The Big House have excellent partnerships with agencies across the social care sector. Our success and commitment to working with the most difficult to reach young people has inspired us to offer a unique style of training to professionals, facilitated by our members. The use of drama has a powerful place in learning and development, and can inspire fresh approaches to methods of working.
How do we do it?
We are adept at creating a safe creative space which will allay the fears of even the most reticent of people. The Big House members then deliver accessible drama workshops in which professionals have the opportunity to interact with real life situations that they will face in their practice. Through improvisation the group have the opportunity to discuss and revisit the scenarios, analyse how they dealt with the situations, and how they might change their practice. It’s interactive training that gives people a real insight into the world they are going to form relationships within.
Peer to Peer Drama Workshops
The young people who have completed our Open House Project deliver drama workshops in which they engage and educate other youngsters, raising awareness about the challenges young people in the community can face and imparting the skills they have learnt through the Big House and their knowledge from the street. The members lead drama workshops, and can discuss an agenda of topics around positive change, decision making or issues that the organisation have identified as problematic. The impact is strengthened by the fact that the young people can relate to their facilitators who will have experienced similar problems.
For the last two years we have delivered drama workshops at the Hertfordshire Leaving Care Event.
In 2015 When The Big House team arrived they were met by a group of 40 care leavers, many of whom were disinterested, disengaged, unwelcoming and cynical. However, as the session progressed the entire group began to engage and through the use of drama many opened up about their feelings of abandonment and isolation. On leaving, the young people lined up to hug The Big House team and expressed a desire to start their own drama group. Feedback revealed that three young people rated the workshop 9 out of 10 and the other 37 rated it 10 out of 10. We have stayed in touch with some of the girls from this group who have subsequently come to a Big House production, researched our model and set up their own weekly drama group with our support.
Yesterday’s care leaver event was amazing, I have had so many conversations with some of the other young people today who attended saying how great it was and how nice it is to hear from others who have been where we are now and have made it through the other side! I never knew a bunch of complete strangers could walk in and connect with me/us almost instantly especially when I’m usually a very closed book.
Hertfordshire Leaving Care Event 2016
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and bookings.
“Working with the Big House was such a treat! The taster session provided an amazing opportunity for the women to put aside their day-to-day lives and become immersed in drama and play.” Safia Marcano, Lead Practitioner, Pause Project
“We have tried to get this 18 – year old care leaver to talk about the extreme domestic violence that she has suffered over a number of years. She has just shut down and refused to talk. You have managed in one workshop to break through those barriers and for the first time she has opened up and is asking for help. I am astounded. Thank you.” Kwame Dallas,Teacher, Cressey College
“TBH delivers a high quality of theatre – evidenced by PHOENIX. They don’t build up or undersell their members; the work they do is genuinely good quality. TBH have struck a good balance of expectations and understanding of young people’s circumstances and assisting them to overcome barriers. They are not a soft touch and do let participants know that there are expectations of them on the project, but they are understanding of the challenges they face and offer crucial help through difficult times. Even small things like expenses for food and travel are helpful. Alongside this they offer a good level of practical support and have good communications with other agencies. They have great retention and engagement with hard to reach young people.” “You have done so much for TT . It is something quite extraordinary.” Robert Meteyard, Former Strategic Group Manager at Independent Futures Islington (Leaving Care team)
“I was totally bowled over by last night’s performance. I have worked in child protection for over 10 years dealing with some of the most distressing issues, however not often have I felt so emotionally moved by young people’s circumstances. I was so impressed by their tenacity and talent.” Sophie Humphreys, Professional Advisor to Safeguarding Children Board at Hackney Council, Director of the Pause Project.