Hampshire probation service helps women to ‘create change’ in its drama workshops

Creating Change scheme with Hampshire CRC probation Picture: Nisha Haq
Creating Change scheme with Hampshire CRC probation Picture: Nisha Haq
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MORE than 60 women have taken part in drama workshops hosted by the Probation Service.

The scheme, held at six women’s centres run by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company, were led by BearFace Theatre and Hampshire Cultural Trust.

It encouraged people to take part in a bid to learn about real-life triggers including alcohol and how to cope with them, through to making the right choices and family support.

Laney Dimmock, a service user at Fareham women’s centre, said: ‘Of all the groups I go to, these drama sessions were my favourite. We created scenes and explored how people see things differently.

‘Team games involved listening, touching and trusting. I learned a lot from the communication without speaking. It’s really helped me to be in a place where no-one judges or makes assumptions.

‘Being in a women-only group helps, I see many women speaking up where I think they would stay quiet in a mixed group.’

Julie Eden is HIOW CRC senior case manager and women’s centre facilitator.

She said: ‘We work really hard at the women’s centres to create a safe environment for service users. This is important because a high proportion of attendees have experienced trauma.

‘We encourage women to develop positive support networks in their community and relationships with each other.

‘Our colleagues from BearFace Theatre and Hampshire Cultural Trust shared these values and I have really enjoyed working with them.’

Creating Change uses cognitive behavioural theory techniques combined with drama and performing arts skills.

Julie added: ‘Many service users said they developed a better understanding of CBT because of Creating Change.

‘This is fantastic because it means service users are more likely to apply this knowledge and understanding.

‘For several women, Creating Change was their first experience at the women’s centre and by the end they said that they had bonded with the other service users.

‘I’m delighted because evidence shows positive relationships are a crucial part of helping women to stop reoffending.’