Founded in 2005 The Theatre Shed (TTS) is an inclusive theatre company based in the heart of Chesham and is the only provision locally that offers a safe place practising inclusivity and equality between Disabled and non-Disabled young people. The majority of the young people attending have physical and/or learning disabilities and/or mental health conditions.
Neither ‘mainstream’ nor ‘disability’, TTS’ inclusivity offers an inspiring alternative theatre made up of an all-encompassing cross section of the community. It is a place where young people of all abilities come together to use the power of drama, music and dance to have fun, build confidence and develop their creativity.
Many of the disabled members have limited opportunities to socialise without their carers and become isolated. Many of them have been excluded from other activities because the organisations did not have the skills or staffing to support the individual’s needs. As a result, these young people have limited aspirations. Siblings of a young person with a disability sometimes fulfil a carer role but at TTS, siblings can take part in the same activity on an equal level.
During August TTS will run 10 days of performing arts and craft activities for 60 young people at the White Hill Centre in Chesham. Young people will be able to choose which activity they want to engage in based on their needs and interests e.g rock band/music, movement, expressive visual arts, creative writing, group games, parachute. Bursaries will be available for those who are unable to pay the recommended donation.
The Holiday Activities Fund will fund 11 places per day for those eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) and ALMT funding will fund 10 places per day for those who don’t meet the FSM criteria but would still be classified as disadvantaged (by disability, mental health, low income or aged 16-21 so not eligible for FSM).