Classes to celebrate diversity in South Tyneside through performing arts launch at South Shields school
Weekly sessions to boost confidence and encourage inclusivity among young people in South Tyneside have been launched a South Shields secondary school.
The True Colours Foundation, a young persons’ charity promoting diversity and inclusion, is now running drama and performance classes for children and teenagers in South Tyneside, and has secured a permanent base at Bilton Hall in Jarrow.
It is linked with the True Colours Theatre, a North East organisation that works to boost confidence in local children and young people through the performing arts.
The Mortimer sessions will be held on Saturdays going forward. The programme will consist of: a visual- and sensory-oriented ‘rainbows’ class between 10am and 10.45am; a performance class for children up to 11 years old, running from 11am to 12 midday; and a performance class for 11-year-olds and above that takes place between 12.15pm and 1.15pm.
They are open to all young people in the area, says the regional charity.
Alisar Taylor, from the True Colours Foundation, said sustained demand in the borough for the services offered at the organisation’s North Tyneside base prompted the charity to launch the sessions on the south side of the river.
“A lot of people were telling us that they wanted and needed some of the stuff we were doing down in South Tyneside,” she said.
"So we decided to bring this over and to see how it goes.
"There’s a mix of sedentary drama classes and performance classes on offer. All our staff are trained and our approach is very much a visual one.
"The work is absolutely gorgeous. Now it’s just about getting the word out.”
Ms Taylor stressed that the sessions are aimed at all young people - regardless of background or conditions – given the wide range of disabilities and backgrounds the charity caters for.
She added: “We support children who have ADHD, autism, anxiety.
"We have them with complex needs, life-threatening conditions up to palliative care. And we also do distraction therapy for children who’ve been through domestic violence and bereavement.
"On the milder end, we also work with a lot of children who just need their confidence boosting. Whatever their reasons for attending, we just try to support them as best we can in a warm and safe environment.”