Theatre group kickstarts serious social message in schools

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An award-winning theatre group is helping to educate young people in East Dunbartonshire about anti-social behavour and encourage them to make good choices in life.

In partnership with Police Scotland and with the help of funding from the Choices for Life Campaign and East Dunbartonshire Community Safety Partnership, Kickstart Theatre Company are performing their unique play to every S1 and S3 pupils in the area’s schools.

The play tackles issues such as fire raising, drug and alcohol abuse, online safety, road safety and knife crime.

The young people are invited to take part in the performance, make decisions at critical points and think about the repercussions of that decision.

Kickstart Theatre Company have been recognised for their contribution to local communities and have won two national awards.

Police Constable John Robertson, School Liaison Officer for Bearsden and Milngavie, said: “These theatre events have been very well received by the young people, particularly because they are drama based and interactive, tackling issues and allowing them to influence and steer each other towards the best decision.”

Council Leader Rhondda Geekie was delighted to attend the event and meet some pupils.

She said, “This type of event is an excellent example of partnership working that is delivering something of real value to the young people in our schools. “By drawing on the expertise of this theatre group we can be sure we are communicating with pupils in a way they are open to.

“It was clear that they enjoyed the performance and I hope they found it thought provoking.”

The events have been well received across East Dunbartonshire schools.

Alison Boyles, Deputy Head at Bearsden Academy said, “The Kickstart performance for S1 was brilliant. Rob and his team from Kick Start had our S1 pupils enthralled and captivated for over an hour and a half.

“The pupils were keen to participate and really seemed to enjoy the fun way in which the important message of making good choices regarding behaviour in the community was delivered.

“They pitched the performance appropriately for the kids around issues they are familiar with and in pupil friendly language. Great afternoon.”

Councillors, Council Officers and Police Scotland’s Local Area Commander Chief Inspector Craig Smith attended the Kick Start event held at Boclair Academy.

Chief Inspector Craig Smith said, “Kickstart Theatre is an innovative way to get strong safety messages across to the first year pupils of East Dunbartonshire in a fun and interactive way.

“I’m delighted to be supporting these productions and acknowledge the funding that’s been provided through East Dunbartonshire Community Safety Partnership and Choices for Life.”

More information can be found on the Choices for Life Website at http://young.scot/choices-for-life/