A NEW charity aimed at steering young people from difficult backgrounds on to the right path is launching in Portsmouth, Fareham and Horndean.
Spotlight UK will run dance and drama classes for children aged four to 16 in a bid to improve their confidence, self esteem and social interaction.
The classes welcome youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have behaviour problems or a disability, as well as mainstream children.
Similar classes are already being run from the charity’s centre in Basingstoke, as well as a number of support services for children and adults with disabilities.
Michaela Riley, the organisation’s chairwoman, said: ‘We see such a huge difference in the children that come to the dance and drama classes.
‘Some of them wouldn’t say boo to a goose when they start and then by the end of it they are getting on stage and performing in front of hundreds of people.
‘It’s wonderful to see, and I think the fact that there is such a wide range of ability in the class really helps them thrive.’
Money raised from the classes goes into running the charity’s services.
It is considering opening a support centre in the area, like the one in Basingstoke, if the classes in Portsmouth, Horndean and Fareham are successful.
Michaela added: ‘We want to create a place where people can come and feel safe, no matter what they are going through in their life elsewhere. Dance and drama is a very good way to escape and act out your emotions in a positive way.’
Classes start at Southsea Community Centre, King Street, Southsea, on Tuesday, or in Jubilee Hall, Crouch Lane, Horndean, on Friday.
Or there are also classes at Fareham North West Community Centre, Henry Cort Drive, Fareham, on Wednesday. For information, see spotlightuk.org