This is no ordinary drama club, this is a club especially for children with Down syndrome. This is a place where children with Down syndrome can grow in confidence, develop their speech and acting skills but most importantly it is a place where they can have fun and make friends that are like them.
This drama club has had to close because of lack of funding. Typical. Bids are in to various places to secure more funding but the group has closed until at least September. Poo. Poo.
So last night was a chance for parents to watch what happens behind the closed doors of the 'Up Club'. Trust me this was an amazing thing to see. 'Little Miss H' has been going to 'Up club' for a year and never, I mean NEVER have we seen what happens! We only know that our little girl has grown lots, since taking classes here.
So here they all are warming up. That's my two there with their backs to the camera - oh I forgot to say last night siblings were able to join in too, 'Master M' was most pleased!
Oh dear! A touch of stage fright. This is why the club usually runs behind closed doors, she doesn't do this if we're not there.
Singing the 'Up Club' song with some assistance by Kim who runs the theatre group. Again this eyes closed and hiding business is all because I'm there! I've heard 'Little Miss H' through a closed door belting this song out at previous sessions!!
'Master M' really enjoyed his turn at singing!
The night for me though was made by a miming piece that 'Little Miss H' and one of her friends did entitled 'The Park Bench'.
Can you see the book is upside down?? Her mask had slipped and she couldn't see!!! She carried on regardless though in the true spirit of acting.
The story unfolded as 'Little Miss H's' character sat reading on the park bench. A gardener who was sweeping up near her kept leaving things on the bench that she picked up and put in her basket. The final thing was a lovely red engagement ring and off the couple trotted into the sunset. Very lovely as well as highly hilarious due to 'Little Miss H' not been able to see properly and having to feel for the love tokens on the bench!!!!
We're all really saddened that the club has had to close for now. It feels like those who need funding the most are losing it left right and centre at the moment with all the current cut-backs.
It's difficult for disabled kids to access main stream groups as there is just a huge lack of understanding and support and often their self-esteem takes a knock as they simply can't keep up. Groups like this offer disabled kids a chance to be themselves in a setting where they can succeed. There should be more of this, not less.