Celebrating Chicken Shed

Last night I attended the 25th Annual Chickenshed Gala at London’s iconic Guildhall. I got to rub shoulders with  Jeremy Irons, Sinead Cusack, Derek Jacobi and Christopher Biggins. But pushing celebrities and sequins aside, most importantly, I got to be spell bound by the enormity of Chickenshed’s message and achievements. Over 150 young people performing breathtaking dance, music and drama.

Chickenshed is a theatre company with a difference. A big difference. They bring together young people from all social and economic backgrounds, races and abilities together to be creative together. Many of these young people have previously been marginalised and they be excluded from mainstream education (66% of the students on our BTEC course would not be permitted to start a course at any other college or university). Chickenshed provides the young people with whom they work with the opportunity to transform their lives because of the experience of being included and valued. They find each individual’s strengths and enable these to flourish.

I’d like to see their inspirational vision be the ambition for  many more community settings, across schools and workplaces. Our whole society should in fact work to celebrate diversity and inspire everyone to achieve to the best of their strengths.

Chickenshed you are life affirming. Thank you.