Gamechangers start back on Friday 19th January 2024

Free sessions are on Fridays from 10am to 2pm at The Angel Centre in Salford.

DIY gamechangers logo; 'DIY' and 'gamechangers' at the top. Underneath we can see colourful stick figures balancing on each other. The ones at the top are moving the letters of 'gamechangers'

Gamechangers is DIY’s ambitious Leadership Training  programme for leaders with lived experience of learning disability. It is being funded for 3 years by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

We hope you like our logo! It represents the friendly and inclusive space that Gamechangers is.

Molly, DIY Gamechangers Coordinator, says:

Gamechangers is DIY’s exciting new programme for adults with learning disabilities who want to explore creative leadership skills in an accessible and supportive space.

Our Gamechangers programme builds on the many years’ leadership development by DIY’s Friday Leadership Group and the experiences and achievements of our Young Leaders initiative, (click to see the report).

photo: we can see two women who are standing and look like they are miming a singing into microphones. They look happy and confident.

Free sessions are on Fridays from 10am to 2pm at The Angel Centre in Salford.

What’s it like at DIY Gamechangers?

During our Gamechanger Sessions we use drama to explore our own unique leadership identities and how people lead in different ways. Sessions also offer training opportunities, including safeguarding, emergency first aid at work and British Sign Language.

Whats happening in the Spring Term?

  • Gamechangers will be learning about Signing with Leah Whitton on 19 & 26 January
  • During the term Gamechangers will also be learning about freelance status –  what it means to be a freelancer / what is required if you are self-employed.
  • Gamechangers will also be involved in elements of organizing the 2 celebration events as part of DIY’s 30th Birthday celebrations during Learning Disability Week 2024.

Are you interested in becoming a Gamechanger?

DIY are looking for people who want to develop their creative leadership skills. Find out more by emailing Molly –

What have Gamechangers done so far?

photo-montage there is a big photo and 4 small round photos. The big picture has a man dressed as a jester floating in the clouds! The round pics each have the face of a different person in them. They are all doing different things.

Representing ourselves as Leaders

In Autumn 2023 Gamechangers launched our brand new leadership profiles to mark Learning Disability History month – see the news story or go straight to the profiles section on our website.

Gamechangers worked with super creative Visual Artist Audrey Albert. She helped us to create images of our individual identities as leaders with some cool and creative props. Find out more about the creative process – Images to represent us as leaders our May ’23 news article.

We are also creating individual leadership portfolios. DIY Leader Becky has already created a fantastic Leadership portfolio full of brilliant ideas and pictures.

Identity and Inclusion

Gamechangers had a really exciting training session focussed on identity in 2023. The session was led by the amazing Lizard from Plaster Cast theatre.

photo: we can see people sitting in a semi circle in a large light filled room. Everyone is looking angry or grumpy - it's not just their faces that tells us this they are using their whole bodies; their hands are forming fists and they look realy wound up!

We covered a lot of ground with Lizard. DIY Gamechangers explored different identities and considered challenging questions about their own identities. In the picture above you can see us showing how angry we are when someone assumes something about our own identities!

Lizard gave us lots of interesting tips on how to represent identities in theatre – particularly the trans community. We also learned how to make workshops inclusive to everyone as well as doing lots of different creative activities exploring this theme. Thankyou Lizard for your brilliant training session.

Safeguarding training with Simon Ruding, PhD FRSA and Director of TiPP in 2023. Simon got us thinking about what it really means to be ‘vulnerable’. We were worried that the training might be difficult to understand but it was ‘fun and enjoyable’!

We can see a big group of people in a big sunny room. They are posing for the camera and some are sitting in wheelchairs and on the floor at the front with others behind. They look happy and some are doing a thumbs up.

In February 2023 DIY Gamechangers had a training session with Simon Ruding from TiPP. We learnt a lot about health and safety and what the word vulnerable means. Members described Simon as ‘fun, reassuring and a bit of a joker’

DBS Checks – Everyone needs to have a DBS check to work with children or vulnerable people. Big thanks to Gill from Salford CVS who helped us to get these done for our Gamechangers.


photos showing a group of people of different ages looking happy, doing thumbs up and punching the air. 3 are in wheelchairs and one of these is holding a computer which shows another person also with their thumbs up.

The Gamechangers Programme includes:

Leadership Development

Training will include project planning, communication, presentation skills, safeguarding, equality and diversity and participatory / creative evaluation. Participants will be trained to become Arts Award Advisers, will develop individual portfolios and CVs and gain knowledge in the cultural sector. Individual mentoring will enable them to create and monitor progress against personal development plans.

Artistic Development

A focus on participants Artistic Development will enable emerging artists to work with a mentor or mentors to plan, resource and produce their own artistic pieces. Allways based on their own lived experiences, these could be performances, films, or a radio show. Particpants can choose to work in an artistic collaboration and co-creation with other DIY artists.

Professional Development

Participants will be supported to explore individual ways that they can move from voluntary to paid employment. This is a highly complex area, in particular because of the way the benefits system operates, and will require a lot of specialist and individual support.

Our objectives for Year 1 of the Programme are that:

Participants will explore and gain confidence in Lived Experience Leadership

Through training sessions and shadowing participants will have increased their awareness and knowledge of Lived Experience Leadership (LEX Leadership). They will also have explored how their own skills and lived experience can shape social purpose work.

DIY as an organisation will develop

Through establishing the programme DIY Theatre Company will have increased knowledge / understanding and models of LEX Leadership across the organisation.

The profile and benefits of LEX Leadership are raised

Through DIY’s recruitment and profile-raising activities, partners and other organisations in the sector will gain increased awareness of the programme and increased understanding of Lived Experience Leadership and the opportunities it offers.


We are very grateful for the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for DIY’s Gamechangers programme.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation logo