Our primary aim is to create space for young people to explore life. We work in partnership with a number of local schools in the Wokingham and Bracknell area where we take workshops, set up installations and present live theatre.
Space to explore life
Young people tell us that their lives are complex, and that many of them are having to deal with difficult and complicated issues. They talk about pressure at school to succeed academically, pressure to conform socially, pressure to achieve the perfect body shape, the right image, the right circle of friends. They describe relationship pressures, and they talk about the affects that pornography is having on their lives. They say our 24/7 media culture is exciting, but it can also be time-consuming, intrusive, even life-draining. At home, young people describe the stresses of family life; the pain of separation, of bereavement, illness, money issues. Life can be confusing, and it can be hard.
A generation living with stress
Media reports suggest that as the world becomes more complicated, and their lives are ever more scrutinised, young people are increasingly affected by depression and self-esteem issues. Regular media stories of self-harming, premature sexualisation, grooming, online bullying, eating disorders and substance abuse suggest that many young people are struggling to cope.
Space to breathe
Young people need time and space to unpack some of the issues they face and to make sense of their world so that they can begin to imagine, and to embrace with confidence, a positive future for themselves. Opportunities for this kind of exploration are few, and resources to help young people deal with stress are limited. We are responding, therefore, by seeking opportunities to create space for young people. We want them to be able to explore life, understand their own and others’ stories better, and to begin to develop a new narrative of hope for the future. We don’t provide them with answers, we start conversations. We encourage young people to ask big questions and to search for their own answers.
How do we create space?
Issues raised by young people themselves have led us to develop workshops on sexting, identity, self-esteem, and decision-making. We have produced a theatre presentation and workshops on issues of pornography and consent. We have created installations where young people can treasure memories, let go of regrets, and ignite their hopes and dreams. We have supported youngsters through the transition from primary to secondary school, and we have worked with local artists to creatively explore issues of family breakdown with young people. We are currently planning a new project that will look at mental health issues, and what it means to have a healthy state of mind.
Who are we?
A core team of five, we rely on the generous support of our extended team of youth workers, around 50 volunteers, and a number of local churches and individuals who champion us.
Director: Jane Turner
Jane has over 25 years experience in education. She is a qualified teacher and taught drama for many years, receiving an outstanding commendation from Ofsted. Prior to joining Soulscape, Jane worked as a consultant with Creative Partnerships, helping headteachers improve the quality and scope of their school’s creative arts curriculum. Jane is passionate about making education work for everyone.
Chair of Trustees: Matt Valler
Matt is Founding Director of Alchemy, a social business that experiments with stories to create change. He was previously global Ambassador for Youth with United Bible Societies, one of the world’s largest and most diverse Christian organisations. He has 20 years youth work experience and speaks internationally on youth culture and emerging Christian faith. Matt first got involved with Soulscape back in the 90s while in the 6th form at Emmbrook school!
Soulscape can be contacted at email@example.com, or at 4 Burchett Coppice, Wokingham, RG40 4YA. Charity no: 1169989