Ailish's Story

21 year old Ailish didn’t feel that she had the experience or confidence to find a job. DurhamWorks partners Jack Drum Arts have seen her confidence grow working on theatre and film projects, and she’s learning a range of new skills on a week-long residential stay, which she’ll be able to transfer into the world of work.

Ailish joined Jack Drum Arts in September 2017 and took part in their weekly Youth Theatre sessions.

She then joined their British Film Institute (BFI) Academy and over 3 months she learnt to produce a short film, from concept, story development, script, storyboard, pre-production, location shooting, acting on camera, editing, score composition and more. Ailish acted in the film, and attended the premiere where she accepted an award and certificate from the BFI recognising her achievements.

She has also completed a Level 1 award in the Arts from Trinity College London.

Ailish has a disability and related learning difficulties, so Jack Drum Arts have worked closely with Ailish and her family, putting extra support and adaptations in place to allow her to attend the Youth Theatre and other workshops. She is about to begin final rehearsals for two theatre performances in partnership with the National Theatre London.

She has just taken part in Jack Drum’s Creating Culture residency. This week saw young people from the UK, Lithuania, Russia and Syria come together to meet and develop their understanding of culture, human rights, and current issues faced by young people and adults in Europe. Ailish will work with leaders, activists, educators and artists – all great experience to add to her CV.

As Ailish has never spent a night away from home, the residency was a great way for her to learn even more new skills and to boost her confidence, moving her nearer to her long-term goal of starting work.

Find out more about Jack Drum Arts' creative DurhamWorks programme on their webpage.

Posted in Our Stories on May 01, 2018


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