"Join our Party" has gone online thanks to TNLComFund!

As news of a 2nd lockdown in England sinks in, we are taking a few moments to be grateful that we are still able to run our "Join our Party" drama project online. These sessions are for adults 18 years or older, focused mainly on adults with learning disabilities and/or neurodiversities such as autism. In these fun and interactive online sessions, participants develop storytelling and performing skills while working as a group towards an ensemble production.

Thanks to the amazing support by The National Lottery Community Fund which is part of “Government’s £750m support package for charities” that came to us in September 2020, we were able to translate our project for an online platform and are also able to continue delivering it.

COVID-19 and the first lockdown forced us to cease in person activities back in March 2020. Since then, none of our participants had been able to join any other activities, online or in person - many had to self-isolate or shield making it even harder a process to get through. When we conducted a survey, our participants shared with us that they were feeling incredibly lonely not being able to socialise or be creative while having to suddenly alter their daily routine into somethign that revolved within the confines of their homes. The Day Centre which they attended was also forced to close their doors temporarily as a result of this pandemic, considerably reducing their access to leisure and creative activities.

We knew we had to do something. After dealing with the initial disruptions, RootPrints Theatre quickly sprung into action and got to work, thinking how we could re-design our project and make it accessible for our participants. Knowing we had the support of the Day Centre and the willingness of our participants to take part in online workshops, we were confident of our online version of the project. Next came the crucial step: funding applications! When we got the news from The National Lottery Community Fund, we were over the moon and could not wait to start!

As with the start of any new adventure, we had to and are still figuring out and troubleshooting some things as we go along and it has been a wonderful learning experience for all. Details of these would probably have to be contained in another blog though.

For now, with the announcement of the 2nd national lockdow, we are feeling ever so privileged that we get to continue running our sessions online with our participants. Just look how happy they are!

We are so grateful we are able to keep this project going!

Having an opportunity to meet friends, perform, have fun, explore ideas and be creative together, makes a huge difference for everyone in the group! RootPrints Theatre's weekly sessions are greatly contributing to improving our participants' physical and mental wellbeing and we hope it's just the beginning of more opportunities to come.

That’s it from us for now. Till our next blog, adios, vanakkam. Stay safe.