Published on 12th May 2020

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner has awarded funding to allow a local charity to deliver online theatre sessions to young people and create a safe space for young people to explore and express their emotions during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Minerva Arts have received a £1,000 express grant from PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Fund to enable them to deliver online youth theatre provision through the delivery of bi-weekly workshops using Google Meet.

The Safer Communities fund takes money from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvests it back into the community.

A series of sessions are being created to ensure young people can continue to be creative, have an outlet for their thoughts and emotions and interact with one another. The sessions will additionally provide some much needed respite for families who may be working alongside trying to homeschool their children.

The online sessions will replace the normal delivery of Minerva Arts who provide six weekly youth theatre groups in the community of Chester, to more than 50 young people. The sessions will utilise the skills of fully trained professional facilitators and provide a much needed engagement tool for young people.

The charity will encourage the young people to create artistic products during lockdown which they will remember for years to come.

Steph Meskell-Brocken, artistic director, said: “These online sessions will help to support young people to have a creative outlet during lockdown, encouraging positive mental wellbeing and behaviours at home. Young people will be able to create an artistic product during the lockdown period which they can be proud of.

“The online resources will provide fun and interactive sessions from our team of experts which will meet young people’s needs and give practical and emotional support.”

PCC David Keane added: “It is extremely important that we continue to ensure young people are looking after their physical and mental wellbeing at this very difficult time.

“Minerva Arts has come up with an innovative way of maintaining contact with young people providing them with a positive, safe environment for them to connect with other people their own age and engage in a stimulating activity.

“Whilst we have been focused on providing emergency support to elderly and vulnerable people in our communities, it’s great to be able to extend my support to young people and encourage them to maintain good mental health.”

As part of his response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Commissioner is awarding a £1,000 express grant each day to different organisations across the county. To find out more about how you can apply for the funding please visit: https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-i-do/making-cheshire-safer/safer-communities-fund/