When you walk through the front door of The Big House you will be with other young people from similar backgrounds who will be going on this journey with you. You will become a member of The Big House and you will access opportunities and receive support and assistance from the team.
It’ll be fun but it will also be hard work – you’ll be part of a team that will challenge and support you, listen to you and learn from you, and help you understand things about yourself that you didn’t know before.
That means when you walk out of the front door, you’ll be a stronger, wiser, bolder person than when you walked in.
Each member takes part in a 12 week programme comprising:
- 4 weeks of workshops (3 each week)
- 4 week rehearsal process
- 4 weeks of performances
THE OPEN HOUSE PROJECT
At the start of the Open House Project we meet with each participant to identify the specific needs within the group; this will dictate the content of Life Skills workshops. Issues may include: Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Gang Membership, Engaging with the Police, Money Management and Healthy Relationships.
Young people leave care with no or very few basic life skills. We will address deficits through practical workshops including CV Writing, Accessing Support Services, and Healthy Eating.
Our workshops are designed to increase confidence, reduce feelings of isolation, broaden the ability to express feelings and develop aspirations for the future. Our workshops encourage self-awareness, communication and collaboration. We build our membership’s core skills, which are readily transferable to the workplace.
During this time, members also work with our Engagement Manager to begin planning their future goals and targets for a return to training, education and employment after the Open House Project.
From the workshops, The Open House Project emerges. The members’ own stories inspire ideas for our work and we commission exciting and innovative professional writers to work with them and to develop the material into a production. Following a rehearsal process, a performance opens to the public.
The project concludes after 12 weeks, and we work individually with each young person to plan their immediate targets for a return to training, education and employment. Members continue to receive support with their goals for 12 months following the end of the project.
Once you have completed The Big House Programme you become a member and have access to ongoing support from The Big House team and partnering organisations. This includes opportunities for further creative projects, such as Writing, Directing and Filmmaking. We have a wide variety of opportunities to continue to be involved with The Big House, such as theatre trips, socials and masterclasses.
Our members are the most powerful advocates of The Big House. Some members who show strong leadership skills, who are charismatic and have the ability to inspire, may want to stay on at The Big House and be given the opportunity to lead their own workshops and become Buddies to new members. They will also go out into the local community to find those who would benefit from involvement with The Big House.