18 young people aged 16 -25 attended an 'Employability and Confidence' programme in 2016. The 'Employability and Confidence' programme was designed by Fluid Motion Theatre to help raise the aspirations of those at risk of offending in the North Hampshire Area.
The programme worked with young people, specifically those "Not in Education, Employment, or Training" (NEET's) and those at risk of offending who were referred to the programme via local organisations and services including the North Hampshire Youth Offending Team (YOT). The programme ran for ten weeks, from 10am -12pm every Tuesday at The West End Centre in Aldershot from 2nd February until Tuesday 5th April 2016.
The focus of this programme was about highlighting negative behavior but more so learning how to deal with it, through role-play and drama based exercises. There was more of an emphasis on stress and anger management through drama-therapy techniques to help young people identify destructive behavior before it becomes a serious problem. The programme developed self-confidence, giving young people aspirations and hope where it may have been destroyed. As a result, the young people enhanced their employability skills to ensure they have the skills to help gain employment, which will hopefully reduce re-offending.
The sessions were all practical and did not focus on reading or writing, therefore the young people were able to take part immediately. This meant that everyone achieved something positive in the very first session and felt part of a safe and positive group. Many of the young people took it on themselves to lead some of the warm ups at the start of the session each week. This gave them a chance to put into practice what they had learnt and work at communication between peers.
Most of the group explored their own backgrounds and voiced what it was that had caused them to offend or think about offending. Although it was hard to get them to change behaviours they all took part in exercises that got them to reflect through structured role play.
Overall each young person that took part went on a journey that gave them new skills, ideas and a belief within themselves that they can achieve.
The ideal aim of the project is that those young people will walk out into their local community with an increased level of self-esteem and positivity. This will impact on the local community as those young people might want to positively engage with it in the future. It also helps to raise awareness of other local organisations and services that may be able to offer support and guidance for those young people.
The community were also invited to a celebration of the achievements of the young people who took part at The West End Centre which allowed the public to take pride in the talents and achievements of the young people within their community.
‘This wasn’t what I was expecting, I look forward to drama each week.’ – Ryan, 17
‘I never knew I could talk in front of people like I have done on this course.’ – Emma, 18
‘It’s a good course, I would do it again.’
‘I didn’t know I had so much confidence. I just need to think about using it better.’