I have been working with ‘Kids in Control’ (KIC) for eight months now. I was first introduced to the organisation through a short workshop in school last year, and I had great fun at it. Then, in September, after a few workshops in school, where we started working on our skills, 11 other Bloomfield girls and I began volunteering at KIC’s Wednesday night group. This was for two hours from 7pm to 9pm at the Lyric Theatre.
At first, I was nervous because this would be the first time we would meet the people we would be working with, but, when we met them, I was no longer nervous because they were all so nice and welcoming. For the first few weeks, we played games to get to know each other and we discovered who the competitive people were. We were working with people who had a range of abilities and personalities: some people had Down’s syndrome and autism and there was one member who had cerebral palsy. Getting to work with these people was so much fun and inspiring.
Lauren Fergus, Thea Capener, Fodhla Bead and I got the opportunity to join the core group that took place on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm in the Old Museum in the city centre. There, we met many more people with such variation in personality and ability. A few of the people we worked with on Wednesday nights also went to this group. There was another Bloomfield pupil, Rhiannon Morgan, who was in this group who joined KIC last year. She helped to introduce us to the group and helped us to get to know the other people at it.
We went on to create a small piece in the Saturday group which we performed in the Old Museum for family and friends. From that piece, we got lots of positive feedback and great reactions. We selected a few of the best parts from that and used them to create the show we performed on the 21st and 22nd of March in the Lyric Theatre. Performing in two pieces (the Wednesday group and Saturday) was a challenge for us, but we enjoyed every single moment of it and really appreciated the chance to work with the other young people. After the show, we got lots of positive feedback from many of the parents and from people who had not seen a KIC performance before. To hear that was so exciting and it made us feel proud of the work we had done.
KIC is a great organisation; they help so many young people and give them an opportunity to do things they would not normally get to do. They do not focus on a person’s disability nor do they separate people because of their disabilities: they create a safe environment where everyone can work together as an ensemble.
I really enjoyed volunteering at KIC and I have learned that no matter what abilities or disabilities you have you can do anything you put your mind to. I have made so many great friendships; not only has KIC helped with my skills in acting and physical movement but it has also helped me become more confident in myself. It has helped increase my self-esteem a lot and I am so grateful to everyone at KIC who has supported me and given me this opportunity. It has been great to work with the young people, who have a wide spectrum of abilities and personalities, and to see them enjoying themselves at KIC makes it all worthwhile.
I have decided to continue at KIC on Saturdays, and I have had the opportunity to do another project with them which is called ‘Physical Graffiti’. We, at KIC, are going on to create a bigger and better show in January 2018. I cannot wait for all the future adventures with KIC.