Background, values and aims
The Perform Bursary Scheme was set up in 2009 in response to teachers, parents and others in the community requesting opportunities for young people who could benefit from Perform courses but who were not in a position to pay for the costs of the course. In response to this and internal discussions on embedding the values of Perform in a wider project, the Bursary Scheme was established.
Significant work was carried out to clarify the values underpinning the scheme and what this would mean in practice, including a structure that would allow continued growth in terms of its reach to young people.
The underpinning values of the Scheme are:
The Scheme provides a space where young people can not only develop basic physical skills but also emotional and social skills that will enable them to increase awareness of self and enable positive interactions with other young people. Learning in this way is young person centred, recognising that every young person is different and will have different needs and paths in which they develop.
The Scheme provides an accessible and positive environment in which a young person can feel safe and secure to participate and grow. In addition an environment in which young people have the opportunity to see things differently, to be encouraged and inspired and importantly, happy in their own skin.
Drama is an excellent tool for developing a young person; it creates a clear focus for their participation and progress but without being intrusive i.e. they are engaged and enjoying the experience whilst being less aware of the range of skills they are learning. It also provides a framework for discipline and concentration, two key elements found to be important in the young person’s development.
Fun and Enjoyment
The Scheme provides an opportunity for young people to have fun and enjoy themselves in other young people’s company. It gives many young people a chance to be happy and to forget about worries and concerns and just enjoy being part of something; where they are important and their progress is consistently encouraged.
Young people with and from a range of identities, cultures, backgrounds, ages, disabilities and/or beliefs are welcomed and supported. Diversity itself is valued as an important asset to a drama class, endorsing different thinking and types of social interaction.
The aim of the Perform Bursary Scheme is to provide the opportunity for young people to attend Perform drama classes who would not otherwise have access due to socio-economic and/or other social barriers.
The key component of the Scheme is the allocation of a year’s free drama sessions to young people across the South East, provided by Perform.
By attending the drama course a young person has the opportunity to improve confidence, concentration and have a sense of knowing what they can achieve. The course provides more than just activities; it is a step-by-step journey of inspiration and encouragement, taking young people from an unconfident and under-performing place to one where their potential is awakened and developed.