“I thought the showcase was marvellous. I believe children gain so much from art and drama. It should be made accessible to all, especially to SEN children. This was so inspiring.”PARENT
Launched in 2019, changing:minds is a three year project that uses art, dance, music and drama to enable children at all five SEN schools/units in the London Borough of Harrow to think about the environment and our impact on it. Across the project they have examined underwater worlds, considered the earth’s rich diversity of natural environments and the animals that call it home, and explored the sky.
“IT’S TAUGHT ME THAT IF WE DON’T CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT IT WILL BECOME POLLUTED AND HARMFUL TO OUR HEALTH.”participant
The project enables disabled children to explore their creativity in high-quality workshops led by our professional artists. It enables them to develop new skills and enhanced confidence whilst providing them with a greater understanding of the environmental issues facing our planet.
Disabled people remain significantly less likely to participate in cultural, leisure and sporting activities than non-disabled people. The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services’ ‘Improving the Wellbeing of Disabled Children’ report identifies numerous benefits of taking part in creative activities: “playing and interacting in inclusive activities and settings helps disabled young people’s social development, particularly in terms of their understanding of peer culture; they can allow disabled young people to learn and develop skills; they can also promote disabled young people’s sense of belonging to their local community.”
According to Scope, a quarter (24%) of disabled people have experienced attitudes or behaviours where other people expected less of them because of their disability.
The title changing:minds was deliberately chosen for this programme to reflect the challenges faced by disabled people and perceptions of their capabilities. By presenting their creative work at an annual Showcase at Harrow Arts Centre (online in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown), it hopes to change perceptions around disability within families and in the wider community.
OF PARTICIPANTS REPORTED IMPROVED WELLBEING
OF PARTICIPANTS IMPROVED THEIR SOCIAL SKILLS