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Throughout the month of December, a small group of dedicated clients worked alongside members of the Geese Theatre Company to express themselves through performances and explore their life experiences.

Using SIFA Fireside’s Drop In space the clients, who have all experienced homelessness, took part in 6 weekly creative sessions which drew on their past and positively looked towards their future. This consistency on the weeks gave clients the opportunity to work together and fine-tune their final performance, before putting on their show in front of an audience of over 20 volunteers, staff and fellow clients.

The performance itself focused on a young person coming to use SIFA Fireside’s services for the first time and not being sure what to expect and how to engage. Those clients who were more familiar with SIFA Fireside offered advice whilst also making sure they were looking after themselves.  The performance was full of humour and had the audience in laughter throughout, whilst still addressing the serious side of the clients’ situation. All of the clients shined in their roles without a single sign of stage fright.

Throughout the sessions, the group developed a strong collaborative relationship and friendship, where they started to meet before creative sessions to have lunch together. This was not lost on staff who noted that it felt as though the whole process had created a sense of community within SIFA Fireside.

Talking to the Geese Theatre Company members, one participant explained that this project had given him “purpose again” and one participant, who is in his 80s, said it was great to “try something new” and that he hopes to continue exploring his creativity in the future.

A younger member of the group expressed that the project had allowed him to get to know new people, who he otherwise would not have spoken to. All of those that took part are looking forward to continuing expressing themselves creatively into 2023 and beyond.

The project is funded by the National Lottery and is part of a three-year initiative. Huge thanks and well done to all involved.

 

Robb Sheppard

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