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Not the Thursday Group

Project Scope

Feedback from our workshop practice with Genesis, Mam Matters, requested the need for a space where young people and their parents, with ADHD and ODD could meet together and develop their relationships. The total predicated population aged 5-15 with any mental health problem (including emotional, conduct and hyperkinetic (ADHD) disorders) in the future is 2,892. This builds on statistics (2010) for children with any mental health disorder. The target group was people referred by RCT Youth offending services who were at risk of offending. We widened the scope of the group to include people with mental health needs, vulnerable people and those at risk of isolation.

Methods and Outcomes

The thematic content of this project was the lives of the participants. Using empathetic drama and discussion, we engaged the group in an active exploration of the issues that affect their communities and their daily lives. The work was transformative and participants at the end of the workshops left reflecting on the world around them and re-evaluating their own experiences. The work was accessible because it embraced the complexity of real lived experience. Participants became empowered enabling them to break through barriers such as isolation, lack of confidence and negative self-image. They discovered enjoyment in their own creativity; they began to reconnect to social activity and learning. The project developed participant’s confidence and self-esteem, the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It encouraged respect and built team working in a democratic and inclusive approach. It was creativity through fun. 'Spectacle…a wonderful agency to work with as they have the capacity to adapt each session to the needs presented in each group. This ensures they get the best out of everyone. Participants are particularly nervous as most have not engaged in group work, the fun aspect helps to break down these barriers and participants leave the sessions feeling uplifted…participants had the opportunity to reflect on their life experiences in a safe and supportive way. This proved to be a powerful experience for many participants.' Partnerships: RCT Youth Offending Services, Genesis Funders: Big Lottery, Lloyds Foundation, SEWCED