If you would like to visit the Scene & Heard web site, please click Here.
Tom's Trust supports Scene & Heard, which was started 13
years ago and works with children aged 9-16 from the Somers Town area of north
London. Three primary schools in the area refer children they think will benefit
to Scene & Heard. These children often have multiple issues and chaotic home
lives. The charity aims to raise the children's confidence and self-esteem by
giving them one-on-one mentoring by theatre professionals and enabling them to
experience public success through their theatrical productions.
Scene & Heard now runs four theatre workshop courses through which the children can progress over a period of years, which means that the charity has the opportunity to work with the same children for 4-5 years at an important stage of their development and school careers. Details of each of the courses, which run once or twice a year, are on the Scene & Heard website www.sceneandheard.org. The children can attend the first course from around age 9. Generally, children cannot progress to a more advanced course until they have done the previous one. Once the children have done the first course, they tend to come back for subsequent courses, indeed if they don't return it is most often due to circumstances beyond the child's or charity's control, such as the child being moved to different carers out of the area.
All mentoring on the courses is by professional actors, writers or directors. The one-on-one approach enables them to give the children, especially those who can be disruptive in larger groups, the care and support they need to make a success of the course. The charity has a volunteer body of about 450 theatre professionals. Because the courses involve a considerable commitment of time and because they have to fit around the volunteers' work commitments, it would be difficult, even with that number, to run many more courses than they currently do.