This is me!

Back in June 2018, service users of St John’s Day Service developed another exciting, unique, and truly inspiring show.

The performance ‘This is Me,’ celebrated and showcased learning disabilities through the exceptional qualities, views, development and achievements of the St Johns’ service users, who had accessed Kreative Foundations ‘Confidence Through Drama’ programme.

The show demonstrated that disabilities are far from disabling, with a format that encouraged its attendees to think about disability differently. The show explored the following:

  • What learning disabilities meant to the drama group – uncovering an insightful view of the groups’ concept of disability, with comments that were hard hitting and led Kreative Foundations and St. Johns’ staff to support service users to recognise their value.
  • A showcase of the groups individual talents through an X Factor style format – with poetry readings, singing, signing, dancing, puppet sketches and so much more.
  • Finally, the show celebrated the drama groups work to date, thanks to previous funding from the People’s Health Trust.

Naturally the students of Carmountside Academy were invited to participate in this latest production from St Johns, having asked repeatedly if they could following the previous show. Again they did us proud, sharing their beautiful perspectives on the matter, and sharing the new Makaton songs they had learnt with us. This project has made such a difference in breaking down intergenerational barriers, and increasing the children’s awareness and understanding of disability. Children who once openly feared disabilities, shared their excitement about working with the service users of St John’s Day Service, along with the positive relationships they had made, and the fun they had throughout. It’s also been great for us to hear their parents feedback, and the difference the project has made.

As with all previous performances, the service users of the Day Service were integral in the development of this show. Again they developed the concept, routines, supported in creating the props, and so much more. Their views and involvement have always mattered, and we’re honoured to be a part of their growth and the sharing of their stories. The show truly demonstrated their struggles, their incredibly inspiring view of life, their unique skills and qualities.

The atmosphere during the performance was joyous, with the audience joining in on every occasion – clapping, singing and dancing. From start to finish this project has been incredibly heart warming. Normally it’s our Director, Kirsty, who can’t hold back the tears, but during this show we saw you tearing up too. We can’t thank you enough for your involvement.

We’re also hugely proud to mention that following this performance the group were nominated in the Sentinels Our Heroes Award.