by Ali Franks, Drama Development Worker
We are planning some exciting projects as part of our Families First Programme here at Valley and Vale. Looking to extend the work that we have built up over recent years to aim to engage not only the young people but their wider families as well.
We are excited to be putting together a Drama Programme for young people with Drama p Syndrome. The aim of this project initially is to work with a group of Aspergers Young people using Drama training as a way of building up social and communication skills. Many of these young people can fall behind in social development as they can find socio-emotional exchanges difficult to understand and navigate. The value of using Drama in this context is that it allows us to break down social skills into smaller steps in order to learn and then practice in a safe and fun environment. We hope to develop this programme to then work creatively with parents, allowing them a creative space for connecting with other parents in similar situations using drama and creative processes for self-expression and personal development.
We are also in the process of planning a creative arts project with Women’s Aid. The “I am…” Project is for women and families who are escaping domestic abuse situations. Leaving an abusive relationship can be the start of a new life for many families, and building this new life on a strong understanding of self, belief in one’s validity and feeling empowered to make choices and decisions are vital in breaking the cycle of domestic abuse for both mothers and children. The “I am…” Project aims to use creative arts and well-being activities to help these families to discover their inner strength, to empower women to believe in themselves and to challenge children and young people to explore inner beliefs and values that will affect their behaviour choices.
We will be continuing our ever strengthening partnership with the EOTAS (Education other than at school) Department in Bridgend through running Drama for Emotional Health workshops with the Key Stage 3 “Building 2 Progress” students and possibily developing a Drama Project with the Key Stage 4 students aimed at promoting positive dialogue about the issues faced by these young people, by engaging their families using Forum Theatre.
Please watch this space for updates as these projects develop!