Pilot Social Circus Training Programme
Looking to cooperate with
All EU countries and partners with remit for developing effective projects for young people and young people at risk of social exclusion and isolation.
The project has been funded as a pilot in County Wexford, and analysis has been carried out into the benefits and impacts. We feel the programme will self-perpetuate with future circus artists coming through and eventually transforming into facilitators and leaders for the next generation. Through this pilot programme, some young leaders will be identified and be in a position to raise awareness of circus skills with their peers and at their youth centre club meetings.
The marketing and promotion of this programme was targeted at two levels:
(1) The young people who will avail and benefit from the training and,
(2) The educators, social care providers and government policy makers who develop future educational tools. ISACS aim to inform and lobby on a national level, the impacts of social circus as a tool for social and cultural change.
It is envisaged that this pilot project can catalyse a movement to transform education from the STEM method to the STEAM method recognising the value of creativity and physical activity as central to the development and well being of future generations of young people.
The Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network (ISACS) aims to initiate a pilot Social Circus Training Programme, run in conjunction with FDYS Youth Services (responsible for recruitment & venue), for young people in Wexford. Social Circus has become well recognised as a highly successful medium with which to engage young people, particularly those who engage in risk taking behaviour and vulnerable young adults. It provides positive, physical and challenging activities which stimulate, inspire, encourage and motivate young people to learn. As the young people achieve certain seemingly impossible goals, their confidence and self-esteem soars. This has been proven in countless studies, most relevant here through the engagement of Youth at Risk in Belfast through the Belfast Community Circus and also in Galway through the Galway Community Circus. ISACS wish to initiate a project which can explore the possibility of circus for change in Wexford, for the future physical, mental and emotional health and development of the young people who participate.
The project consists of the provision of a pilot youth circus training programme, ‘Sorcas Garman’, a series of youth centered, skills development workshops by qualified youth circus workers in juggling, uni-cycling, poi, acro-yoga, spinning plates & manipulation, stilt walking & dancing, hula hoops, and performance/clown skills. ISACS will organise and manage the programme and will be supported by the FDYS who will recruit the young people and provide the venue. The programme will consist of 30 training workshops, once a week for 2 hours per session, for 15 young people, providing them with in team building, safe risk taking, building self-confidence, trust, teamwork, responsibility, and expression. This will be achieved through the use of circus props, and a combination of circus skills mentioned above.
Delivering a social circus project of this nature in Wexford has the potential to transform many young people’s lives and is an innovative approach to supporting young people’s development. Through the course, ISACS hopes to demonstrate to young people, their worth, their potential, their skills and their abilities. The project will not only teach them unbelievable tricks and techniques, but will equip them with social skills, personal development, team work, trust, risk taking and responsibility at the same time.
• 12-15 targeted young people from each area.
• The promotion of circus skills as a method of helping young people develop skills.
• The young people themselves benefit, together with their families, social circles and networks and their wider community.
• Course details: 30 training workshops, once a week, 2 hours per session.
• Skills gained: Team building, safe risk-taking, self-confidence, teamwork, responsibility, personal development, expression, through the use of circus props, techniques and tools such as juggling, hula hoop, plate spinning, Diablo, clown, acro, performance, stilt walking, etc.
The impacts of the programme are far reaching – circus can engage, impact and influence young people’s lives physically, mentally and socially in many positive ways. ISACS wish to support young people to have the tools to affect change for their wider communities, for those around them in their families, communities and educational spheres.