Waltham Forest Grow Your Own Theatre drama project organiser appeals for help to expand

Sarah Chase

Sarah Chase

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A mother-of-three who single-handedly launched a children's drama hub due to the lack of provision in the borough is appealing for help to expand operations.

Sarah Chase, 33, of Douglas Avenue in Walthamstow, started the not-for-profit initiative Grow Your Own Theatre 12 months ago and has put on three plays.

She now hopes other volunteers can help with duties such as publicity and school tours with a view to finding a permanent venue.

The former drama teacher said: "It’s been very challenging but entirely worth it. It started as something to fit in around my kids and to have something I enjoyed doing. Now it’s taken over my life to some extent.

"I was surprised that there wasn’t something already because drama does so much for people.

Courses involve about 30 children aged from three to 15 help write, produce and act in a play over a 10-week period.

Ms Chase started off with a £1,000 grant from The Mill community centre in Coppermill Lane, and her latest production was funded with money from her local community ward forum.

Course fees also help to cover everything from props and costumes to renting venues, including the Rose & Crown pub in High Street as well as The Mill.

And Ms Chase said she has been pleasantly surprised by the community reaction.

She said: "It’s about connecting people. The group has brought the community together. There was a great desire for something like this and places like The Mill have helped get it off the ground.

"I also want to start a therapeutic project in schools. We’d teach referred kids, who are maybe in some trouble, because drama helps them to channel their emotions – sometimes the change is massive."

Ms Chase is holding a meeting on January 18 between 1pm and 2.30pm for anyone who is interested in helping expand the project.

For address details please contact her at sarah@gyot.org.uk.

A new course starts next Tuesday at The Mill. To sign up please visit www.growyourowntheatre.co.uk

Comments (1)

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7:17am Wed 9 Jan 13

EastEndLass says...

My daughter has been going since the start - she absolutely loves it, and it has boosted her confidence no end. It's one thing she really looks forward to every week.

I would highly recommend it :)
My daughter has been going since the start - she absolutely loves it, and it has boosted her confidence no end. It's one thing she really looks forward to every week. I would highly recommend it :) EastEndLass
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