Wednesday, 18 November 2020

#POWEROFYOUTH BLOG By Sarah Shameti Southampton Children's Hospital



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…..

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