In the latest episode of the HeadStart podcast, I speak to Caitlin and Holly from Wolverhampton Central Youth Theatre (CYT). Earlier in the year, CYT took a group of young Wolverhampton actors and performers to a festival in the Czech Republic, where they performed in front of an international audience, and with other actors from around Europe.
Caitlin shares that she has had a history of mental health issues, and tells how she nearly pulled out of the trip at the last minute due to anxiety and other personal challenges. Ultimately, she went ahead with the trip, and the experience built her confidence, developed new friendships, and, now leads her to say 'yes' to more new opportunities back in the UK.
Caitlin's message is an important one; opportunities such as those provided by CYT can be life-changing for young people, and encouraging young people to 'find their passion' is incredibly supportive of their development and emotional well-being.
Holly Parry, Assistant Director of Central Youth Theatre, joins Caitlin and I in the conversation to share how CYT support young people, how they don't have 'favourites', and how they work with young people in encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone.
Engaging young people with new opportunities in their communities is a key component of the HeadStart model, as illustrated by the HeadStart-funded Summer Programme that ran through the school summer holidays this year.
Huge thanks to Caitlin and Holly for speaking to us.