School may be out for summer, but the holidays still provide an opportunity for young people to learn valuable life lessons.
The Swan Theatre in Worcester recently hosted a session for young people to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.
The session was held in partnership with Worcestershire Children First’s Get Safe team alongside Ready Steady Worcestershire’s Holiday Activities and Food programme.
Professional theatre company Alter Ego performed an hour-long performance, based on a true story, about a young girl called Chelsea who was groomed and sexually exploited.
The performance was powerful and highlighted how to spot the subtle signs of someone trying to befriend you to exploit you, how to stay safe online and the risks from people you don’t know.
The performance was followed by a question and answer session where the Get Safe team answered questions from young people about what they had seen in the performance, what to do and who to tell if they were concerned about their own safety or that of a friend.
In the second half of the day, the young people were treated to a technical tour of the theatre, getting hands on back stage to learn about lighting, sound and the general backstage running of a theatre show.
Once they had learned what happens behind the curtain, it was time to get onto to the stage as the Young REP company led a drama workshop to give the young people a chance to test out their acting and movement skills.
Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member for Children & Families for Worcestershire County Council said, “It was yet another successful theatre event for the partnership, it’s a great way for our young people to learn about an important topic they need to be aware of. I’d like to thank Worcester Theatres for their incredible support with this event, it ran smoothly and it was a perfect balance; the young people engaged well with the technical tour and workshops.”
Owen Harper, Creative Producer and Young REP Artistic Director said: “Being able to provide free arts education to free school meal children has been an absolute pleasure; Worcester Theatres couldn’t be happier! Working with Worcestershire Children First to deliver this has been a highlight of our summer!”
Ready Steady Worcestershire is our Worcestershire HAF programme of activities and healthy food for children aged 5-16 years old and includes children who are eligible for free school meals.
Information and advice around child sexual exploitation can be found on www.worcestershire.gov.uk/getsafe