The week after Easter this year, Liverpool Lighthouse brought together a group of women with lived experience of addiction to create a theatre residency.
The 5-day residency was part of our pioneering lived experience theatre programme, that through co-creation of a piece of theatre, empowers vulnerable participants to tell their stories on stage. The process centres on hope and encourages participants to find their voices, grow in self-esteem and communicate their lived experience to stakeholders like social and healthcare professionals and other community leaders and decision-makers.
The programme also supports participants address trauma in a safe, supported environment and begin or make progress in recovery journeys with hope and healing.
The residency is run by experienced creative wellbeing and pastoral leads and peer mentors with lived experience of issues faced by the participants. Across the 5 days they create a supportive, safe, wellbeing-led environment where participants can engage creatively, find practical support and make progress in their recovery journeys, culminating in a live performance.
This residency was extra special as it crossed over with the visit of LFC footballers and an LFC TV camera crew to Lighthouse, who came to film the activity happening there that day, which also included youth creative arts sessions and a combined recording of the 2 choirs based at Lighthouse.
The Jewels participants, staff and peer mentors took the stage themselves the following day to share their verbatim theatre piece with an invited audience of local stakeholders and the community.
This programme is truly innovative in terms of the impact of progressing recovery journeys, creativity benefitting the wellbeing of participants and the impact they are able to have on systems and services by telling their stories in a way that engages hearts and minds and makes a call to action for new thinking and approaches to the issues faced by the most vulnerable in society.