Improving lives of young children in local hospitals.
In 2016, Newman University Community and Applied Drama Laboratory (CADLab) was awarded a grant from BBC Children in Need to provide bedside performances for sick children in hospital.
Entitled 'Bird Island', the three-year project uses puppets, storytelling and sensory activities to create participatory, intimate bedside performances on hospital wards. These performances are designed to uplift the children's spirits and help them to relax, engage with the story and ultimately feel better during their hospital stay.
"What I have seen suggests the children experience a period of escape from the medical identity of an ill child" states Newman's Reader in Applied Theatre and director of CADLab, Dr Persephone Sextou. Adding that this "escapism helps them reduce their clinical stress and anxiety. Bedside performance also engages sick children creatively and informally with hospital tuition during their treatment, helping them to catch up with school while they are in hospital." CADLab operates in partnership with Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Trust, the James Brindley School, Heartlands Hospital NHS Trust and Acorns Children's Hospices.
It has performed to over 1,600 children at their bedsides.
CADLAB tell stories, use puppets and sensory activities to give bedside performances