Care leavers put on an inspiring show

25 July 2016

A group of young people who are leaving care recently staged a theatre production to raise awareness of homelessness.

With the support of Youth Connexions and the Leaving Care Service, the group of care leavers decided to highlight the issue of homelessness through drama.

The #Productions project held its first session in early April 2016 and the young people and staff involved worked tirelessly to co-create and rehearse the show: ‘Hidden homeless’.  The story combines a number of people’s real life experiences of homelessness, with a particular emphasis on young people and their perspective. The young people were supported to shape the story and develop their acting skills by the Townsend Productions company who also directed the performance.

Hidden Homeless Image For YC Site

The performance took place on 27 June 2016 in front of a select audience of over 30, some of whom were attendees of other Youth Connexions youth work projects at the Breaks Manor Youth Centre who found the concept and the message inspiring.

One member of the audience said that the production was “Absolutely wonderful! Well done to all involved”. Another, eager for more from the group, said, ”So good – what’s next?” The young people were praised for their dramatic skills by another member of the audience who said they had ”fantastic commitment to their roles”.

The young people involved gained a number of positive outcomes as a result of the youth work project. One of the cast members noticed that their resilience had improved, stating that he had “learnt more about taking constructive criticism rather than walking away”.

Another young person recognised how the show had helped her confidence, stating that prior to this there was “no way would I have got up on stage”.  Increased confidence and enjoyment of the project also led another performer to say that they now “want to volunteer and look for more drama groups”.

The Youth Connexions youth worker leading the project said that “It was a pleasure working with the group and seeing them develop in confidence and hold it together as a team to produce a perfect performance”.

Youth Connexions supports care leavers up to the age of 21 through its One Stop Shops and the Care Leaver Hubs. Youth Connexions runs youth work projects across the county to support young people to develop their personal and social skills, and independent living skills, including projects targeting young people in care. For more information about Youth Connexions youth work and projects in your area click here.

For further information on the work of the Leaving Care Service, please contact rebecca.haasch@hertfordshire.gov.uk.