In the autumn term, we brought Give and Take to a new cohort of students at five local schools. Working in partnership once again with creative arts students from Reading College and Reading Rep theatre company, it was a fun, energetic, creative and thought-provoking experience for everyone.
We worked with Year 5 at three local primary schools this year. They were a brilliant group who really took in everything we shared, and enjoyed the drama and art activities. They loved to talk about their role models and reflect on the things that make them happy.
“The children really enjoyed the day and were so proud of their creations. They wanted to carry on with some of the drama when we returned to class. A great experience for them.” – Teacher, Meadow Park Academy
One of the Year 5s said, “This is the best day of my life!” Another made a model of her favourite Reading College student as a thank you present.
Indeed, it was obvious that the primary kids enjoyed spending time with the arts students and looked up to them. We were very pleased to watch the college students really coming alive as they worked with Year 5. Their passion was infectious as they shared the artwork they had created especially for the project and talked about how it made them feel. The drama students were great at taking time to ask questions after their perfomance to make sure everybody had understood the message.
Give and Take visited two secondary schools this year. As last year, the Year 8 students really enjoyed interacting with the Year 13 college students. Not only did they have fun with the drama and games but they really connected with the personal stories and message that the team shared.
“I love how the Year 13s were there – when they connected with the Year 8s it was amazing to see.” – Soulscape volunteer
“You have a very interesting story. Thank you so much for sharing with us, I think you are really brave. You are a real inspiration.” – Year 8 girl to a student who shared his real life story about drug dealing.
This is another great of example of a project run by young people, for young people – one of our favourite things!
“Thank you for all of the hard work and effort you put into making the day a success. I visited many of the sessions during lesson 3 and it was lovely to see our students so engaged. The students were having fun but all recognised the serious message that the day was designed to communicate.” – Teacher, The Holt School
The issue of drug-related child exploitation is not going away, especially with the rise of County Lines drug dealing. We hope that by working with children from primary age through Give and Take, we can help prevent them becoming vulnerable to exploitation.
Instead of becoming trapped in destructive addictions, we want to see all our young people living confident, positive lives.