TOGETHER | Drama & Life Skills Project

The Together project was funded by the Education Authority's Inclusion Fund and provided practical learning opportunities for young people from Mencap and Dreamscheme.

Through this project young people from both groups had the opportunity to build relationships, engage in positive activities and develop life skills together.

The project included a series of life skills sessions and a Bronze Arts Award programme delivered by the MAC in Belfast. To encourage the development of relationships, the project included team-building trips, including a trip to Belfast Activity Centre and to Newcastle.

We successfully worked with Mencap staff to identify and engage an appropriate group of young people with learning disabilities that would be a similar age range as the group of Dreamscheme young people. The group of Dreamscheme young people were recruited through our ongoing youth programmes in Braniel and Belvoir/Milltown.

    By end of programme:

    • 8 young people achieved a Level 1 award on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)
    • Young people gained new experience through going to an arts event
    • Young people increased understanding through researching their arts inspiration
    • Young people increased their confidence through sharing their skills with others.

    Young people had an opportunity:

    • To define and understand disability in its broadest sense
    • To discuss and explore attitudes towards, and levels of awareness about disability
    • To understand practical advice and steps in how to be inclusive
    • To build new relationships with young people from the different groups
    • To increase understanding of other people’s needs

    Young people had opportunity to learn new skills, such as:

    • Budgeting
    • Listening
    • Communicating
    • Presenting
    • Team work
    • Leading


    Feedback from young people with learning disabilities:

    I still feel nervous but I would like to meet them [Dreamscheme young people] and learn from their experiences more.
    — Janine,
    I now have confidence from meeting new people and making new friends. I really enjoyed the games. It’s been good fun.
    — Daniel


    Feedback from Dreamscheme young people:

    I enjoyed getting to interact with young people with learning disabilities. I think lots of people think it’s difficult, when it’s not actually that hard.
    — Morgan
    Before the project I thought people with learning disabilities were completely different that me. I thought that I was better than them. But over the course of this project I have realised that I am not, and that they are just the same as me.
    — Jack
    We were quite awkward at the start. I thought coming into the project that it would be quite a challenge. But when I started having conversations with people I found out that they are just like me. Getting into the project I was able to chat to them [Mencap young people] and get to know them better than I thought I would.
    — Bradley