The third group supported in 2018 through our grants was The Big House. They have a simple mission: ‘To enable care leavers and at risk young people to fulfil their potential.’
The grant was made to support year-round drop-in workshops. Through these, they aim to create an open, supportive (and fun!) environment which gives young people the opportunity to develop their skills, boost their self-confidence, and meet their peers (very important when working with isolated young people).
The Open House Project (OHP) is an intensive 12 week project of drama participation, life and employment skills, literacy, counselling, and help to recognise and regulate emotions.
S, a Big House Member, describes the difference that drop-ins made to her:
“Having open discussions within the group challenged me on my personal responsibility and made me question some of my past choices and behaviour. Slowly but very slowly I opened up about some of my past and after other people spoke about their experiences I opened up about mine. The workshops helped me to get out of my shell –everyone grows together and it’s a little bit like a family. It took me a lot of workshops to get involved in the improvisations, but I would take part in the warm up games. By the time the OHP started I wasn’t as closed up, and in the first week I started talking to people more and participating fully in all of the workshops.”
Of the young people who have taken part in the Open House Project to date: