Our Work //

At the heart of Sour Lemons is the belief that any disadvantage in life can become an advantage. In other words, any sour lemon can become lemonade. We have developed a leadership programme that nurtures young creative leaders from underrepresented backgrounds.
Our Young Leaders have achieved great things but we’ve found they are still coming up against systemic barriers in the organisations they work within. Queue Sour Lemons 2.0. We’re now also working to dismantle those barriers and create environments where all young creatives can thrive with our Enabling Environments work.

Nurturing Leaders //

Our leadership programme for young creatives is unique everytime we deliver it. We adapt to each person and let our creatives lead us on the course content that will benefit thor personal and professional development.

Making LEMONADE //

Making LEMONADE is our flagship leadership programme for 18-25 year old creatives who have experienced a sour lemon (or two) in life. Following our very successful pilot in 2017 we’ve been busy collaborating with our Alumni and partners and made a bigger (and badder) version for 2020 – despite a global pandemic!

Thank you to everyone who has contributed towards our journey, this wouldn’t be possible without you! A special thank you to Arts Council England ‘Transforming Leadership’ Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund ‘Lived Experience’ Fund.

Watch this space for young leader application requests for the next programme – going live March 2021.

Enabling Environments //

Moving away from diversity schemes that are designed to ‘slot people in’ and starting to dismantle the system designed to keep them out.

Big Squeeze //

The Big Squeeze - Illustration by Lizzie Reid

Going through many applications and a judging panel, our three strategic partners were careful selected to work with us, over two years, to turn their Anti-Racist Statements into Action Plans. Throughout the Big Squeeze we will apply our methodology to each partner individually to plan, action and measure the impact of our work. We’ll be transparent and honest about the process, announcing our progress to the press every six months.


Zesting Workshop //

The Big Squeeze - Illustration by Lizzie Reid

We’ve redesigned our half-day workshops into a six-month zesting process. This helps organisations to shed the top layer. Our Zesting workshops look at an organisation at a top-level to see what systemic barriers may be affecting the people working there, who holds power and how equity is disseminated throughout the company and most importantly, what you can do to begin dismantling barriers.

Accountability //

We’re always working to hold ourselves and the people we work with accountable. This is essential for progress, ensuring we are moving forward and making changes which will positively affect others. Across our work we ask people to make pledges for change, which we revisit with them at a later date. See pledges.