Doing Their Bit: A Mind Apart
We shine a light on just some of the many forces for good in Sheffield: local charities, social initiatives and – more generally – anyone striving to make our fair city a better, fairer place to live.
Jodie Marshall, Managing Director of Mind Apart
I founded Mind Apart during my time at Lincoln University studying performing arts. Now 14 years old, the idea for the company came about whilst taking part in a practical module where I had to create a theatre company and put in a fake Arts Council application. A Mind Apart uses performing arts to engage with children, young people and adults, using it as a way to support development, social skills, confidence and self-esteem with all those we work with. We deliver a wide range of services from dramatherapy to evening performing arts classes, and specialise in being fully inclusive, providing a safe space for all individuals to learn and have social interactions with others, whilst learning skills and in many cases developing performances. All of our sessions are accessible to those with Special Educational Needs as well as those without.
Our work includes intervention work with schools, social care and local authorities; working with some of the most vulnerable and at risk children and young people in the city, delivering wellbeing and personal development sessions that support them to re-engage with education longer term, and in some cases progress to college where they otherwise thought they never could. As part of this work, we deliver the Arts Award Qualification that enables them to achieve something and have a positive experience of completing a qualification.
Our classes and sessions are inclusive and create a space for individuals to be who they want to be, whilst also learning how to respect others and be a part of a group – often with mixed abilities and needs. This is particularly critical to a child’s and young person’s development and in learning how to be a part of society in a positive and safe way. In addition to this, we use techniques from performing arts to support participants in combating loneliness, mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and other health and wellbeing issues, teaching conflict management and soft skills that can be used throughout life.
For those that want to take performing arts further, we have options for them to increase their skills and understand more about the industry. Although it is starting to change, for years the performing arts industry has been exclusive and not considerate to those with needs or from other vulnerable groups. It is still very behind other sectors, but our work is a critical part of preparing those that otherwise wouldn’t get the opportunities in the industry to be a part of it and to be able to manage the mental challenges they will face, in what can be a very critical and harsh industry.
We are always in need of support, and our work is regularly underfunded. You can support us by signing yourself or your child up to one of our classes, which take place in the evenings and are available for children, teenagers and adults. If this doesn’t quite sound like something you are interested in but value our work and want to support us, we have a crowdfund that we are currently seeking support for, which is helping us to recover from Covid.
Please head to localgiving.org/appeal/amindapartcovidrecovery to make a donation.
You can find further details of what we do on our website at www.amindapart.org.uk. Finally, much of those we work with come to us via word of mouth, so please visit our social media pages at @amindapart and share more about our work with those you know or work with. We would also value you sharing our crowdfunder so that we can hit our target, which will help us to make sure that our work can continue.