Getting home from after-school activities can make all the difference - our LaSCoT service makes that possible.
‘It’s for children and young people who have been excluded from everything else,’ explains Emily Hunka, the founder of Theatre Troupe.
‘The idea is to help improve the lives of young people who experience emotional and social difficulties and mental health problems. We work with 24 children and young people from Southwark and Lambeth each year, aged between 9 and 19 year’s old, providing drama groups and art groups in a supportive environment.
‘The children and young people at Theatre Troupe are extremely vulnerable. Their behavioural difficulties and mental health problems are often acute and frequently stem from significant trauma, neglect or abuse. Often, their behavioural difficulties mean they have been excluded not just from school, but other group activities – they don’t get to participate.
‘By creating the right environment and support, Theatre Troupe provides the opportunity to take part in art and drama, allowing people to express themselves. For some young people, being able to feel like they are taking part in something, to get up on stage, perform and receive a round of applause – often for the first time ever – it can work miracles. It can help people heal.’
LaSCoT, HCT Group’s community transport operation in south London provides transport for the group, collecting participants from their school or home and returning them home at the end of the session.
‘The impact of transport has been amazing,’ continues Emily. ‘Many of our children and young people have extremely complex or challenging home lives, so the ability to provide transport has transformed attendance from as low as 20% to around 90%. Without it, we couldn’t run our group.’