Families with children 0 – 15 across Frome and Shepton Mallet communities.
Family workshops in circus Skills, VJ ing and drumming Visits to the theatre to see the Mujenko Drummers and Jolly Jumps Czech physical theatre.
The Merlin theatre, Frome Whitstone School
February- July 2008
106 parents and children
Adults with children aged 0-15
Aim: Create a model of PSA and Arts partnership working through a programme of positive arts activities for young people and their families in Shepton Mallet and Frome.
Produce a case study for the National PSA program
Engage and retain (hard to reach) families in a program of positive activities
Improve self esteem, confidence and communication skills of all participants
Encourage participants to engage with school and community settings in new ways
From the point of view of both the PSAs and the Theatre this project was a ground breaking success and had a big impact on those parents and children that were involved, succeeding in its remit of engaging hard to reach families
The PSAs reported:
Parents now have an increased knowledge of how to have fun and work together and join in with others in a group. Also to be supportive of each other and to play and communicate with their children. They also know how to work as a group supporting each other and involving everyone by encouraging and praising.
Though many participants initially expressed hesitation and even anxiety at coming to this type of activity; parents now have a more positive attitude towards coming to the theatre and taking part in performing arts activity with their child; the majority of parents and children wanted to do these activities again and asked for more of these types of opportunities.
Based on the Frome group’s trip to the theatre the Merlin have created a crib sheet for first time theatre goers on ‘what to expect at the theatre’.
Each Family received a film and photographic record of their part in the project
One PSA and two local artists are now trained as Arts Award Advisers to support 11 – 25 plus yr olds from the participating communities to undertake the Arts Award Bronze
(NQF Level 1)
Overall 106 parents and children benefited from positive activities.
One family whose children have never taken part in any outside school activities and whose school attendance is very poor said that coming to these groups has helped them all to listen to each other, have fun together and build confidence. The father said “I have never had so much fun with my children before”
A mother who has a son with ADHD was very concerned about coming along to the groups, but she was amazed to see her son join in and take part. “He enjoyed taking responsibility for all the filming and photo taking of which he did a wonderful job.”
Children’s Comments after the workshops
‘Happy’ x 3 ‘Like I’m an expert’ ‘Had a fun time all round!’
‘Brilliant, great fun,
‘Tired! More relaxed’ ‘Confident’ ‘Pleased that I went in the middle of the circle’
Both PSAs would like to run more arts activities along the same lines and to continue the Arts Award with support from the secondary schools in future years. Funding is needed to roll out the programme with the Merlin and with other arts venues in order to engage further communities.
A full evaluation report is available from Spaeda.