TramShed formed in 2005 as charitable organisation offering Inclusive Performing Arts workshops, training and performances to a variety of users. This is irrespective of their health, social diversity, ethnic background or ability. At TramShed, the focus is on ability, not disability.
In 2016, TramShed were awarded funding from the WO Street Transformation Fund to their new project “Change Makers”. The project saw the Arts Practitioner Team and volunteer team deliver focused and specialised workshops to children, young people and adults from Blackpool and surrounding areas, with a main focus being on individuals who fall into TramShed's targeted minority groups.
“When taking part in Change Makers there were no barriers, everyone was included, supported if needed and I felt part of something very special. TramShed is somewhere you can come to be yourself, develop, grow, shine and help others who would maybe struggle to cope in other organisations.” Adult Volunteer Member.
Workshops were individually tailored to suit the needs of those taking part, especially with the support of the experienced Volunteer team supporting within the workshops. The aim was to involve individuals who would not normally engage in the arts or who experience exclusion from other activities for a variety of reasons. Many elements of the project were entirely original to make certain everyone involved can be fully included. Parts within the performances had been written around the members and played to their strengths.
The end product of the project will be to stage an Original Inclusive Production in December 2016, using the TramShed Inclusive Performing Arts methods and themes/topics devised throughout the project.
The project has tackled deprivation head on by allowing disadvantaged children, young people and adults the opportunity to access a worthwhile, stimulating activity free of charge. The have all learned new skills, built confidences, gained new friends and developed their own personal targets. As there were no exclusions, no limitations and no barriers during the project, the young people have blossomed in a safe and encouraging environment, which has promoted community cohesion at every turn, as a result.
The skills developed within the sessions revolved around inclusive performing arts, focusing on singing, music, dance, drama, physical theatre, lyrics wiring and much more. All content came from the members themselves, based on what was important to the community. The project has created a platform in which members have delved deeper into issues that bare relevance and interest to them, doing so in a fun, exciting and creative atmosphere which has promoted self-esteem and self-worth throughout.
“Never in my life have I ever or will I ever again have the privilege of working with such an amazing group of people, I love each and every one of you so much and this incredible theatre company and what it stands for has changed my life forever.” Jack Taylor.