Arc news: September 2016

Raised Voices 2016

Raised Voices Female Empowerment Group Latest Film Launch

From the Barking & Dagenham Post online, 30 September 2016:


Dagenham youth group explores FGM in short films

Hope was at the core of a taboo-busting series of short films created by and for young women. Raised Voices 'There is Hope' film was screened on September 29 at Kingsley Hall in Dagenham. “We are raising our voices, we want to be heard,” chanted the 12 to 18-year-old members of Raised Voices as they showcased the culmination of their year’s work in Dagenham last night.

The youth group – run by Arc Theatre as a female leadership and peer mentoring project – left no topic untouched in their films as they explored everything from transgender experience to forced marriage and FGM. Every one of the 11 shorts was devised, created and performed by a total of 50 students from different schools in the borough.

Arc Theatre Education Director Natalie Smith told the Post she was "so proud" of their achievements. "They really deserved this night, they've worked so hard and they should be celebrated in this way," she said. "I'm so proud of them, but I'm always proud of them. There's a lot of bad stuff in the world, but this is one of the good things."

Mayor of Barking and Dagenham Councillor Eileen Keller presented the 30-strong group with certificates and Jack Petchey awards following the packed screening in Kingsley Hall, Parsloes Avenue. "I feel inadequate after this," she joked. "They are doing a marvellous job. These things they talk about are great – I didn't know about them when I was a youngster. It's great that these girls are prepared and can go back and teach their peers. It's just wonderful, I'm really pleased. Keep going – we'll see what we can do."

Students are now touring with the films – collectively entitled 'There is Hope' – around schools and youth venues to convey their messages to a wider audience.

Borough commander Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson added: "I thought these guys were absolutely brilliant. These films get rid of taboos. The more we do things we can do like this the more we can teach communities."

Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Barking & Dagenham Council (MOPAC), the group are now seeking further funding to continue their work. See full online article.

To view the films go to or email Natalie Smith.

Read about RAISED VOICES in the Baking & Dagenham Post, Wednesday 5 October 2016, pages 26-27

Arc diary of events

5 October
Community groups for Thurrock Community Safety Partnership
School for Scammers & Friend or Faux interactive workshops

18 October
Local organisations at Dagenham Roundhouse for LBBD Community Engagement Team
Hate Crime Forum Theatre

21 October
First Draw in the Barking & Dagenham Good Causes Lottery!
Buy your ticket to support Arc Theatre!

23 October
Dacorum Borough Council, Hemel Hempstead
Community engagement workshops

Secondary schools for West Midlands Police/Partnership
Touching Moments sexual offences Forum Theatre

4 November
Cumberland School, Newham
Health & wellbeing Forum Theatre

7 November
International School of Toulouse, France
Creative Arts Day drama workshops

Secondary schools for Hammersmith & Fulham Community Investment Team
No More Whispers FGM-awareness Forum Theatre

Local primary schools for Arc's Barking & Dagenham Crowdfunder campaign
Broadcast Junior online safety Forum Theatre

Local secondary schools for B&D SNB/MOPAC
Stop & Think stop & search awareness workshops

Throughout '17
Primary & secondary school staff
Arc's Female Genital Mutilation INSETs with Leyla Hussein

Throughout '17
B&D young people for LBBD MOPAC & Jack Petchey
Raised Voices female leadership programme

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