Arts Award Success with DIY’S Youth Drama Group and beyond

Photo: Arts Award Success with DIY’S Youth Drama Group and beyond

Congratulations on their Arts Award Success to Ben Fletcher and Siddharth Bhandari (Simmi). Through work done with DIY’s Youth Drama Group, they have both gained their Explore Arts Awards.

I learnt how to create a soundscape for a show using an app.

To achieve their Arts Award Explore Simmi and Ben needed to:

  • Take part in at least 2 arts activities to extend their experience and understanding of the arts
  • Explore the work of at least one artist and one arts organisation
  • Create a piece of art-work to demonstrate their arts skills
  • Communicate a personal response to others about their enjoyment and achievements from their Arts Award Explore

They also had to evidence how they developed their art form knowledge and understanding, creativity and communication skills through the project.

Learning from Experience – making a show!

the photo is taken from the back of the audience at the performance. We can see arms raised and hands clapping. At the front we can see the Youth Drama Performers

Last year DIY’s Youth Drama Group were supported to devise, develop and put on their own show. Ben and Simmi were involved with all the stages from initial ideas to a live performance of ‘Life of My Favourite Toy’.

I learnt how to use a torch to create cool lighting effects like a shadow of Batman!

Ben and Simmi learnt lots of skills whilst creating the work. To begin they helped to develop the story, which followed a group of toys as they escaped the boring attic where they lived. Starting off by thinking about their favourite toys and why they loved them they went on to create their own characters –  Ben and Simmi both created a character called ‘Sonic Car’.

What I really enjoyed was learning making music for the train scene in our show and learning how to use the lighting effects.

Over the course of creating the performance they both took part in lots of different arts activities. These included working with professional musician Sarah Atter to develop their music skills and with Phil Harland who taught them how to use lights. Simmi and Ben then thought how best to use these skills to create different environments for the characters to explore and help tell the story.

What I really enjoyed was learning how to write lyrics and making the ‘Space is all around us’ music.

On 5th July 2022 our Youth Drama Group performed their show ‘Life of my Favourite Toy’ to an invited audience of friends and family of DIY Theatre Company. After the show they got some great feedback from the audience.

Great team work!’      

Was really fun’                 

Absolutely brilliant’   



Discovering Success at Chatsworth Futures

We can see DIY's Young Leader Charlotte posing with a young person who is holding up their Discover Arts Award Certificate.

Congratulations are also due to 5 young people from Chatsworth Futures who successfully completed their Discover Arts Awards.

To achieve their Arts Award Discover they needed to:

  • Take part in at least one arts activity to extend their experience and understanding of the arts
  • Find out about at least one artist and their work
  • Share with others what they enjoyed and learnt through the Arts Award.

The group participated in a Sensory Drama project with DIY last term. They certainly extended their understanding and experience of the arts. In fact they did lots of visual arts activities! These included creating planets and spaceships and making their own alien masks.

As an established Learning Disability Theatre Company, we were able to provide two DIY artists to spend time with the students. Cathy Rothwell and Amy Carter met the group and worked alongside them. The students were able to ask the artists questions and find out what they do at DIY and about some of the characters that they play.

Working in Partnership

The Discover Arts Award is part of a longer-term relationship DIY is developing with Chatsworth Futures. During Spring 2023, our focus will be the colleges’ theme of the Material World. We will be using drama, music and visual arts to explore lots of natural materials and environmental themes.


Why Arts Award?

Photo of a smiling Ben giving the thumbs up.

At DIY we have found Arts Award to be a particularly appropriate and effective framework for creative practice with young people with learning disabilities.

Visit our Arts Award section to find out more about how DIY Theatre uses Arts Award and to access free resources!



DIY Theatre would like to thank the students and staff at Chatsworth Futures Specialist College.