Rhema Theatre Company worked with Secondary school children from across Salford, in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, Salford Council and Crimestoppers to devise pieces of theatre or film to take a stand against organised crime.
In an initiative developed by Salford multi agency team Project Gulf, 10 different High schools watched Rhema’s ‘The It’s Not Fair!’ theatre production on human trafficking. The students then took part in workshops with Greater Manchester Police, Salford City Council, Crimestoppers and Rhema around organised crime and gangs in order to produce their own theatrical play or film to ‘Stand up for Salford’.
“Rhema Theatre Company inspired young people from across Salford to develop messages on the dangers of organised crime. Their innovative approach resulted in the young people becoming fully engaged on the project and I’m sure this will leave a positive lasting impression on all those involved.” Mark Kenny, Superintendent, Salford, Greater Manchester Police.
The ‘Stand up for Salford’ project aims were to teach school pupils about organised crime, its dangers and the impact that it has on communities. It also promoted Fearless, Crimestoppers’ dedicated youth service, designed and developed to encourage and empower young people to make their community a safer place by reporting crime annomously.
“So far ‘Stand up for Salford’ has allowed us to engage with hundreds of young people across Salford, spread the message on the criminality behind gangs and ultimately stop children from entering this kind of lifestyle as they get older.” Detective Sergeant Jill Vescovi, G.M.Police
Rhema then worked with about 150 pupils by visiting their schools and assisting pupils to create their own piece of performance theatre or film. Eight schools went head to head with a judging panel, made up of Vice Lord-Lieutenant DL JP, Chair of Greater Manchester Crimestoppers Edith Conn, Superintendent Mark Kenny, Ceremonial Mayor of Salford Councillor Peter Dobbs and others crowning a winner at the end of the day. The standard of theatre produced was breathtaking and the judges had a difficult decision picking a winner from the many strong pieces shown. Some of the secondary schools have gone on to have their piece of theatre filmed in media city to impact an even greater amount of people.
“Drama is a powerful tool for putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and seeing though their eyes. We remember stories. We relate to stories. This competition for High Schools in Salford is a great opportunity for pupils to look at both individuals and the wider effects of crime on society, and empower those individuals to make a change.” Mike Peacock, Writer, Actor, Director Rhema Theatre Company.
If you are interested in setting up a similar project in your area then please get in touch.