Blackpool Strategic Partnership
Project Aims - to improve the mental health of participants, raising
aspirations, self-esteem and giving them the skills to set goals
and make positive choices, aiming to reduce rates of teenage pregnancy
and sexually transmitted infections.
This project explores self-image and identity in a group of 13-14
year old young women. Puppetry, role play, collage and textile work
explores Images of women, attitudes towards sex and relationships
and helps individuals to learn skills to make informed choices for
|Esteem, Blackpool. The Tracey Emin inspired quilt made by
the group. Photo Brian Slater
Rachel Riggs of DNA worked with Blackpool Council Teenage Pregnancy
Team an d video artist Chantal Oakes, Supproted by Equalities office
and Sexual Health worker Alex Keelan at Bispham High School to explore
these issues with participants.
The participants felt that the project provided 'somewhere where
they don't judge you, where people listen to your opinion.' They
viewed the arts as important because 'there are things you couldn't
explian in words... we're finding different ways to express things.'
By the end of the project, participants felt that they had more
conridence, had found different ways to express themselves and had
learned to be more open and tolerant.
The young women acknowledged that the sense of acheivement gained
form the project was very important to them: 'If someone had discouraged
me from coming, I wouldn't have acheived everything I've done -
the collage, the talking.'
What makes puppetry particularly suitable for sex and relationships
education is its distancing effect. A young person can make a puppet
say and do things which the person controlling the puppet would
feel unable to do.
||Suitable for 13 and up
||a series of sessions
||high schools, youth centres