Our consultation in 2017 identified that there was no drama provision in the Hillfoots for young people yet there was strong demand amongst young people for this expressive art. The benefits of drama for young people are well documented – drama provides opportunities to explore creativity, build confidence and communication skills and make new friends. So, we decided to do something about this and working in partnership with Alva Academy we set up a Friday Night Drama Club in the school.
We applied to Young Start at the National Lottery Community Fund and were super excited to be told we had been successful with our funding bid. “Friday Night Drama” launched on 23rd February 2018 – and offers pupils at Alva Academy a chance to participate in drama after school on a Friday. We provide food and snacks and transport home. Our club is supported by professional drama artists and theatre makers as well as youth workers. In 2019 we expanded our drama provision further with funding from Cashback for Creativity. We offered a series of pop up drama workshops in the Hillfoots as well as 4 ‘Play In a Week’ workshops. We set up up a Youth Theatre that meets in Tilly Baptist Church on Monday nights.
We also ran an innovative drama project in partnership with Network Rail and British Transport Police around rail safety.
During 2020 we are continuing to develop and deliver drama based activities for young people in schools and in the community, and we have joined Youth Theatre Arts Scotland.
If you are interested in drama and want to get involved email us on
email@example.com, direct message us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and if you attend Alva Academy, listen out for tannoys and information shared in the school.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
We want to support the physical and mental health of young people. Emotional wellbeing and positive mental health is incredibly important for everyone. Stress and anxiety are major barriers to participation. We are developing proactive programmes to support young people to develop strong emotional wellbeing and positive mental health taking an early intervention, preventative approach to this. We already run an emotional wellbeing programme with P7 aged pupils in the Hillfoots that helps young people develop skills and understanding around this prior to a critical transition point in their lives with the move to Secondary school.
We also run a befriending project ‘knd’ where senior pupils act as befrienders to new S1’s. Supporting them with a friendly face, a smile and taking part in group activities. They share their experiences, and both benefit from the process. This is funded by The Cochrane Foundation
We are currently developing a Self Care project funded by Comic Relief and The Corra Foundation which allows young people to use their lived experiences to shape a preventative, early intervention project around stress and anxiety.
Physical health is also important for wellbeing. Our initial action research recognised that we don’t have easy access to a swimming pool or high quality community sports facility in the Hillfoots since the Alva community pool closed down a few years ago. There are good facilities within a half-hours drive but public transport in the Hillfoots is limited and this restricts how easily we can get to swimming and other fitness facilities independently. Our aspiration is for a new swimming pool in our area, but we recognise this is a big ask. So, we started by seeing what we could do to increase access to swimming for young people living in the Hillfoots.
In partnership with Active Stirling we developed an access to swimming and fitness pilot for ages 16 and upwards. We offered free 6-week leisure memberships and transport to the Peak to encourage healthy lifestyles among teens.