Training for Practitioners

DIY regularly runs workshops for the University of Salford and the University of Manchester. Working with students is such a great opportunity to influence the practice of people who will be working in the cultural and health sectors in the future.

Training for Drama Students:

photo; 7 young adults are in a room with chairs and different props. Most people are sitting holding different things. In the foreground a woman is holding up a large piece of see-through blue fabric the other end of which is attached to a chair. A man is standing holding a wooden object and a drum stick.
Most years we run a session with drama students at the University of Salford. This forms part of the Theatre and Communities Module within the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.

In 2024, we ran a sensory theatre workshop, during which DIY artists and leaders introduced students to our performance piece Hanging by a Thread and ran a workshop exploring DIY’s approaches to multi-sensory and immersive theatre-making.

I learnt about sensory theatre – I had not heard or experienced this before”
Drama student, University of Salford

I really enjoyed how interactive the whole session was and getting to work with new people. I learnt how to creative an interactive and interesting piece of theatre”
Drama student, University of Salford

As you can see from the reaction of our students, it has transformed their ideas of working with individuals with an intellectual disability while also teaching them vital new skills in theatre making and facilitation”
Sheila McCormick, University of Salford.

Training for Health Professionals:

photo: we are looking into a large room. There are many groups of 2 people sitting facing each other. The two sitting nearest us are mirroring each other, holding one hand up and the other hand forward.

Occupational Therapy students explore areas of positive and inclusive communication with DIY Gamechangers

For the past few years DIY has run sessions for Occupational Therapy Students in the School of Health and Society at University of Salford as part of their  ‘Communication’ module.

During the sessions DIY Leaders explore the areas of positive and inclusive communication, Lived Experience Leadership and the Five Ways to Wellbeing with OT students.

The whole thing was made fun, inclusive and the approach was very friendly”
OT Student, University of Salford

The session was creative and felt relaxed – I felt confident to get involved”
OT Student, University of Salford

I enjoyed how engaging the session was and hearing the perspectives and experiences of members of DIY”
OT Student, University of Salford

I think the sessions were great and really useful in helping the students think about barriers to communication and feel what it is like to be led in an activity that is challenging and hopefully inspiring”.
Rowan Morris, University of Salford

Each year DIY Gamechangers are involved in running arts and health training for Medical students at University of Manchester.

Across a series of sessions, DIY Leaders introduce medical students to a Social Model of Health. We explore the Five Ways to Wellbeing and what people within the medical profession can learn from people with lived experience of learning disability.

I think everyone can learn something from DIY’s sessions. The world would be a much nicer space if everyone had the opportunity to come’
Medical Student, Manchester University

The space DIY creates is extremely special and completely unique. Nothing I’ve ever experienced before but something everyone should experience to create a less divided society’
Medical Student, Manchester University

Thanks to everyone at DIY for welcoming us in, this has been one of my favourite experiences during medical school…The people have all been fantastic and had a huge impact on me. Keep on being the amazing, inspiring people you are!’
Medical Student, Manchester University



Emerging Artist Training Days

We also run Emerging Artist Training Days aimed at emerging artists interested in developing their inclusive practice. These are designed to lead into employment opportunities for drama workers and other creative practitioners.

They include:

  • A free day’s training with DIY company members.
  • Bespoke mentoring and one to one training with DIY Practitioners and our Access Coordinator.
  • The opportunity to be added to DIY’s pool of Associate Artists and Supporters.
  • Throughout these training days participants work closely with company members to understand the techniques and principles we use at DIY and to explore how they could use them within their own practice.

It was great to find out how DIY operates and the kind of emerging practitioners you want to work with. I found the structure of DIY very interesting and really liked how the people that the theatre was for were front and centre of leading the activities.”
Feedback from our Emerging Artist Training day, February 2021.


Training for participatory artists.

A group of young people sitting in a room in a circle. They are all holding an instrument and concentrating on each other

During 2022 and 2023 we ran Four by Eight – a unique training and development opportunity for musicians wanting to develop their inclusive music skills, working in partnership with leaders with lived experience of learning disability. Musicians developed their skills and knowledge in working with music inclusively with children and young people with learning disabilities.

As a musician on this 4×8 project I have learnt a lot from the experience and would love to continue music making in future DIY projects. It was great to get to meet and work with young professional musicians in Manchester and the experience has makes me excited for future opportunities working with trailblazing organisations like the DIY Theatre Company in the future.”

View the Evaluation of Four by Eight for more details



Photo of DIY’s Artistic Director Sue Caudle giving a presentation on her doctorate thesis.

Sue giving a presentation on her doctorate thesis at A Question of Leadership Conference

DIY have also created and presented at a number of conferences, including:

  • The Creative Minds North Conference in Manchester in 2017, where we collaborated with The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company to run workshops around issues of Quality in Learning Disability Arts.
  • A Question of Leadership Conference at Liverpool Hope University in 2018 – please visit our Research and Conferences page for more information on this.