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  • A school group visit Turner Contemporary
    Photo credit: Jason Pay 
  • Young Arts Leaders from Turner Contemporary's ambitious Art Inspiring Change learning programme
    Photo credit: Jason Pay 
  • Turner Contemporary's Portfolio Competition
    Photo credit: Jason Pay 

Turner Contemporary is asking people across Kent to support their Learning Programme by donating their old £5 notes to the gallery now that they have ceased to be legal tender.

The Bank of England said 150 million of its paper £5 notes - the equivalent of about three for every adult in the UK - remain with the public[1]. Across Kent alone there could be millions of pounds stashed behind sofas, left in purses or stored in piggy banks.

As a charity, Turner Contemporary relies on donations to support its work. The gallery’s Learning Programme reaches schools, children, young people and adults across Kent. In 2016, it engaged with nearly 10,000 children from Kent schools.

Here are just some of the examples of what your £5 could support at Turner Contemporary[2]:

  • Ten five pound notes (£50) will pay for 10 local children to enjoy a free family workshop at the gallery
  • 200 five pound notes (£1,000) will pay for a year’s supply of art materials for our learning programme.
  • 2500 five pound notes (£12,500) would support our Annual Competition, Portfolio which offered 1000’s of children the opportunity to exhibit their work alongside JMW Turner this year

In October 2016, research about the social value of the gallery’s learning activities identified that pupils that participated felt excited and inspired, gained confidence, created new connections and friendships and were able to better express their views and ideas.

Following a recent visit to Turner Contemporary a Key Stage 2 pupil from Vale View Primary school said; “Before I visited the gallery I thought art was just painting. Now I know it is so much more…”

Applying social return on investment methodology, the research further identified that in one year, for every £1 invested by Turner Contemporary, £5.15 of net social value is created for participants in the Formal Education programme. On this basis, for every £5 donation made, £25.75 of social value could be created for participants.

Turner Contemporary’s Head of Development, Clare Millett said:

“All of the donations we receive go straight towards supporting our work and form an essential part of building our tomorrow. By donating an old fiver – or several old fivers - you will be making an invaluable contribution and be helping us inspire children, young people and adults. ”

The old £5 notes began to be replaced by a new £5 note bearing the face of Winston Churchill last September. This marked the start of the Bank of England’s new series of polymer notes.  

The new £10 and £20 notes are next, with the new polymer £20 note featuring JMW Turner, Turner Contemporary’s namesake. The announcement of the new £20 was made at the gallery in April 2016 and it will enter circulation in 2020.

How to get involved:

People can donate their old five pound notes at Turner Contemporary in the galleries before the end of August.

Alternatively, get involved in campaign and donate five pounds via Turner Contemporary’s website

[1]As of 4 May 2017

[2] All values are approximate 

Posted by: Turner Contemporary on Mon 8 May 2017