Blog

BRAVO 22 COMPANY

Unspoken Cast

7pm, Sunday 12th November 2017

Newcastle Theatre Royal

https://www.theatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/unspoken

 

Linda Shaw (Newcastle theatre project – 2016)

Linda Shaw, 53, first got involved with Bravo 22 in Newcastle in 2016. She is the wife of ex-Serviceman Dave Shaw, also a member of Bravo 22 Company and is a part-time coach driver in the North East.

A friend mentioned the Newcastle theatre project to her so she thought she would see what it was like. As a veteran’s wife and with her husband suffering from PTSD without being diagnosed, she was the only partner of an ex-Serviceman in the cast of “Wor Stories” at Newcastle Theatre Royal. She wanted to give her input of what it was like to live with someone with PTSD.

 

 

 

 

Dave Shaw (Newcastle theatre project – 2016)

Dave Shaw, 51, was in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in the late 1980s and the Royal Signals in the 1990s before being medically discharged. Dave suffers from PTSD. He got involved with Bravo 22 Company as part of the Newcastle theatre project in 2016.

It wasn’t something he’d normally consider doing but with his wife Linda also part of the project, she eventually convinced him to take part. Despite being dubious, he thought it was a good idea to have both sides of his story portrayed.

 

 

 

Debbie Evans (Plymouth theatre project – 2015)

Debbie Evans is a 51-year-old is an Army reservist and grandmother from Plymouth. She’s completed three deployments to war zones including Iraq and she’s been on two tours to Afghanistan.

During her first detachment, she volunteered to go out on the ground with 40 Commando Royal Marines, visiting compounds as part of the ‘hearts and minds’ operation. In her second, she was based in Camp Bastion at the main hospital as a nurse.

It was this contact with the enemy that led to her to eventually being diagnosed with PTSD. She first got involved with a Bravo 22 production in Plymouth called ‘Boots at The Door’. Debbie is a Legion member.

 

 

 

David Griffin (Manchester art project – 2017)

David joined the Military in 1976 and was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery. A year later he was deployed to Northern Ireland where he patrolled the streets of Lisburn. After a successful promotion and further training as a radar/surveyor within a specialist troop he returned to Northern Ireland in 1981. During this tour, based at St. Angelo airport the R.U.C. police station was blown up killing many police officers. Following this detachment, he went on to serve in Germany, Scotland and Salisbury Plain before joining Regiment 94 (locating) Regiment as a Bombardier.

In 1987, David went on his final tour of Northern Ireland, in Crossmaglen on the Irish border. Following a patrol, he was fired upon and he injured his left leg. David was medically evacuated to a London hospital for three months and then transferred to R.A.F. Headley Court for rehabilitation for 18 months. On returning to his unit, he was medically discharged in August 1989.

David took part in the Bravo 22 project ‘Art of Recovery’ in Manchester earlier this year. Using wire, he created a life-size sculpture that represented the most stressful time in his army career – tangled up on a barbed wire fence whilst being shot at.

 

 

Ian Rudge (Manchester art project – 2017)

Ian Rudge served in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm 820 Squadron as a seaman from 1972 to 1979.

He used to really enjoy his time off away from his job and so on deciding he wanted to have more of this lifestyle, he chose to leave service life. However, two weeks after leaving the military, Ian realised this was sadly not the case and found employment on civvy street rather tough.

To keep himself employed, Ian took on a series of different jobs including some work on a scrapyard and being a delivery driver. Eventually he got a job as an Angle-Grinder for GEC in Trafford Park, which he did for 6 years. In 1990, Ian left to become a bus driver in Manchester and stayed in this job for 27 years. After leaving, he became very depressed, refusing to go out and not wanting to do anything or face anyone.

Ian was introduced to Bravo 22 Company by Scott Briggs at Sharks Forces and wasn’t initially interested as his focus was painting and always had been, especially at school. Ian now teaches veterans in Sale to paint using acrylics as well as teaching elderly people in a sheltered housing complex in Swinton called Lawrence Lowry House. Ian would love nothing more than to make a career out of art.

 

Luke Delahunty (Aylesbury theatre project – 2015)

Luke joined the cadets in his teens and had always wanted to join the Royal Air Force from a young age. He served eight years as a Senior Aircraftsman in the RAF Regiment and completed tours in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Croatia and Bosnia.

One of his favourite past times was riding his motor bike but in 1996 he was involved in a serious crash with an 18-tonne trailer on the way to work. He was lucky to survive but the accident left him paralysed from the chest down and in a wheelchair. Two years later he was medically discharged.

Initially Luke had difficulties adjusting to life with his injuries and also being away from military life. He became frustrated but eventually decided he wanted to turn the situation around and become more positive. Having had a taste of the RAF’s sense of adventure he looked into ways of getting himself involved with some new activities. He got qualified in scuba diving, water skiing and learnt to fly a light aircraft.

In 2015, Luke was working at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire when a friend mentioned that Bravo 22 Company was hoping to put on a theatre show in Aylesbury. He popped into the recruitment day ‘by chance’, which was being hosted by Actor Ray Winston. Luke took part in a few of the sessions and later got the chance to join the Company. Since then he’s also taken part in the Invictus Games, Garsington Opera and competed in the London Marathon three times.

 

Tip Cullen/Tommy Roberts (Plymouth theatre project – 2015)

47-year-old Tommy Roberts is a former Royal Marine turned Actor.

He served nearly 30 years and he’s now a Royal Marine Reservist. He’s also studying a BA Hons degree in acting at Marjons University in Plymouth.

The Royal British Legion provided Tommy with his first acting ‘break’ when he took part in the charity’s recovery through the arts production ‘Boots at the Door’ in December 2015 at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. Since then he has gone on to undertake extras work in various Hollywood films including Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” and “Kingsman 2”.

 

 

Steve Shaw (London theatre project 2011/Brighton art project 2016)

51-year-old Steve Shaw served in the Queen’s Regiment from 1991 to 2013. During his career he served in the USA, Germany, the Falklands and Kenya. In 2008, he was deployed to Afghanistan and was driving a snatch military vehicle when it rolled into a canal. Steve was left with a fractured lower spine and various neck injuries. He is now registered disabled but can walk unaided. As well as this injury, he suffers with heart problems, nerve impingement, tennis elbow and PTSD.

He joined the cast of Bravo 22 as an actor in the inaugural theatre production in 2011 and toured the UK and Canada playing one of the lead roles on stage. Steve hadn’t done any stage work since school but saw it as a great opportunity to do something with a group of people who were of the same mind set. Having been a part of “The Two Worlds of Charlie F” he was keen to participate in further projects and so took part in the Bravo 22 Brighton Art in project 2016, once again to aid with his healing process.

 

Matt Wightman (Newcastle theatre project – 2016)

Since a young age, Matt always wanted to be in the Army. He had seen events unfold in the Falklands in 1982 and he had his heart set on joining. In 1984, aged fifteen years old he signed up but admits he wasn’t prepared for the shock of it and so left after just six months. But as soon as he did, he instantly regretted his decision and subsequently re-joined in 1986.

He had various roles during his time in the infantry including rifleman, trained photographer and he also worked in the intelligence section. He served in Northern Ireland and Bosnia and it was as a result of these tours that he was diagnosed with PTSD in 2015, several years after he had left the military. Matt was sent a message inviting him to join in with a Bravo 22 Theatre project and nearly walked out on the very first day, feeling like a fish out of water but he stuck with it and his persistence paid off. He performed a self-written monologue in the “Wor Stories” production at the Newcastle Theatre Royal in December 2016.

 

 

Jono Farrelly, aged 28 (Newcastle theatre project – 2016)

Originally from London, Jono grew up wanting to follow in the footsteps of his father and serve in the Army. He signed up in 2004 and served four years. Whist being supported by the Royal British Legion, one of the staff mentioned Bravo 22 Company and suggested that he should get involved. Once part of the production in Newcastle in 2016, he saw it as a fantastic way of meeting new people and being part of the military family again.

 

 

 

 

Mick Carroll aged 63 (Newcastle theatre project – 2016)

Mick was in the Royal Air Force as a Radar Technician for 37 years serving in the likes of Germany, the Falklands, Cyprus and the Gulf. After retiring in 2008, he felt he still had a lot to offer and by being a part of Bravo 22 Company, it gave him the opportunity to learn new skills and work with new people.

He found out about the project via Twitter and initially thought he didn’t have a story to tell but soon realised he did whilst helping with the writing process for the production. Mick’s only theatrical experience was aged 14 when he appeared in Peer Gynt in School so taking part in “Wor Stories” enabled him to tread the boards once again.

 

 

 

Jez Scarrett aged 58

Jez became a Royal Marine Commando in 1975 and then deployed to Northern Ireland in 1977 for a four-month tour. Jez also did three artic tours to Norway, Jungle Warfare training in Belize and served on board HMS Brighton (1979-81). In 1982 shortly before the unit were about to deploy to the Falklands, Jez was on his motorbike on the way back to camp when he was involved in an accident. His injuries meant he had to have his right leg amputated below the knee. After a period of rehabilitation, Jez needed to be reassigned a role in the military due to his injury and the Company Commander and the RN&RM Medical Board allowed him to continue to serve in a desk position.

He did various duties at 40 Commando at their newly appointed Norton Manor Camp in Taunton but he also was part of Commachio Group in Arbroath. He finished his career in Commando Training in Devon before being medically discharged in 1990.

Jez got involved in various film and TV work as a background artist. These include working with Brad Pitt on “Fury” and starring in Hollywood Blockbusters like “Wonder Woman” and “Kingsman”. He’s also appeared in popular TV Series “24”, “Poldark” and the 2016 “Sherlock Christmas Special”.

Although Jez has taken part in a whole host of performances as a background artist, this will be the first time he’ll be on a theatre stage acting. It will be a way for him to step up into this area of theatre. He’s excited for the new challenge ahead.

 

Ken Bellringer aged 45

Ken is still serving in the British Army, he’s currently going through rehabilitation at Headley Court.

He joined up in 1991 and served with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team specialising in disarming bombs.

He served in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Canada, Germany and the UK. He was due a tour to Afghanistan in 2009, but the date was brought forward when a colleague already out there serving was killed. Ken went early in July that year to replace him. On 15th November, he was called to an area outside of Patrol Base (PB) Sandown where Danish and British Troops were based. There was intelligence from the local community suggesting the Taliban had laid 6/7 IEDs overnight and one of the teams withdrew from their patrol on discovering one of these IEDs. Ken’s company were called in to disarm them and when they were making an area safe, one of his colleagues stood on an IED that didn’t detonate properly. Ken stepped in to help him and was in the process of doing that when the device did eventually go off, killing the colleague next to him. Ken was left with severe injuries. He lost both legs, had damage to his hands and he was the first soldier to survive a perineal wound.

Ken heard about Bravo after being invited down to a gathering in Aylesbury. This Newcastle project will be his first experience of being in a theatre production. The last time he was on stage was as a five-year-old in a Nativity play at school!

It will be a chance to network and Ken wants to get himself out there and get on stage. He doesn’t want to let the team down and he believes working with like-minded people with a common goal will be fulfilling.

 

Larraine Smith (Plymouth theatre project – 2015)

Larraine met husband Brandon Smith in 1982. He was on military leave whilst serving in the British Army over in Germany. They married in 1984. He originally served in REME and was then commissioned into The Royal Artillery. He retired from the military in 2000 and he now works full time in the Reserve Service.

Larraine has been on several postings including Aldershot, Plymouth, Leconfield, Borden and has done three tours of Germany. She has lived in 20 married quarters accompanying her husband around the forces world.

Larraine has always had a passion for Amateur Dramatics and whilst based in Germany was part of The Sennelager Players and played Mrs Johnston in Blood Brothers in 1998. She then took part in a local Pantomime in Exeter alongside her four daughters when they were posted back to 29 Commando RA in 1998. In 2000, her brother died at the age of 38 and she gave up acting and singing. This along with the tragedy of losing her father very suddenly a few years earlier had left her feeling like she had nothing left in her heart to give.

In 2011, when her husband was second in command of the Rear Opps Group on HERRICK 14, she heard that a choir was forming and she decided it was time to get out there again and be a part of something she loved doing once more. Little did she know that it was Gareth Malone’s Military Wives choir, which went on to celebrate huge successes. She is now the Chairman for the Plymouth Military Wives Choir. She is delighted to be a part of this latest production for Bravo 22 Company.

 

Simon Graham (Manchester art project – 2017)

Simon served in the Royal Airforce 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron, working on anti-terrorist and conventional weapon disposal from 1987 to 1996.

It was always Simon’s ambition to join the military so enrolled on a YTS scheme at just 15 years old. When he was 18, he was able to sign up and became an Armourer, specialising in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). Simon deployed to Kuwait for the 1991 Gulf War. After leaving the forces in 1996, he became a security contractor for four years.

The constant anxiety that came with the military role resulted in combat-induced PTSD and Simon found himself becoming very isolated and had difficulty communicating with even his close family. His lowest point was two years ago when, after a suicide attempt he was diagnosed with his PTSD.

After getting help from Combat Stress and spending time on a residential course with other veterans, Simon was able to get the self-awareness, hope and positive-thinking he needed.

He also took part in some art therapy and through this project is keen to introduce the benefits of art to other veterans.

In summer 2017, after joining The Royal British Legion’s Bravo 22 Company, Simon had the opportunity to take part in a sculpture project in Manchester. Having always loved art, he found it calming and a way to deal with negative thoughts allowing him to feel positive about life going forward.

This will be Simon’s first theatre production and his ambition is to be the person he used to be and to once again feel normal.

 

 

Micky Goble (Plymouth theatre project – 2105)

Micky joined the Royal Navy in the early 1980’s and served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and the Gulf. In June 1999, Micky was involved in a serious accident when he was hit by an anchor cable. He broke both his legs and ankles. After a three-year period of rehabilitation on HMS Drake, he was medically discharged from the Navy in 2002.

Micky went on to become Pier Master for the Plymouth City Council, looking after moorings, slipways and harbours.

He was appearing in a one-off play at Plymouth Theatre Royal when he was approached about taking part in a production for veterans. He jumped at the chance as he felt it was time to get some really important messages across to the public about the lives of veterans.

Micky’s father was President of the Brockworth and Witcomb Royal British Legion for 35 years. Micky himself, became a member of the Royal British Legion at just 18 years and is still a member today.

 

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BRAVO 22 COMPANY

Luke Delahunty, Bravo 22 Company Member Testimonial. Aylesbury Alumni

I was nearly killed in a motorbike crash in 1996 whilst serving in the RAF Regiment. I was 24 years old; I’d joined up at 17 and in those few years I served in Northern Ireland, the Balkans with the UN, Germany, Cyprus, as well as a tour on the Queen’s Colour Squadron. Life was fantastic; it was a challenging series of adventures with some great people in memorable places. That all came to a catastrophic end when the crash happened and my life changed in every conceivable way and I was left paralysed from the chest down. After a long period of rehabilitation my life carried on but now using a wheelchair to get around rather than a gorgeous motorbike.

I set about rebuilding my life, pretty much from scratch. Whilst my physicality had changed drastically, my personality hadn’t and I sought ways to challenge myself and find the thrills and enjoyment that I’d always got from military life. I’ve always been adventurous and up for something new; willing to turn my hand to anything…within reason, of course.

One ordinary day, my only plan for which was to go handcycling, I received a text message from a friend. I’d cracked my phone screen and was heading in to Aylesbury to get it replaced before going cycling. The message said ‘Luke, Helen and I are going to the Waterside Theatre to meet the Bravo 22 company, who has Ray Winstone supporting their production. It starts at 11 and finishes at 2, if you’re interested. Details, as you can tell, have been sketchy.’ Although I asked for more information, like what date this was happening, nothing was forthcoming. I went to the phone shop; ‘It’s going to be an hour or so before it’s ready.’ So I set off pushing towards the theatre to see what this message was all about. I managed to talk my way in to the theatre to see a packed space full of people, a couple of whom were either relating a story as part of the local military community or asking a question. I was still trying to suss out what was going on when that session soon came to an end and the assembled people were either urged to ‘…follow Miriam if you’re interested in acting. Follow someone else for ‘Front of House’ or follow another for technical roles’. I followed the acting lot, not knowing what was going on.

There was a very brief interlude, where I met up with the friends that sent the earlier message and also took the opportunity to meet and get a pic with Ray Winstone. We then went to a room, about 25 of us, and did a very basic introductory acting workshop. During one of the exercises, which was about non-verbal communication, a smartly suited man approached me ‘Hi, my name is ‘so and so’ from Sky News. Would you mind doing a piece to camera after this?’ Of course, was my instant reply whilst I thought to myself, ‘I don’t even know what’s going on. What am I going to say?’ They just asked me about my military service, my injury and how it affected me. Easy. After that, I finally got a chance to speak to someone who actually knew what was going on and they explained what Bravo 22 Company was, told me about a play called ‘The Two Worlds of Charlie F’, I’d heard of it but I didn’t see it. Everything started to make sense now…kind of. So…would I be interested in being involved in their next venture? Yeah, definitely. As I said earlier, I’m always looking for a new challenge. Now, I would never describe myself as a performer or actor. I hadn’t been on stage since the primary school nativity play, but they seem like a great bunch of people and it could be fun. Who knows? So I registered my interest and went to collect my phone.

A couple of weeks later Gemma rang me and said they wanted me to be part of the play. Wow! Instant butterflies. What have I gotten myself in to? Can I really do this? Excitement and self-doubt were battling for the most prominent emotion in that moment. Excitement won, just.

Soon after this, the cast assembled. It was a rag-tag, assorted bunch with varying involvement with the military, some veterans, some still serving, military wives, daughters of people serving, youths and adults from the cadets, all ranging in age from 15 years old to an 89-year-old WWII veteran. Each had their own story and over the next few weeks, our stories were gathered in a variety of ways and the writer, Ros Wylie, wrote a script that incorporated our stories and memories. For a month we did nothing but role-play, voice projection exercises, improvisation and stage skills and such like. We were itching to get a script and start actually learning what we were to perform. Well, I was.

Once the script for ‘Contact’ was written, we then fine-tuned our parts, ‘I wouldn’t say this quite like that’ or ‘this wouldn’t happen that way in military life’ and other such things to give the play a little more authenticity. It was exciting to see things taking shape and to be involved in the whole process. Learning the script was the next step followed by rehearsing for the next few weeks. The anticipation built as performance dates approached. During the time spent rehearsing, the military banter would flow as relationships and friendships were built and strengthened and the old familiar camaraderie came flooding back.

The performances were amazing… I mean that it felt amazing. The adrenalin that came from it gave such a great buzz. We may not have been word perfect but the audience wouldn’t know that. The applause from the crowd after our five performances felt fantastic. After all, we were only telling our stories, different aspects of military life… but they loved it.

That was a couple of years ago…

A few months ago Gemma got in touch again, not on behalf of Bravo 22 but another project… an opera company that wanted some veterans to be part of the company for a story about war. Would I like to audition for it? Now, I’d never describe myself as a singer but I’ll give it a go… So last weekend, I made my opera debut. I still can’t believe it or keep a straight face when talking about it. Me? Acting? Singing? On the stage? Haha.

You never know where things might lead or what life has in store but I’m so glad to be a part of the Bravo 22 Company. It has brought opportunities that I would never have expected. I’ve met people from all over the country and made friendships because of it. I’ve learned a lot, not just about acting or stagecraft but also about myself. Chiefly, I’ve learned not to listen to that self-doubt. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

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In The Company of Friends

BRAVO 22 COMPANY

Matt Wightman, Bravo 22 Company member Testimonial. Newcastle Alumni.

 

 

Almost two years ago now since I lost my job. I’d been working offshore as a Wind Turbine Technician, I’d been in to see my GP whilst at home for a routine check up and as I was about to leave the consultation room, with my hand on the door handle my GP asked if there was anything else? I let go of the handle, turned around and broke down.

Whilst Offshore there were long periods of isolation and inactivity due to bad weather and other issues out of my control. I became introverted and spent my time in my cabin or on the top deck of the ship inevitably my mind would wander back through my past and linger. Northern Ireland 1987-89, Bosnia 1994 were both painfully etched deep inside my mind and would haunt my nights making me scream and shout so loud that I would wake my colleagues in neighbouring cabins.

Following my breakdown, I was referred to see a psychiatric consultant who diagnosed me with PTSD morbid depression and anxiety. This was linked to my military service and so I was offered treatment and support from Help for Heroes who have a recovery centre in Catterick where I live.

The support combined with medication and intensive EMDR therapy was fantastic and my confidence started to improve. I remember when I told my older sister that I’d been diagnosed with PTSD she told me that she never expected me to join the Army, she thought I would be on a stage! Later that week whilst looking at various cats, selfies and pictures of assorted dinners on Facebook I saw the Bravo 22 logo and the post asking for people to sign up to be in a play at the Theatre Royal Newcastle, my mind drifted back to the conversation with my sister and I thought to myself “What If” so I tapped the “like” button, commented in the box below and then to my absolute horror received a reply inviting me up to Newcastle to take part!

I arrived at the Theatre not knowing what I had let myself in for but this was me trying to do something outside of the comfort zone that had been provided by H4H. Inside I found myself in a room around a table full of strangers and just remember thinking to myself that I shouldn’t be here, what have I done and that I probably wouldn’t be coming back. That first session I think we filled in some forms and listened to introductions and an outline of what it was all about. On leaving the Theatre Gary Kitching showed me to the door and at the bottom of the stairs I had another door handle moment, I was about to leave and we began talking about writing and I told Gary that I had written some stuff over my time in the Army and offshore. Here I was at the bottom of the stairs in a Theatre talking enthusiastically to a real live actor and writer about my writing and he was interested and encouraging. In that short conversation, my mind had been made up. I was coming back.

Over the weeks that followed something incredible happened, the seeds of confidence had been sown and I began to enjoy being me again. What I found was that once we started the process I began to enjoy it, I felt like people believed in me and subsequently I began to believe in myself. New friendships have been forged and good memories have been made.

“Wor Stories” Our Play, I played “Moonboy” my own story about how my roommate took his own life whilst serving in Belfast and how it affected me in later life. Learning lines and rehearsing something so personal was for me the best therapy I have ever experienced and Bravo 22 is the best mistake I almost never made!

Since our successful performances last year some of us embarked on an Improvised performance under the ever watchful and talented eye of Mr Kitching and Co and found out that there is a lot of fun to be had on an imaginary Tandem. I’m now looking forward to the future and to as many more Bravo 22 adventures as I can possibly fit in. #nice2bnice

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The Royal British Legion’s Bravo 22 Company

‘The Art of Recovery’

Delivered in partnership with The Drive Project

Last Thursday 22nd June,  The Drive Project team (including 9 week old Frank!) took the train up to Manchester to see the Royal British Legion’s Bravo 22 Company’s ‘The Art of Recovery’ exhibition private viewing.

On the train we took the opportunity to catch up on all things Drive Project, whilst also enjoying a slice of cake (or 2) to celebrate Tuey’s birthday! Happy Birthday Tuey!

The exhibition was held at the luxury Lowry Hotel, in the heart of Manchester, which was a great venue to display some truly extraordinary sculptures. The sculptures were on display through out the hotel, which was a fantastic way to show the work as all members of the public could see what the Bravo 22 members had created.

TDP team were blown away by all the sculptures. Each one was creative, thought provoking and powerful. They were all unique and told their own story, which was impressive given that the same materials had been used.

Having had a look at all the wonderful work, we sat down for a cup of tea and a burger whilst catching up with all the Bravo 22 Company members. Everyone was buzzing about the evening to come and they all had only positive things to say about the last 4 weeks. It was wonderful to hear! The exhibition will now run at The Lowry Hotel until 11th July. If you have the opportunity to go and see it we highly recommend you do. It is fantastic!

 

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved including: Al Johnson Lead Sculptor, Sue Brodie Project Manager, Olivia Glasser Project Assistant, Stewart Hill Ambassador, The Lowry Hotel and Bridge 5 Mill who have done an incredible job from start to finish. It is clear from the Bravo 22 Company member’s feedback and the sculptures themselves that this has been another hugely successful project.

The Royal British Legion’s Bravo 22 Company has been successfully running theatre and art projects since 2011. These projects are open to all members of the Armed Forces Community. If you would like any more information about this or anything else then please do get in touch.

Alice has been very busy since returning from her trip to the USA. Keep an eye out for her blog on her experience and the amazing people she met whilst on her travels!

TDP team x

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An update from The Drive Project (TDP) Headquarters

What an incredible couple of months we’ve had at TDP.

One of the programmes that we run is The Blesma Community Programme and it is in full swing. Since January the Blesma members have spoken at nearly 48 schools to just over 5000 students and we haven’t finished yet. Students and teachers have shared with us that they’ve been completely inspired by the Blesma member’s incredible stories and resilience workshops. What a fantastic job everyone is doing. Please see below for the Bristol Post’s article on a Blesma talk given last week.

“It made me think about how lucky we are and that we shouldn’t give up” (BCP 2017, Student Feedback)

Link to Bristol Post Article: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/meet-war-veterans-who-lost-59023

 

TDP was invited by the Royal British Legion (RBL) to speak about Bravo 22 Company, another one of the projects that we deliver at RBL’s National Operations Conference. TDP’s Alice shared the history of Bravo 22 and was joined by Stewart Hill who spoke about the positive impact Bravo has had on him as a participant and in his role as Ambassador for the next Bravo art project. Kim Hoffman from Newcastle Theatre Royal and Matt Wightman, a participant from Bravo Newcastle also attended the conference with us. Thank you to RBL for inviting us to a fantastic and informative day!

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/social-support/bravo-22-company-recovery-and-wellbeing-through-the-arts/

Our corporate team has just got back from a very exciting couple of days at The Paintworks, Bristol. We were invited by Verve Group Ltd. to deliver a programme of Inspirational Stories. Local businesses were invited to a reception to hear three veterans tell their stories, which was followed by a Q&A. All three talks were fantastic and the Q&A session could have run and run! We also held a panel for Bristol Medical University Students and local GPs, where we discussed the impact Theatre has as a tool for recovery. This was a very interesting and lively session for everyone who came and we met some fantastic audience members.

The event was a huge success and raised over £350 for Blesma. We’d like to say a special thank you to Tim Pain from Verve Group Ltd., John Lee from Bristol University and also the wonderful Kate Beales.

In April we ran a brilliant workshop for Caffé Nero on ‘Presenting with Impact & Authenticity’. The group was a real pleasure to work with, high energy, laughter and practical learning throughout. Our trainers were incredible at delivering a fantastic and impactful days training and 100% of the participants said they would recommend TDP training to others! . We can’t wait to work with Caffé Nero again.

‘Relaxed, enlightening and hugely enjoyable’ (Senior HR Manager)

Alice has been invited to participate in a U.S Embassy London Sponsored Exchange Program: WWI Centenary Exchange: Veterans Affairs. This 10 day programme will take Alice on a tour of the USA – we are very excited to hear what she learns. She will be sharing her journey on twitter over the next 10 days!

Finally and most importantly we have some wonderful news to report, The Drive Project’s Director Grace gave birth to Frank in April. Frank is already a total superstar and we can’t wait to have him join us for brainstorming sessions very soon!

For more information on any of our Projects please do get in touch

events@thedriveproject.co.uk