Wednesday, 18 November 2020

POWER OF YOUTH & CREATIVITY                       

BY I WILL YOUTH LEADER AMY WEBB



For many of us, 2020 was something we were looking forward to. Fresh starts, ideas etc, yet here we are, in the midst of a pandemic. However, with being asked to stay at home, cases of mental health have risen. According to Mind, a mental health charity,
 ‘more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) have said their mental health got worse during lockdown.’ 


Many people are finding it tough to keep themselves occupied. For me, keeping creative was proving quite a challenge. But that didn’t stop the industry from pulling together.  The company I’m apart of, Theatre for Life, had set up a 6 month creative workshops, to keep people being active and creative. From poetry, dancing, musical workshops, writing, wellbeing etc. there was always something going on every week. This was exactly what myself and other young or old people needed in this crucial time. Taking part in the workshops, challenged me to try out things I’ve never done before. They created something that was accessible in the times of need, to which I am thankful for. 



As I mentioned before, there were wellbeing workshops and these were held with Solent Mind, a local mental health charity. I found these workshops incredibly insightful and helpful, as sometimes my mind feels like an engine going into overdrive. So attending these workshops, learning new techniques, but also realising in my own body what is happening and acknowledging it, was a step forward. There are still times it wants to think of every tiny detail, but I'm now able to break down my mind, acknowledge and move forward with it. 

From everything that is and has happened, a new projected has ‘emerged’ from this. Working with the Southamptons Children’s Hospital and PEEER,  Project Youth Service, we're exploring hidden disabilities and important issues within this. I won’t share too much as you can find more about it on our instagram, Twitter and website, just search for ’Theatre for Life’. It is something super exciting and we all cannot wait for the finished product!





I think for me, what I would like for you to take away today, is look at art, but see past what your eyes can see. Dive into exploring new things, no one is right or wrong when creating as it’s your creation. This is something that is fantastic for your emotional and mental well being, which at times like this, can be taken for granted. There is no pressure to do anything big or small, just do something that you enjoy doing, even the simplest things like putting on music and dancing, or just listening, can help take your mind off things and calm you. Something like that a day, can have that much of an impact.

Written by Amy Webb, Theatre for Life and I will Youth Leader





#POWEROFYOUTH BLOG By Sarah Shameti Southampton Children's Hospital

 #POWEROFYOUTH 

 #POWEROFPARTNERSHIPS 

Theatre for Life have been working collaboratively with the NHS and Southampton Children's Hospital to create high - quality opportunities in the arts. Through the Emerge project we have been reaching young patients with long term health conditions to take part, share learning and achieve shared goals. 


The community collaboration has enabled Theatre for Life to diversify the young people they work with, supporting them to be part of meaningful youth social action. 






We have been very fortunate to have forged a strong relationship with Sarah Shameti - Youth Worker at Southampton Children's Hospital 


Read Sarah's blog about our current Emerge project and collaboration. 










I feel a bit of a fraud gate-crashing with the young people as they support #Powerofyouth by sharing their own powerful experiences through this Social Media take over, yet I want to steal just a few paragraphs to share the impact these young people have had on me.


I have worked with young people for nearly 20 years, a career path driven by my own struggles in my late teens, and my determination to turn these years of overcoming challenges, navigating health systems and understanding the importance of choice, into experience that may positively enable others too.


Working with young people living with long-term health conditions at Southampton Children’s Hospital over the last 18 months, has so often left me feeling like the one who has been empowered.  The challenges these young people face are daily, the hurdles often too tall to jump, but that doesn’t stop them climbing and finding a way to get to the other side, their resilience may look like a suit of armour, but inside that protection is a teddy bear, like all of us with feelings and fears, just a whole lot of determination to not give in.


These young people, living with conditions that may indeed threaten their life are truly living their life with every drop of energy they have, nothing is more true than the power of these youths.


The Theatre for Life, Emerge project has given the young people the opportunity to explore their own relationships with themselves, their condition and their confidence; it has given them the platform to find their own way of expressing themselves and feel valued in this process.  These young people are bringing so many important issues to the surface, and emerging stronger, braver and truly skilled and talented actors.   I hope other young people also feel inspired to investigate their creativity as a way of finding themselves.  


This partnership between the PEEER youth Service at Southampton Children’s Hospital and Theatre for Life is a precious drop of water, that will hopefully show the ocean of opportunities there are in working together in creative ways to make a difference….Watch this space something wonderful is EMERGING…..






POWER OF YOUTH & CREATIVITY                        BY I WILL YOUTH LEADER AMY WEBB For many of us, 2020 was something we were looking fo...