DOWNTON Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville is to set up a new scheme to benefit Hampshire children studying drama.
The scheme is being set up to benefit UK kids living in regions classed as geographically and financially challenged, with Hampshire and Kent area selected for additional support.
This scheme aims to spark enthusiasm in young people and offers aspirational opportunities in schools that have lost drama provisions and where travel may be difficult and a barrier to further opportunities.
Drama is a key opportunity for children as it builds their self-esteem and confidence whilst it is an escape for those who may have experienced or experiencing more challenging aspects of their lives. These provisions enable children to just forget their troubles whilst they are there and have fun.
Bonneville has been working hard to create more opportunities for children as a response to the recent decline of drama classes in schools and after-school clubs.
A recent Labour Party report claimed that there are less than 1,700 drama teachers than there was in 2010 in UK schools. This result means that young people who chose to study drama as a GCSE option has dropped by 25% in the last five years. As well as schools being hit by local authority cuts, local youth theatres have also taken a hit.
Jessica Alford, a parent of a child who attends acting classes, said: “It allows them to be themselves with Lexi before she was very within herself and withdrawn all the time because she felt she couldn’t be her. But when she’s acting she can be her, people think she’s acting but she’s actually being her.”
It is hoped this new scheme will prove beneficial for children and young people alike and kickstart more drama provisions across the country.
Click below to hear Eleanor Davies, a mother of a child who attends an after-school acting club, talk about the lack of drama classes.
By Rhiannon Rae @RhiannonJourna1