The Friday Club:
What we do and why it’s unique
Regular weekly sessions – Fridays 10am-3pm – Drama, Music and Art – led by specialist arts professionals trained to work with adults with disabilities.
One-off sessions by visiting practitioners – Dance, Photography, Set-Design and Film Studies.
By having highly skilled arts practitioners lead the projects and arts work we are able to produce top quality theatre product. It is not about just taking part, but the aspiration for excellence as in any other arts field.
Participants have ownership of the product as would be given to any other group; they choose their plays, improvise the text and design the set and props.
At the Arc the arts are not an end in itself, however well they are produced, but rather a tool for real and vital change. We work using tailored means of communication to facilitate each individual finding a sense of empowerment through art and the creative process. We help the participants to explore issues and relationships within a creative framework. The aim is to release their ‘voice’ and to enable them to articulate their concerns, thoughts and emotions in such a way that will help them to find a richness and a sense of fulfilment in their lives.
It is also about changing, in turn, the community in which we live and operate. We believe passionately that equality and diversity are as crucial to the health of the arts and the health of the community as they are to the individual. All high-calibre work of this kind works towards ensuring that those who have in the past been largely ignored can take their place, find their voice and play a full and vital role in the community.
The Key Objectives:
At the Friday Club we aim to give participants a positive social experience. We provide a network of people who know them well and can introduce them to other activities and other people.
THERAPY THROUGH THE ARTS
It is now evidenced that the arts can achieve a vital positive effect on health and wellbeing. All practitioners are trained to use drama and the arts as a developmental tool.
BUILDING CONFIDENCE AND SOCIAL SKILLS
The programme is designed to encourage self-esteem and to build skills in communication and working as one of a team.
We have learning targets for each individual spanning creative and social skills. We ensure that the teaching and the arts experience are of the highest possible standard.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Perhaps the most important aim is to enhance the quality of life of each participant. We take the time to find out what they love doing and we make sure that we do as much of it as possible.
‘I am writing to echo the opinions and voices of the group of adults with learning difficulties that you and your team worked with. They completely enjoyed each and every session. I can only thank you. The benefits of social inclusion, individual development and positive social presences have been outstanding and clearly noticed in each individual who was involved.’
Diego Acosta – Personalisation Practitioner, Surrey Team
‘The commissioned service was delivered by the Arc Team to a very high standard and in the imaginative way we have come to expect.’
Claire Richards – Head of Adult Service Provision
‘The Arc incorporates people with a variety of disabilities seamlessly, to the benefit of both the participant and the community. I would be surprised if any scheme across the country is as positive and as beneficial as this one and would strongly recommend any potential funding.’
John Orrick – Surrey County Councillor
‘I enjoy coming to Friday Club and I enjoy volunteering. All my life people have done things for me. This is my chance to make a difference.’
Drew Small – Friday Club participant and volunteer
‘I love it here! I love it!’
Howard England – Friday Club participant and audience member for almost all that we do
FRIDAY CLUB – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the dates and details?
Friday Club takes place at the Arc Arts Centre. The address is 39 Weston Drive, Caterham, Surrey CR3 5XY
Friday Club is 10am-3pm each Friday.
The Autumn Dates are Friday 25th September to Friday 18th December.
Cost: £50 per day (usually paid through personal budget)
What happens through the day on a Friday?
Friday Club is a mixed arts day.
The morning focuses on performing arts – drama, singing, music and sometimes dance.
The afternoon is based around arts and crafts.
This includes set building, prop making and basic marketing such as poster design.
Is there time for conversation and relationship building?
Absolutely. Socialisation through leisure and the arts is what Friday Club is all about. As well as lunch time and breaks there is plenty of discussion and consultation built into the programme. We encourage the highest possible level of ownership of the work. All our arts work is focussed towards building social and team building skills and techniques of communication.
Who are the tutors and directors?
The team is led by Beth Wood who has had twenty years of experience of inclusive arts. Beth also delivers projects imparting the best techniques of arts and diversity. All other tutors and assistants are taught by Beth.
All staff have DBS certificates and are trained in Safeguarding.
Are care staff provided?
We have wonderful care staff provided by the Heart of the South Agency.
They tend to basic requirements, such as hygiene assistance.
If you have more specialist needs please discuss these with Beth.
How are the needs of the participants recorded?
There is a care plan and risk assessment written up for each participant.
Are there breaks through the day?
There is one mid-morning break and a lunch break.
Is lunch provided?
Lunch is provided. There is a choice of hot and cold meals.
The cost of lunch, hot drinks and squash is included in the price.
Participants can purchase snacks.
Are there opportunities to perform in shows?
The play topics are chosen by the group. A number are workshopped and then one idea is selected as the next play.
We then spend several weeks collectively exploring the story, coming up with the characters and scene structures.
The script is then written up by writers before rehearsals begin.
All costumes, sets and props are provided by Prospero.
What should participants wear?
It’s good to wear clothes that are loose and comfortable.
ARE WE ABLE TO DO A TASTER SESSION?
Yes – we always advise people to come along and do a free taster Friday.
Who should we contact if we have more questions?
If you have more questions please contact Beth Wood on:
Director Beth Wood