We support people with learning disabilities who are often socially isolated or financially disadvantaged to take part in accessible arts activities, including drama, film, music and dance. We produce issue-based performances and films to raise awareness about the lives of people with learning disabilities and the things that are important to them. We also deliver drama-based training to health and social care professionals to help them gain a better understanding of the needs of people with learning disabilities and the barriers they often face. The arts activities we provide in the community create an opportunity for our performers and other learning disabled artists to showcase their talents and to develop their social and support networks. As well as improving health and wellbeing by creating volunteer opportunities for people with learning disabilities, the people we support on our programmes are able to develop a wide range of skills, including communication and team work, and this helps to improve their confidence and their employability.
- We hold monthly theatre and live music nights in Newcastle and work in partnership with other learning disability arts groups to showcase new work. Volunteers with learning disabilities help to organise and run these events.
- We run a Performing Arts Academy and a Music Academy where people with learning disabilities meet weekly to develop original music and theatre, and to work towards their own live performances
- We are often commissioned to produce issue based theatre, film and training resources, to educate and raise awareness (e.g. we were recently commissioned by an NHS Trust to devise a performance that explores the Mental Capacity Act)
- We support a learning disability band called 'The Twist' to devise original music and to perform at gig nights and events.
- We support 8 young people who are NEET (not in education training or employment) to meet once a week to develop skills in theatre and film production and to work alongside their more experienced peers. This helps longer-term members of our theatre company to develop skills in creative mentoring and workshop facilitation.