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Drama project helps the homeless

The cast from the Lancaster District Homeless Action play 'A Christmas Carol', made up of service users from Homeless Action, with director Paul  Adams, training co-ordinator, Hilary Wellgate and volunteer helper Emily Jones from The Dukes, prior to their performance at DT3.

The cast from the Lancaster District Homeless Action play 'A Christmas Carol', made up of service users from Homeless Action, with director Paul Adams, training co-ordinator, Hilary Wellgate and volunteer helper Emily Jones from The Dukes, prior to their performance at DT3.

Homeless people in Lancaster have been expressing themselves through theatre as part of a project set up to help vulnerable people.

In September 2013 Lancaster District Homeless Action Service (LDHAS) and The Dukes’ Creative Learning Department partnered up to deliver ten sessions of drama-based activities.

The project was part of the Skills4Life programme initiated in January 2013 which aims to improve formerly homeless people’s practical skills, educational attainment, self confidence and feelings of self worth so that they can find and sustain accommodation, gain employment and become an active member of society.

The drama workshops followed previous collaborative work between The Dukes and LDHAS clients.

The workshops resulted in the creation of a 20 minute script-in-hand performance to an invited audience at The Dukes.

The project attracted 10 regular attending participants, all of whom are homeless or vulnerably housed and access the LDHAS centre in Edward Street for support.

The group used the story of A Christmas Carol as a vehicle to explore their personal situations.

The participants soon began to aspire to reach the goal of a performance and have adapted the script to reflect their own experiences.

The drama sessions have become the highlight of the week for some of the clients, who have shown a real commitment to the project and a determination to succeed.

LDHAS and The Dukes intend to continue the drama workshops into the new year and are looking for funding to develop the project further.”

 

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