Lives put into stage play
5:30am Monday 10th March 2014 in By Flicky Harrison, Feature writer
CHILDREN In Need’s Pudsey Bear dropped in to meet some creative children in this year’s Making It Art day.
Young people with disabilities have been working with the professional art workers from Reach Inclusive Arts, in Swindon, to create a show based on what they would like to do when they leave school.
Yvonne Chamberlain, operations manager at Reach, said: “It was a tremendous performance and an inspirational day. Pudsey was super and the young people enjoyed having him around.’’ An opportunities fair was hosted by the Swindon Advocacy Movement in the foyer of the Wyvern Theatre. Around 400 people flocked through the doors to learn about the activities that are accessible to young people with disabilities, before watching the show.
The day was opened by Swindon deputy mayor Teresa Page who, after her address, mingled with the young people.
Yvonne said: “She was a valued presence and invited the children to the Mayor’s parlour for tea.’’ Reach believes using drama helps young people explore work, leisure and lifestyle ambitions. Making It Art project is aimed at those preparing to leave school.
Yvonne said: “The workshops and performance allowed the young people to extend their knowledge through drama, opening up new options for them, and allowing their imaginations to take flight. Their ideas were exciting and original.’’ Some wanted to go into caring for others, some into sport or drama, and others wanted a catering career or to become a gardener. The show brought all these ideas together.
“The show itself was boisterous, and we had a lovely compere, Mark Bishop, who is a theatre practitioner himself. He was really dynamic,’’ said Yvonne.
She said parents attending the day thought it was so good to have an event that focussed on the aspirational, rather than the things that children with disabilities can not do.
“It as a really positive day and Reach would like to thank all our sponsors including Children In Need, Aster Communities and Nationwide for their continued support,’’ said Yvonne.