Building positive relationships
The Lowry, innovative arts based engagement programme
Since 2015, The Taylor Family Foundation has provided funding for an innovative arts based engagement programme at the Lowry in Salford Quays, working with young parents, young carers and families with young children.
Through weekly sessions at The Lowry and Sure Start Centres in the last year 35 young parents (and their 40 children under the age of 3) have worked with professional writers, musicians and performers to engage in creative activities as a way of developing confidence in parenting skills and equipping them with tools to build positive relationships with their children. The project helps the young parents to increase their play, literacy and communication skills, as well as those of their children, whilst also improving their self-esteem and emotional well-being.
This year, working in partnership with Salford Young Carers two pieces of theatre were developed. ‘Behind Closed Doors’ a performance which highlights the courage shown by many young carers throughout the Country, and ‘Who Cares?’ a piece of verbatim theatre where the actors used young carers exact words and experiences on stage, to illustrate what day-to-day life is like as a young carer. The performance has since gone on a national tour with an unprecedented 23 schools and venues requesting a tour visit. The programme has helped those involved to raise awareness of young carers issues, developed their self-confidence and key employability skills as well as improving their mental and emotional wellbeing. During Summer and Autumn 2017, the funding will enable The Lowry to work with young carers to design accompanying educational resources, workshop templates and CPD packages for professionals that can be delivered alongside the tour.
‘Our First Lowry’ family theatre programme
Families were invited from wards in Salford with high levels of deprivation, to attend three theatre performances through the course of the year. For the first visit transport to The Lowry, refreshments and free tickets were provided to remove all barriers to theatre access. For the second, the families were responsible for making their own way and tickets remained free of charge and for the third families were responsible for booking their tickets (which were heavily subsidised) to familiarise them with the booking experience for future visits. Overall 396 attended the first visit, 242 attended the second and 135 attended the third. Sixteen families (64 individuals) attended all three shows. None of the attendees had ever been independently to a theatre as a family before and following their visit 100% said they would attend another production at a Theatre in the future.
All the outreach programmes have been very successfully breaking down barriers to families and young people who may have previously felt that arts and culture is not accessible to them.