Katie* has accessed our Children in Need funded Rising Stars project since its very first session which was delivered virtually during the January 2021 lockdown.
Katie was very enthusiastic about attending however when the service transitioned back to face-to-face we noticed that the sessions became more difficult for her. She struggled with her confidence, and preferred to sit on the sidelines watching and observing what the others were doing rather than take part.
The performing arts team knew that Katie had a passion for drama, and worked hard to find a way to involve her in the sessions, asking her to write prompts and short scenes for the others to act out. After a couple of months of her doing this and receiving positive feedback from her peers and staff, she amazed everyone by volunteering to perform one day.
With support from her peers, she stood up and performed a small scripted piece. This was the first time anyone had heard her speak and her talent began to shine. She had a real gift for understanding the emotions behind the characters she was taking on.
Katie has now become a role model for others in the group with her commitment and skill, as well as her laid-back and approachable attitude. The difference between her now and the young person we saw at the start of the project is unbelievable.
We are delighted to say that her confidence has grown to the point that she performed as the main character in a performance of Bugsy Malone to a combined audience of over 400 people at the ARC in Stockton. She is also in the early stages of pursuing a career in performing arts which we are delighted to be able to support her with.
*Names have been changed.