Charlotte Thompson, a Third Year Applied Drama in the Community student at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) has been working alongside JUST Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Police, CPS, Victim Support and the Police and Crime Commissioners Office to put together an event to mark the inaugural annual Stephen Lawrence Day 2019.
The day was attended by local secondary schools who were invited to listen to the story of Stephen’s death and the significant events following, that have brought about changes to the law. To help educate those in attendance Charlotte led two drama groups in performances across the day.
The first performance, a timeline presented in drama by 6th form students from De Aston School, Market Rasen, was followed by a Forum Drama presentation by Year 10 drama students again from De Aston school. As a part of the Forum the students presented scenarios to challenge the audience and enable discussion to help all present to develop their skills and confidence to challenge all forms of discrimination and to embrace inclusion.
Charlotte’s became involved with the ‘Truth in Justice’ event as part of her Applied Drama in the Community course. Over the course of their third year students must engage in an extended project with a community group which frequently includes vulnerable members of society. This made Just Lincolnshire an ideal organisation to work with as it aims to make a difference to the lives of people from all backgrounds by supporting equality, tackling discrimination and celebrating diversity.
Charlotte, who aspires to become a Drama teacher and will be undertaking her PGCE at BGU next year, discussed her hopes for the impact of the project:
“I hope the event leaves an impact on all involved, like it has done to me, and educates the pupils on hate crimes, allowing them to be able to pick it out and stop it where they see it. Throughout this process I have learnt how people can learn and grow together to make a better future. If we all become better people then we stand a chance.”
Viv Kerridge, Programme Leader for Drama at BGU, explained the potential benefits of the community projects both the students leading them and the people taking part:
“What separates the Applied Drama in the Community course from over drama degrees is that we’re training practitioners, not actors. Students learn how to utilise drama to support vulnerable groups giving them a voice where they’d previously not had one. The community projects are the culmination of these efforts and it’s fantastic to see the response our students are receiving, many in fact are being asked to return to their volunteer placements to continue their work.”
If you run or are part of a community and would be interested in having one of our students join you can contact Viv Kerridge for more information.