Reflections on You, Me, Together

 

By Martha Shrimpton (Kablam)

Never underestimate young people

It was an absolute privilege to be able to deliver the pioneering You, Me, Together project for 5 weeks in schools in Milton Keynes. The project worked in four schools to explore mental health and wellbeing through different art forms and performing arts.

It has been such an exciting journey to be able to walk alongside 150+ young people as they started to delve deeper into this topic and find out more about themselves and others.

We began to see a transformation in how the young people were able to communicate and express their own feelings.

 

What really struck me at the beginning of the project was how the students had language to associate with emotions and life situations, but really struggled with naming those emotions and linking them with a scenario in their own lives. As we used music, drama and movement to delve more into inward and outward emotions – through facial expressions, body language and the sources of these emotions – we began to see a transformation in how the young people were able to communicate and express their own feelings.

So often as children and young people there is pressure all around us to conform or to be shoved into uniformity with our peers. During this project it was a joy to celebrate the INDIVIDUAL, seeing worth in our differences and exploring our positive points.

During this project, it was a joy to celebrate the individual

 

Sometimes it is hard to convey these things about ourselves or others simply through words, however, by using performing arts, we gave the students a whole new language that they could use to communicate this. This transformed the way the young people were relating to others and talking about themselves.

By using performing arts, we gave the students a whole new language that they could use to communicate

 

I strongly believe that the arts allow us to feel free of individual labels, worries and fears. By using creativity and creating a safe space to explore this ‘hot potato’, we have been able to sow the first seeds of what could be a forest in the future: a generation who are able to communicate their feelings and emotions, read these in other people and know how to deal with these together. The end result is a more positive and happy environment for the young people’s wellbeing.

Never underestimate young people and never underestimate the power of the arts.


The You, Me, Together project was commissioned by the Milton Keynes Cultural Education Partnership, the Milton Keynes CCG and MK Council Public Health. The film of the project is exhibited as part of the Mind the Gap exhibition at the MK Gallery.

Mind the Gap

6 – 28 April 2018

Preview: Thursday 5 April / 6-8pm / All welcome

Find out more here : http://www.mkgallery.org/education/projectspace/mind_the_gap/

12 Apr 2018