Young people from Linwood have put together a showcase to highlight the power of drama and how it can transform lives and boost mental health.
The show – called How Amdram changed our lives – was created by members of Linwood Youth Voice to tell their unique stories since becoming involved in their local am dram group and will take place at Paisley Town Hall on Thursday 25 May from 7 until 9pm.
The showcase features four films made by the young people highlighting how effective drama can be in boosting self-belief and confidence, and how important it is to tackle barriers to accessing it, such as cost and geography.
The event also includes a play on why mental health has become an important issue for young people, which was also voted as the priority issue for Renfrewshire’s Youth Commission.
The team behind it are supported by the Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team, who run two thriving groups in the town, CLASS Acts (for eight to 11 year olds) and LADDS-Linwood Area of Dance Drama and Song for secondary-school-aged pupils.
The project received funding from Renfrewshire’s Culture Heritage and Events Fund, designed to boost the area’s creative capacity as part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
Nathan McCuaig, aged 17 and chairperson of Linwood Youth Voice, said “Most of the members felt their lives had been changed by amateur dramatics and we can’t wait to share all the work we have been doing on the event.
“Mental wellbeing is such a big thing for young people. Our show puts a spotlight on why local activities are so important to the health and wellbeing of young people, changing how they think and feel about themselves and getting involved in their community.”
Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “We were delighted to support this very worthwhile project through the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund.
“Part of the reason for bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 is that we know culture has the power to make people’s lives better and we want to harness that, now and in the future.
“It is great to see the young people of Linwood are spreading that very message as part of this show.”
Wendy Grubb, a community learning officer with Youth Services, added: “The young people have worked really hard to shine a light on the power of drama and the arts and are really excited to show people what they have done.
“By taking part in these groups, their confidence has increased and it has allowed them to be able to express themselves, make many new friends and take part in other community projects.”
Youth Services is Renfrewshire Council’s youth work team. It is part of Children’s Services and comprises of Community Learning, Youth Information and Awards Development Officers. The team delivers in schools and in communities across Renfrewshire with the aim of improving outcomes for young people through youth work, youth information, empowerment activities and outdoor learning. The team works with young people aged 11 to 25 years old, with a particular focus on young people in secondary school.