Centrestage was opened in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, in 2006 without public or grant funding and operates with the ethos that anyone, regardless of age, background or experience, can gain life changing social benefits through participation in the arts
Centrestage Communities delivers assets and strengths focussed activities to individuals and communities, many living with multiple deprivations, using the arts and enterprise as the main tools for raising aspiration, achievement, inclusion and community capacity. All of our projects aim to build on the knowledge and skills of all participants whilst developing their individual and collective strengths
Centrestage has come to provide a direct link between many marginalised groups, helping individuals within these groups feel more connected to the wider geographical, cultural and social community. Working across sectors, Centrestage aims to help participants improve their lives by providing the tools to make this possible. All projects are focused on building a strong sense of community both within our organisation and in the town itself.
Every donation, however small, will make a significant and meaningful difference to our project delivery. We are grateful to everyone who has been part of the Centrestage Communities journey so far. Thank you.
“Unite” encompasses our Reach Out, Rising Stars and Aspire groups and enables children, young people and adults living with a wide range of additional support needs and learning disabilities to participate fully within the Centrestage community, allowing new opportunities in performing and creative arts and volunteering, reducing isolation and discrimination and promoting true inclusion within the broader community. Reach Out is a drop in class tailored for adults with a wide range of support needs. This informal, sociable and high energy class is full of music, creative movement and laughter. Our Rising Stars group is for children aged 6-14 years. Here, the high ratio of leaders to children allows the participants to express themselves safely & creatively in a supportive and fun environment.
Aspire2Dance, Aspire Act, Aspire2Perform and Aspire2Create are classes for those aged 14yrs to adult who, through the dedicated support of the Centrestage leaders become incredibly confident participants in regular performances allowing them to attain improved physical fitness alongside greater skills of communication, team work, self control and motivation.
As well as informal showcases throughout the year, participants in Rising Stars and Aspire also devise and perform in the annual Centrestage pantomime and in Summer 2015 will have the opportunity to be part of the summer school production of “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”
Unite workshops are also delivered in local special schools.
The Ignite (Age 5- 13yrs) and Connect (age 13- 21yrs) projects are provided for children and young people who for social, financial or geographic reasons would be unable to participate in Centrestage activities. Some may find difficulty engaging with the mainstream school system or may already be excluded. Through participation in enterprise, creative and performing arts based activities and performances, the young people learn the tools that help shape their own destiny, teaching them to take responsibility for their own actions and choices and to never assume that a negative destination is inevitable. Through allowing them to develop their own self-belief and instilling conviction that they are empowered to make positive decisions about their life, regardless of their background, we aim to create new opportunities, broaden horizons and empower children and young people to believe that, through their own actions and efforts, they can make positive contributions to their families and communities.
All Connect and Ignite activities focus on the assets within the participants, foster productive and constructive use of leisure time, actively motivate participants to remain in- or re-engage in- education, and, where appropriate, serve as a unique strategy to prevent alcohol, drug use and crime amongst high risk groups living within particularly hazardous social environments, motivating them to explore new strengths, to engage with each other and the wider community.
These activities are delivered in evenings and weekends in venues throughout Ayrshire and are also delivered within local Primary and Secondary schools.
Musical Generations demonstrates that we are never too young or too old to learn from each other. Every Monday afternoon we welcome elderly members of our community, from a wide variety of home and care settings to enjoy an afternoon of music, movement, conversation and refreshments. We have witnessed memories being revisited through music and friendships being rekindled as people from across Ayrshire come together for companionship, entertainment and community in an energetic and positive setting. Carers and family members are encouraged to come along and be part of the experience. For many elderly people, who perhaps have a decreased ability to communicate, music often plays a key therapeutic role and helps regain their connection with others. In 2015, we will launch “Gie it Laldy”, our project specifically for those members of our community living with Dementia.
FUSE delivers activities in the heart of communities that build aspiration and positivity, raise levels of health and education, reduce crime, anti-social and violent behaviour and strengthen and build capacity. Current activities across Ayrshire include choirs, acting classes, walking groups, dance and fitness classes, community cafes, art workshops and cookery classes alongside workshops in health and wellbeing, enterprise and financial management.
Sing and Smile
Sing and Smile enables children aged from birth to 8 years and their parents/carers to come together for play, song, storytelling and community based daytime support. The overarching objective behind this early intervention is to improve the quality of life for children, particularly those living within disadvantaged families and communities. This project can also be accessed via Catalyst Families.
Evolve is led by women for women.
Women experiencing multiple, long-term barriers in fulfilling their potential, often living with mental health issues, low confidence and self esteem are supported by mentors from within the CS team, developing their creative and personal strengths, sharing and learning from their experiences whilst moving forward together, supported within the Centrestage community.
Reconnect, our original project delivered within HMP Kilmarnock since 2010 has developed into Catalyst, which provides meaningful support to men pre and post release, providing the individualised and intensive structures required to enable them to progress, providing every support possible to break the cycle of re-offending.
The Catalyst team deliver employability & enterprise training, lifeskills, housing, health, financial and welfare support alongside the creative skills learned prior to liberation.
By instilling the belief that they can make fundamental changes to their lives, regardless of their history, we aim to create new opportunities and empower our participants to believe that, through their own actions and efforts, they can make positive contributions to their families and communities and to challenge the labels that have defined them in the past.
The Catalyst project in turn has provided vital understanding that we have applied in the development of our Catalyst Families and Catalyst Communities models which launched in 2014 in Kilmarnock and Ardeer.
We also provide opportunities that allow the wider community to understand the challenges of being an “outsider”. This is a vital part of our strategy as there is no reason for our most vulnerable clients to change their negative behaviours if, when their lives are stabilised and dignified, they are still judged by their past label- ex-addict; ex- offender...
Many of our project participants have trades and skills that they have not applied or used for many years. Within our projects, they are becoming more involved in a wide range of community activities, including
· Household maintenance- painting, decorating, plastering, joinery
· Equipment repair
· Furniture upcycling
· Screenprinting, design & merchandise production.
This final aspect is being expanded to offer a wide range of bespoke branded merchandising required by external companies including Centrestage Music Theatre CIC and will offer formal training and employment opportunities to participants as the Catalyst project develops.