over empty shops and runs free art workshops. They also provide exhibition space and workshops for local artists to help them make money from their work.

Sophie, who is a recent art graduate, was inspired by many of her fellow artists, who believed they needed to give up art in order to make enough money to survive. She felt they had a strong role to play in bringing back energy and diversity to Brighton’s recession hit high street.

Sophie said: “It’s such an honour to be named a national finalist for the vInspired National Awards. Kollektiv Gallery’s first pop-up exhibition was a huge success and showcased 21 emerging local artists. It held free workshops for the public and there were over 3000 visitors.

“We’ve done so many fun community events from having the kids from the youth centre come down and paint their skateboards to having old ladies come in to make pompoms. It’s really captured the attention of somewhere that hasn’t had a gallery previously.”

Sophie was originally nominated for the award by Caroline Lucas MP who highlighted how Sophie was tackling two important issues in Brighton, reviving our high streets, and giving entrepreneurial training to Brighton’s talented young artists

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion said:

“Sophie is inspirational and is helping to tackle important issues in Brighton by helping to regenerate our high streets, encouraging entrepreneurial skills and providing training for young people. I wish her every success in Thursdays final.

Sophie raised £3,600 via Kickstarter to open the first Kollektiv gallery in an empty high street shop last month and has plans to rejuvenate even more recession-hit, unwillingly abandoned, dusty and forgotten locations with wonderful artwork. The next pop up gallery/shop will have an open brief for students from schools, colleges and universities.

Kollektiv is made up of 15 keen and active DIY, hardworking artists, crafty designers and incredible illustrators, who inspire and encourage other artists to make more, exhibit more and sell more. Sophie has set the gallery up to give something back too - when you pop into Kollektiv you'll find artists working on their practice, sharing their gifts and skills with one another and their public.

Following the success of Kollektiv Gallery’s pop-up exhibition in a former Kemp Town butcher’s shop the Kollectiv Gallery plans a new exhibition, scheduled for May 2014. This opportunity is open to University of Brighton students and recent graduates.

In association with RBS Early Careers, the annual vInspired National Awards celebrate the achievements and dedication of young volunteers and youth workers. They aim to challenge negative attitudes towards young people by highlighting the creativity, motivation and generosity of some of the most inspiring young volunteers in the country.

The national award winners will be revealed at a star studded awards ceremony at the Indig02 in London on 27th March 2014.

Notes to editors

For more information, please call Mike Eames on 07590 050 565

The vInspired National Awards will take place at the Indig02 Arena in London, March 27, 2014

vInspired helps young people to improve their skills, confidence and employability by giving them opportunities to do good things through volunteering and social action. It provides a range of online and off-line programmes to suit every young person – regardless of their commitments, interests and abilities. It makes volunteering fun, rewarding and easy!

The vInspired National Awards recognise and celebrate young people (under 25) and youth workers who have made an extraordinary contribution to their communities through volunteering.  vInspired believes in giving young people the recognition they deserve and we want everyone to know about the great things young people are doing. 

Three national finalists have been selected from the regional winners, with the overall winner in each category to be announced at the vInspired National Awards ceremony

For further information about the vinspired National Awards:

Contact: Janqui Mehta at vInspired on 07825 597873,

or Georgia Powell at vInspired on 0207 960 7075,


Join The Discussion