Through the 'Spirit of the Forces' Veterans project initially based in Manchester, we hope to create the opportunity through a possible channel such as Help for Heroes, SSAFA, Combat Stress and The Royal British Legion for ex-service personnel, both male and female, who are suffering from any form of life altering physical or mental health limitations allowing them to become part of a new project within the genre of performance arts. Whilst realising this may be a very alien genre for most of the Veterans, we are passionate about the sense of fulfilment and achievement that can be gained through a project like this.
Experience, ability and limitation dictated by physical or mental contraints are no obstacle to inclusion - there will be no audition process, anyone who wants to be invoved can be.
Following initial workshops, led by the artistic director of the project, participants will work together from the onset of production to create a unique piece of theatre for public performance at a prestigious venue. Maybe performing isn't for you though, we welcome you to join in creating sets, maybe carpentry is your skill - maybe a veteran will find new skills they can take forward into their life.
Following our initial performance, we hope to form satellite groups throughout the UK for all Veterans to engage in, including WIS, and homeless. These satellite groups would become self funding rather than relying on external funding and they would meet regularly for the development of and rehearsal for futher performance opportunities. The veterans will create a new bond with others involved, something they may have missed since leaving the forces, all with a joint goal to work towards.
We've had the time of veteran sports and choirs but now we want to give the opportunity for people to not only engage in performance arts but develop futher than this, in a fully inclusive project. Our project will include singing, acting, movement, fashion for wheelchair users and amputees, service dogs and film work - so there really will be something for everyone!
Initially, we are hoping to crowdfund £2000, which will cover an intial workshop and travel support for any Veterans or WIS who cannot make their own way to us in Manchester. Following this, we then hope to raise a futher £23,000 which will fund the entire (intial) project leading to the self funding groups.