Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Act now

July 01 2019
Centre stage: Act Now company working on No Box No Label, overseen by Kiri Grant (in the hi-viz jacket)  © Cardboard Citizens Centre stage: Act Now company working on No Box No Label, overseen by Kiri Grant (in the hi-viz jacket) © Cardboard Citizens

Meet the people running Act Now, a performing arts programme for young people, writes Ian Kalman

I am sitting in a meeting room at Cardboard Citizens’ HQ with Kiri Grant the Young Person’s Delivery manager who coordinates Act Now and Nairobi Official, 24, who was a member and is now a facilitator for Act Now.

Act Now is a performing arts programme aimed at the 16 to 25 age group who have either experienced homelessness or been at risk of homelessness, but also it is for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs). It is co-ordinated by drama experts Cardboard Citizens.

The advantage of being a member of Act Now says Nairobi is that: “It is very inclusive and non-judgemental. You are encouraged to step out of your comfort zone, but you do not have to if you do not want to. The atmosphere is of a community and with like-minded people so you are allowed to be yourself. When I first joined, I was very quiet. Being part of Act Now has brought me back to myself, it has helped build my confidence. My communication skills have developed and now I have no trouble talking in front of groups.”

Nairobi says: “I did not have much direction when I first came here as a confused young person who was homeless. But I did know I wanted theatre in my career. I did not think I had the ability to lead anything, but after experiencing the workshops here it has led me to the role of a facilitator which I really enjoy.”

Over the past 10 years Act Now has done many different projects including school tours. A highlight was the campaigning theatre with the title No Box No Label, which was about the stigma around youth homelessness. “We are now working with the charity Depaul where our members go along and work with other young people. These individuals will be invited back to our base to become members of Act Now,” explains Kiri.

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