Previous Workshops



HEADSTART Drama (ages 8 – 12) & (13 - 17)

Our first 11 week course of the year start on 9th January 2023 and had 13 regular participants.
It was for the younger age group of 8 - 12 year olds.

Week 1 -  At the first session the children and young people attended were very shy and reluctant to participate. The participants kept themselves to themselves and were quite reluctant to speak individually in front of each other. The session consisted of different ice breakers that would encourage the participants to share anecdotal information about each other. We didn’t want to overwhelm them at this point with solely drama-based exercises. The participants required a lot of support and side coaching to support their needs and to get the participants feeling at ease in the space. There was a lot of nerves and participants were slightly on edge.

Week 2 - At the second session we were pleasantly surprised to see how many of the participants returned and were eager to get involved and be present. In this session we began inspiring the creativity and thought process’ of the participants by presenting them with visual stimulus to work in small groups to come up with meaning of the images. We felt the participants come together and connect in smaller groups.
Week 3 -  The exercises today encouraged the participants to explore their own physicality and body in the space. Building still images around the ideas generated last week, we observed some interesting input and can see how the participants will progress with encouragement. The participants responded the being in a new space well and were not distracted by the change. They were happy to stand up in front of each other and we saw participants become more vocal. Laughter is something that we have noticed is being heard in the sessions more and more. 

Week 4 -  We were on the stage today, which was exciting for the participants. We wanted to get the participants connecting with text and building their confidence in using drama and performance. The main task for the participants was to take the simple script template and add their own words and images to build their own scenarios. We observed several changes and developments in the participants themselves today, some participants identified that they wanted to stand up and perform their scenes with the rest of the group.

“Em has really demonstrated a change, development in confidence and is making strong connections with the rest of the group. She is vocal and comfortable sharing her opinions quite openly. We have noticed that they are starting to become a leader in the group”
Week 5 -  The group were full of energy and enthusiasm today. Participants are showing a real eagerness to participate and make their preferences clear.  At the end of the session we wanted to let the group know we were thinking about putting something together at the end of the project, this could be whatever the group felt comfortable doing. It was clear from the resounding response that they really want to put on performance. This was brilliant to hear and thinking about where the group have come from the start of the project is amazing. The enthusiasm was something we really wanted to capture and highlight.

Week 6 -  We responded to the requests of the participants in that they wanted to get up and act more. Using exercises that encouraged imagination and place making participants were happy to take it in turns to get involved in exercises, often performing on their own in front of the group. We were particularly impressed to see some of the younger participants step up and perform for the first time.

G’s presence in the group has changed significantly. He is present, pleasant and seems a lot calmer to be in the space. He has formed a bond with one other participant, and they have become supportive of each other.


Watch a video in conversation between Georgia Tillery, Director of Theatre & Outreach at Black Sheep Collective and Arts for Health MK Director, Ben Heyworth talking about what we have done on the January course, and what we are going to do in the Autumn:

HEADSTART Music (ages 13 – 17)

These sessions were informal, small group, popular music making workshops for young people led by professional musician Robin Phillips and hosted by the MK Music Hub.

Participants were already engaged with the Music Hub prior to this project beginning. Feedback from these sessions has helped us to shape the plan for the first ‘proper’ HEADSTART Music sessions that started in April 2023.

Development of regular attendees – E, C, A and T:

E – From a disturbing start after returning to the Hub from a Mental Health inpatient stay, E really grew into the group as the sessions went on. Becoming more social, confident, and proactive with music suggestions. And more smiles. Always engages and contributes musically.

C – Socially confident, especially with the other young ladies. Contributed musically and engaged in every session. Managed to deal with her challenges, especially maintaining focus, in a positive way.

A – Nervous for first few weeks, especially at the beginning of every session. Made some meaningful contribution on guitar - surprised herself as she didn’t believe her ADHD would allow this. Some behavioural issues associated with her challenges. Largely negated as term progressed with her good work plus me developing strategies and recognising early signs. Integrated well socially with the other young ladies. Started singing with the group later in the term – sounding great and bringing in a new dimension – showing a growing confidence. Since A has been singing, we have moved away from creating our own pieces of music to creating our own versions of songs. It’s a positive development that’s brought more focus to the sessions and the opportunity for the group to share the music they like listening to.

T – Consistently engages and contributes musically. Occasionally disruptive - mostly very constructive and always quick to offer help. Towards the end of term they started to meditate before joining in musically and then playing beautifully.

︎Looking for Activities to try at home whilst we process your referral?
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The Headstart project is funded by the Big Lottery Community Fund.

Arts for Health Milton Keynes
Facilities Directorate
Milton Keynes Hospital
Standing Way
Milton Keynes

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Arts for Health Milton Keynes is the working name of MK Arts for Health charity number 1107625  company number 05137693