What we've been up to this month:

In November, Mousetrap took a NextStage project to a group of students from Capel Manor College.

“I am proud of each and every one of our students. It is absolutely brilliant what you’ve done with them. This programme is so good because it builds their confidence. It helps them to speak out for themselves.

NextStage brings them out of their shells and also gives them equality in the group. I’m just sorry that we didn’t have this last year because our students are now flourishing so much. We’re so, so pleased that everything is so positive – everyone got something out of it. They all took to it like ducks to water! Everyone was engaged and laughing – having fun as well.

They were all thinking about what they could go up and do. They were all using their own initiative and instinct on their own level. A lot of them have additional needs but this wasn’t a ‘pat them on the head’ exercise, their needs didn’t matter today. They have a lot in them but they are often put in a specific group and not challenged. Through NextStage they’ve all really come on in confidence and they’ve got achievable realistic aims.

They are young people, this is their time and their lives and you’ve helped them prepare for that.” – Teacher, Capel Manor College

The group of students, aged 16-19, had moved between several different colleges and, despite attending mainstream schools, had never had access to fun school experiences like off-site trips. Many of the participants struggled with low self-esteem and confidence, affecting their ability to communicate.

NextStage is our programme for NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) young people and designed to help them develop employability skills. The Capel Manor project aimed to empower the participants to make an attitudinal change to both themselves and their goals, boosting their self-esteem and increasing their aspirations through drama.