Young Leaders

Developing leadership skills and confidence with young disabled people (16 – 30yrs).

The Passing the Baton Young Leaders Group


Photo of 2 of DIY's young leaders holding up a piece of paper with "Young Leaders Group" and the 'Passing the Baton' logo

  • Are you 16 – 30 years old?
  • Do you want to develop your leadership skills?
  • Do you want to plan your own projects and work with others to make them happen?

Sessions are on Mondays 5.30 – 7pm (term time only). Please email Hebe at to join us!

We are currently running sessions safely using Zoom – a free online platform. Click here to see the ‘How-to-use-Zoom’ Easy Read guide. Many thanks to Learning Disability Wales for the use of this resource. You will need access to a phone, computer or tablet that has internet connection to join these sessions. We will all have our camera’s on so we can see one another, and there will always be 2 DIY Staff members in every Zoom. Over time, we hope to transition this group back into face-to-face delivery.

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


Our Young Leaders Group is for young disabled people aged 16 – 30 years who wish to develop leadership and employability skills through the arts and drama. All sessions are free.

Through Lockdown we have been adapting our leadership skills to suit Social Distancing. Connecting via Zoom, Facebook & telephone calls each Young Leader has developed their own Arts & Leadership Challenges. These include broadcasting a weekly Radio Show via Facebook Live, creating a film ‘I Wish Everything Was Back to Normal: DIY’s View of Lockdown’ and a 10-week video series of tongue-twisters and rhythm challenges.

Take a look at the films Young Leader Amy has been creating in partnership with DIY Theatre Company’s members & Film-Maker Hilary Easter-Jones here: Go to YouTube

Circus Tricks

Due to Covid-19, the performance of ‘Circus Tricks’ on March 31st was postponed.  Our Young Leaders have been busy during Lockdown, exploring ways to adapt ‘Circus Tricks’ to suit the ‘new normal’ and they have come up with … Circus Tricks – The Animated Version!

Passing the Baton members have been meeting via Zoom, and working with a professional animator to create a series of short animated videos inspired by their characters from the show.  These will be shared with schools and youth organisations in Salford, alongside a resource pack full of circus, music and drama activities.

If your school or youth organisation is interested in the ‘Circus Tricks’ project, which is aimed at children and young people with learning disabilities, then email Hebe at to find out more!

Photo of DIY's Young Leaders at the Lowry learning Circus Tricks! Part of our Passing the Baton programme for young people in Salford

Passing the Baton Young Leaders visit to the Lowry to learn Circus Tricks

Our Young Leaders group is open to young people with a disability aged 16 – 30 years and all sessions are free.  If you would like to speak to someone to find out more, please contact Hebe at

Develop Skills and Gain a Qualification!

Both Silver and Gold Arts Award require young people to develop their artistic practise. They will demonstrate a positive attitude, willingness to learn, time keeping and organisation skills and the ability to be flexible. By sharing their work with audiences, young people develop their personal presentation, communication and self-promotion.

Young people will also participate in an Arts Leadership Project. They will work together to build leadership skills and take shared responsibility for project management and organisation. Working collaboratively, they will build tolerance and resilience and a sense of community. DIY Theatre Company support young people to effectively plan projects, reflect on their progress and problem solve throughout their Arts Award journey.

What have we done so far?

Artistic Development

In 2019 our Young Leaders successfully applied to the Salford CVS / NHS Salford CCG Youth Wellbeing Fund with “Circus Tricks!”

We have worked with professional circus artists and visited The Lowry to watch ‘Circus 1903’ and learn about the show from the Ringmaster & Peanut the Elephant!

Circus Tricks! Continues to develop in 2020. Thanks to funding from Youth Music, we will be working with professional musicians to develop a touring performance suitable for children and young people.

Leadership in Action

The Young Leaders plan and deliver a weekly Youth Drama Club. This is open to young people with learning disabilities aged 10 – 25.  For more info on Drama Club click here

During 2020 our Passing the Baton Young Leaders have:
  • Devised ‘Circus Tricks’ – a musical, circus inspired performance suitable for younger students with learning disabilities.
  • Delivered inclusive Circus Tricks Drama Workshops at You Can Youth Club and Chatsworth High School.
  • Attended the Seldom Heard Event for city councillors and local leaders, sharing their views on what life is like for young disabled people in the city.
  • Created & delivered an Equality – themed Drama Workshop for You Can Youth Club’s International Women’s Day Event.
In 2019, DIY’s Young Leaders were already making an impact in local schools and colleges where they delivered outreach projects:
  • Chatsworth Futures, delivering a six week ‘Discover Arts Award’ project on the theme of the ‘Sea-side’
  • Chatsworth High School, where we ran a 4 week Music & Leadership project. We mentored Year 10 & 11 students to develop their leadership skills. This included supporting them to deliver a music session to younger students.
  • Springwood Primary School, where our Young Leaders planned and delivered a workshop on ‘Space.’ This supported the student’s to gain their Explore Arts Award.

“The relaxed atmosphere of the sessions gives every student a voice and an opportunity to express themselves, helping them to develop the confidence and skills they need to self-advocate, become independent and lead” Feedback from school staff

“There is a really warm, supportive atmosphere in DIY sessions. Students are always encouraged to make their voice heard and feel confident in doing this in a safe environment. The workshops are also really fun and creative” Feedback from school staff.

Four of our Young Leaders also reached Arts Award Advisor Status!

“It’s a really inspirational project as our young people can see that there are real and authentic opportunities for them post-education, when they work with the artists from DIY who they can relate to.” Feedback, Chatsworth High School.

DIY Theatre Company would like to thank the following organisations for their support for this work

Logos of our funders, The National Lottery Community Fund, Youth Music, and of the National Lottery via Arts Council England, Salford CVS and NHS Salford CCG, Arts Award, and partner You Can.