What we've been up to this month:

School’s out for summer and that means it’s time for Summerstage! This is an exciting project for 13-17 year olds during which they create their own original show with theatre, dance and music and perform in a central London theatre. Unlike many similar schemes, Summerstage is very affordable to attend it's accessible for young people who can’t afford take part in regular summer schools; five of this year’s participants received fully funded scholarships to attend.

Last week’s participants focused on developing confidence, creativity and communication and also worked on a Bronze Arts Award which is a fun and useful qualification. We welcomed young people who had mild to moderate learning needs or required special access arrangements or who had never taken part in a drama project before. This was a life-changing experience for one of the participants, whose mother said Summerstage had turned him into a “totally different child”.

Cameron, who is 14 and has autism, joined Summerstage to help build his confidence. At the start of the week, Cameron’s lack of confidence meant he was petrified of taking part and found it difficult to stay in the room during sessions. By the end of the week, he was disappointed the show wasn’t longer and was saying how much he wanted to come back next year!

John, the Summerstage director, said his performance was committed, dedicated, and focused and Cameron’s mum said he had “gone from a child to a young man overnight”.