Youth Homelessness Prevention Show
The EFT Youth Homelessness Prevention Schools Tour was a partnership project with the Meaningful Occupation Project (MOP). We toured an original devised production and workshop around 9 venues, reaching more than 500 young people, with a cast of homeless, ex-homeless and vulnerably housed actors.
The production was aimed at young people of year 10 and upwards and raised issues of substance and alcohol misuse, family breakdown, poor relationships and bullying. It also highlighted the dangers and perils of life on the streets or in a squat. Research was carried out prior to the production and the current main causes of youth homelessness were incorporated into the plot.
Forum theatre allows young people to be really engaged in the drama and to problem solve, test their own understanding and ask questions of the characters.
The project was successful in developing the personal skills of the cast through an ambitious and demanding project which required a high level of team work, communication and presentation skills as well as asking the group to work under the pressure of having a job to do.
The cast rose to the challenge, often despite difficult personal circumstances, and as a result fed back to us that they found the experience worthwhile and beneficial. Many of the cast members have gone on to talk about doing similar projects, going back to college or feeling inspired to make things happen in their lives.
When asked ‘What did you get out of the project?’ participants wrote:
“Doing something that has meaning and purpose.”
“Seeing people learn and grow within the team.”
“A sense of achievement!”
“Perseverance and gratification.”
“Encouragement in believing in the abilities I have to offer.”
When asked ‘What did you like about the project?’ participants wrote:
“Overcoming barriers and improving my self-esteem and confidence.”
“Engagement with children – overcoming barriers and being scared.”
“It helped build my social skills when working with other people.”
“The way we showed the kids the realities of being homeless and them being interested.”
“Having people around you who are understanding.”
This project was funded by the Devon Community Foundation and Exeter City Council.