Children & Young People's Wellbeing Project

Children and Young People's Wellbing Project logo

With funding from Artswork and Reading Borough Council, we have commissioned three projects to improve wellbeing for children and young people up to the age of 25 across all of Reading. The project is being delivered in schools and communities with a focus on youngsters already facing disadvantage. We will be collecting evidence from all parts of the project in partnership with the University of Sussex to form a theory of how involvement in arts and culture can improve wellbeing through development of inter-personal and intra-personal skills.



Project strands


Theatre for children at risk of exclusion/missing education

The first strand of this project is a partnership between Make/Sense Theatre and RABBLE Theatre who will provide a creative alternative provision for SEN/SEMH children and young people experiencing problems with their school’s mainstream curriculum offer or who have already been excluded and may be attending a Pupil Referral Unit. They will be running this exciting new creative programme for primary and secondary school students from KS2-KS4 every Tuesday and Thursday from January until July.

Experts in their field, Make/Sense Theatre and RABBLE Theatre have specialist, highly experienced staff who will work with children and young people referred to this Drama programme using a trauma-informed approach.  This safe and engaging environment will allow the participants to not only explore drama, but wider theatre making skills such as writing, puppetry, movement, and stage management with an aim to develop self-regulation skills, restore confidence and trust, and ultimately re-engage in their learning. Primary school children will work towards a Discover Arts Award and young people from Secondary school will work towards a Bronze Level 1 Arts Award - a flexible qualification that explores not just arts but leadership and career skills.

  • Only primary school students attending Whitley Park are eligible to attend the primary sessions
  • Secondary school students (from any school) will be separated into two groups according to need
  • Referrals for young people who might benefit from this programme are still being accepted and if places are filled we will create a waitlist. Referrals will be followed by meeting with the student and their parent and/or referrer to ensure the referral meets our criteria.
  • Schools will be asked to contribute to the cost of this intensive programme, up to £50 per student per session

Referrals will be accepted from any professional or parent. Email or for a referral form.


Dance Reading Projects

The second strand is a Dance Reading project that will work in selected schools.

  • Circus performances and workshops at Whitley Park Primary school
  • Kathak dance workshops at Geoffrey Fields primary school, with participation in the Diwali parade on 29th October 2022
  • 1:1 mentoring for up to 10 young people seeking more information about a career in the arts with opportunity to work towards a dance qualification
  • Workshops at John Madejski Academy with professional dancers from Far from the Norm and Joseph Toonga
  • An opportunity for 5 young people from JMA to produce their own dance event and gain a Bronze Arts Award

The company also runs a series of events in November as part of their festival which are open to the public which we would like to advertise to pupils and families.

Enquire about mentoring and dance classes by contacting 


Reading Football Club

The third strand is with Reading FC Community Trust who are adding arts and creative projects to their current Premier League Kicks programme. Sessions are currently held at locations across Reading, including Whitley Park Primary school, the Ranikhet Academy, and Kings Academy Prospect.

  • In partnership with local organisations, more children will take part in after school creative clubs
  • Alongside football and other sports, children who attend Kicks sessions will be able to explore their interests in dance, video-editing, and DJ-ing as they work towards their Arts Award Discover 
  • Participants will be supported to have a voice in their local communities through a social action group that has previously been part of local strategies for knife crime and safety for young people
  • All the young people involved will have a chance to take part in an exciting showcase hosted at the Select Car Leasing stadium

The current list of Kicks programmes can be found here or contact for more information.


Arts Awards training

Online on a selection of dates, see website

10 spaces remaining, FREE


Training to deliver arts Awards in any school or community setting is being completely funded as part of this project. The workshop, usually costing £150-£200, is a half day online plus some reading before and after the workshop. Once trained as an adviser there are opportunities to access further mentoring and courses online here.

You can also apply for up to £500 off the cost of registering for Artsmark accreditation, and get first choice on a range of creative and cultural learning opportunities for your school. Contact to find out more





Who to contact

Contact Name
Hannah Laidley
Contact Position
Project Coordinator
07977 162 769 07977 162 769
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Time / Date Details

When is it on
Various times including school holidays


Most activities are free of charge, although some intensive programmes require a contribution from the school.


Age Ranges
up to 25 years
Other notes

We are able to cater to a range of additional needs. Call 07977 162 769 or email to enquire.


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This information has been collected from third party providers therefore the Reading Services Guide, Reading Borough Council (RBC) and Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of this information and recommends that parents, carers, young people, residents and professionals check with providers regarding DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) and OFSTED registrations and CQC registrations. Information collected by Reading Service Guide; is used solely to implement and supply the Family Information Service (FIS), Special Educational Needs & Disabilities - Reading's Local Offer, Adults & Carers Support Group and Reading Youth.


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