Young Leaders

photos from Young Leaders sessions showing young people at with circus people, learning circus tricks, using BSL, (sign language) with the Passing the Baton logo

It’s like passing on a kind of baton, where you learn all skills and you just pass it onto someone else… it makes me feel happy because it’s like I’m showing them how to be – like a role model.” Charlotte

Mondays 5.30pm – 7pm

Langworthy Cornerstone, 451 Liverpool Street, Salford, M6 5QQ 

DIY’s Young Leaders Group is free and open to young people with learning disabilities, 11 – 30 years, who wish to develop leadership and employability skills through the arts and drama.

Young Leaders Group is an encouraging and friendly space where young people support one another to develop their facilitation and leadership skills in the arts. Young Leaders are at the forefront of DIY’s leadership role, creating and delivering projects such as community outreach in local schools and theatres and running workshops for the National Youth Theatre’s Inclusive Practice Collective.

You can keep up to date with what we are doing in our Young Leaders sessions on DIY’s social media, (links in the Connect with us panel below).

Want to join or find out more? Please contact Molly  –

Circus Tricks

‘Circus Tricks’ is a Circus Inspired Music and Drama project created by DIY Theatre Company’s Young Leaders Group. It is aimed at children and young people with learning disabilities.

Originally, ‘Circus Tricks!’ was designed as a live, promenade piece of theatre that would tour to schools and youth organisations during Autumn 2020. During Lockdown, DIY’s Young Leaders continued to connect and stay creative via Zoom, telephone and postal packs. They have collaborated with professional musicians and animators to transform ‘Circus Tricks!’ into a series of Animated Videos and a supporting Participatory Activity Pack.

You can join in with Circus Tricks in a classroom, or at home using things you can find around school / home. To watch the videos and access our resource pack head to our Circus Tricks page

Arts Award

We offer the Arts Award Qualifications (Levels Explore – Gold) across Passing the Baton Youth Arts Programmes.

Silver and Gold are recognised as Levels 2 and 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework, and Gold Arts Award is worth 16 UCAS points. Arts Award is available to young people up to the age of 25 years.

Through the Arts Award young people have the opportunity to develop their artistic practise and gain employability skills. They will demonstrate a positive attitude, willingness to learn, excellent time keeping and organisation skills and the ability to be flexible. By sharing their work with others, young people develop their personal presentation, communication and self-promotion.

Click to learn more about the Arts Award

In 2020 :

  • Scott and Adam both achieved their Silver Arts Award – a Level 2 qualification. They had to complete most of their portfolio’s whilst working remotely during Lockdown.
  • Amy achieved a Gold Arts Award, also mainly during Lockdown. Gold is a Level 3 qualification and this is a first for a DIY member and we are very proud!


Adam developed his music technician skills, and supported supported the Youth Drama Group, co-leading weekly sessions and arranging the catering and advertising for a public sharing event. When the planned ‘Circus Tricks’ celebration event in March was cancelled due to Covid-19, Adam adapted his challenge and created posters and Facebook adverts promoting Scott’s Radio Show on Facebook Live.

It feels good to get my Silver. I put in a lot of hard work. It was difficult doing it during Lockdown. Big thumbs up from me!”


Scott plays the Ringmaster in DIY’s show ‘Circus Tricks’, and for his Arts Challenge developed his hosting and presentation skills – which were very necessary to keep the rest of the circus characters in check!! For his Leadership Challenge, Scott was preparing for the ‘Circus Tricks’ performance, scheduled for March, and was working with others to arrange the catering, evaluation and presentation on the night. Due to Covid-19, the performance was cancelled, and Scott quickly adapted his challenge. ‘Scott’s Radio Show’ was a weekly feature on Facebook Live, where Scott developed his DJ, communication and broadcasting skills – playing music to make us all smile during Lockdown.

The news today was amazing. I passed my Arts Award with flying colours and I was a little bit worried about doing it from home and everything but it seems to have paid off and I’m going to get a lovely certificate at the end of it. I feel a bit emotional at the moment.”


Amy’s Arts Award Journey adapted to the challenges of Covid-19 and Lockdown, and she completed most of her portfolio whilst in social isolation. Amy collaborated with professional film-maker Hilary Easter-Jones to create a series of films including the ‘Confusion’ Film which is part of DIY’s performance Following Patient 36. Amy also created a ‘Top Tips’ film which she used to support other DIY members to capture good quality footage whilst at home. This footage was used to create ‘I Wish Everything Was Back to Normal: DIY’s views of Lockdown’, and Amy organised a YouTube premier to share this film with the public. This has now been viewed on You Tube over 300 times! Congratulations Amy!

Before Lockdown, I only went out once to film – and that was a practise – we were supposed to be going out more, but then Lockdown happened, so that practise was the only footage I had and I used that to do the film!!

Gold was hard because I was on my own doing it! If other people had the opportunity to do it, I say go for it, but not just at home alone – it’s hard.

I feel fantastic – I put all my work into it I feel really great. I made Hilary work and she made me work!!

The National Lottery Community Fund logo


Thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund for their support for this work.