Dramatherapy gives care leavers a voice at London exhibition

“A space for them to really go to places they haven’t been to in the past," says Young Futures' lead dramatherapist

Caricaturist Jon Paul works on the illustrated journey of a young girl through care

London’s Southwark Playhouse was transformed into an artistic showcase for care leavers last week, as part of an exhibition organised by Young Futures.

Acting, art, crafts and story-telling were just a few of the ways that young care leavers were given a voice in the performance spaces and corridors of the London theatre.

A wide range of art and drama from young care leavers conveyed their emotional journeys through care, and demonstrated how dramatherapy can be a healthy method of enhancing the process. The exhibition even featured a caricaturist drawing out a young person’s journey through the care system as she described it live at the event.

Osman Jama, director of Young Futures, uses dramatherapy because it offers, “an immediate way for a young person to deal with their feelings”. “It becomes that special opportunity of the week to talk to somebody on what matters most to them,” he says.

Community Care filmed some of the activities on show and interviewed Kelly Jordan, Young Futures’ lead dramatherapist.

One care leaver’s experience of dramatherapy

Michael*, a young care leaver, starred in a 15-minute play that was performed at the exhibition. It told the story of a developing bond between a key worker and teenager in care. Michael describes it as similar to his own experiences, which he says benefited him.

“Sometimes you have the young person and the ‘professional person’, with them it’s like I don’t see the professionalism. Like the other day my key worker took me to get some ice cream and it was really nice. Little moments like that are really nice.”

Speaking about dramatherapy, Michael says: “I feel like I can release all my emotions and my anxiety and stress…the dramatherapists have been such a key help emotionally.”

*Name has been changed

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