We are Branchline
A Social Care, Play and Arts collective.
We believe all young people have the right to experience and explore creativity.
We support learning disabled young people to take part, lead and progress in the arts
Ordinary Extraordinary Arts Festival
Branchline’s partnership work across Devon and Torbay has enabled the growth of the Ordinary Extraordinary Arts Festival, this year taking place on 25 and 26 October.
Lifeworks is working with Inclusive Town Totnes, Caring Town, The Turning Tides Project,Funky Llama to bring their energy and expertise to the festival and ‘in the spirit of collaborative practice’ the Branchline has joined Torbay Culture’s Creative People and Places Partnership, sharing the Ordinary Art model to increase participation in Torbay. In the days preceding the festival Play Torbay are running a bespoke family Quest at Dartington Hall exploring the Estate as a heritage site.
The festival curators want to explore music making, drama and animation in more depth at this year’s festival; as well as dance, film, installations and animation. Using them all as tools to connect and to reduce loneliness. In their words: They want for their festival to be “whacky”, they want “normal people” to come and join in with their festival.
To find out more about the Ordinary Extraordinary Arts Fesitval contact [email protected]
To book tickets to the festival visit: https://www.dartington.org/event/ordinary-extraordinary
“We are taking a risk; this is our chance for people to hear what we want to speak”
To tell people “You are not the only one”
“Nobody is the same”
“Like my happy”
With support from the Co-op Foundation, the Branchline partnership enabled 12 young volunteers with learning disabilities, aged 16-24 to create and lead a peer-led support group. Together they were looking at how to combat youth loneliness by creating a safe space to connect with each other.
Over the course of the pilot, the young volunteers found their voice and it has planted a seed in their minds – they are now fired upon being heard. They want to start getting involved in, and leading projects around campaigning and activism. The young people are keen to raise awareness around the issues facing young people with learning disabilities, and the inequalities in their lives: mental health, bullying, isolation and loneliness. The young people are also excited about the idea of holding inclusive events and activities for young people to integrate regardless of disabilities and this project has given some ideas about how to do this.
A parent said about the film that was created by the young people, “The film was moving, thought-provoking, and empowering. It gave young people the opportunity to ask questions, to raise the issue for themselves, and to challenge people to think about the issues in a gentle and effective way. Wow, it was brilliant!!”.
The evaluation is available to read here.
To hear the young leaders of this project speak about loneliness please see below.
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