“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
We are asking for your support to run an arts project with women who have experienced violence and abuse, and are currently clients of the charity Solace Women’s Aid.
We will use theatre and visual art to empower these women and help them continue rebuilding their lives.
About Spare Tyre Theatre Company
“Spare Tyre’s shows have changed over the years, along with society as a whole and the concerns of majority and minority communities.” – Francois Matarasso
We are a participatory theatre company. That means we don’t just make shows for people to watch. Instead, we work with people least engaged in arts activity to co-create performances and tell their stories.
We began life in 1977 as a company that focused on feminist issues, and our first show Baring The Weight was inspired by Susie Orbach’s famous book Fat is a Feminist Issue.
Since, we have grown to work with a wider range of people under-represented in arts and culture, including learning disabled adults and people living with dementia.
This video explores our work around Women & Gender:
Why do we want to do this project?
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of using theatre and arts in trauma recovery.
Official figures from Crime Survey for England and Wales reported an estimated 1.3 million female victims of domestic violence during the year ending March 2018 – an increase on previous years. Meanwhile, services are working to full capacity and struggling to meet the needs of women with the resources available.
The long-term effects of violence vary, and survivors often suffer from increased anxiety, PTSD, depression, and/or disassociation.
Our theatre-based approach to helping women is still comparatively rare, and we want to prove how well it can work. Our practitioners will support Solace Women’s Aid by sharing new theatre and arts skills.
What do we want to achieve?
We want the women who take part in our project to:
- Feel more empowered about their creativity, continuing identities and ability to continue rebuilding their lives.
- Develop creative skills as a form of personal expression.
- Experienced improved emotional and mental health.
- Enjoy the satisfaction of sharing their work with others.
How we’ll work
Our project will involve 10 weekly theatre and arts workshops that are free for the women to attend.
At the end of the 10 weeks, there will be a final performance and exhibition for the women to share their work in front of a private and supportive audience.
We will start by responding to stories of women who have done extraordinary things in adverse circumstances.
We’ll then create original thank yous and pledges to the women in the form of short plays, creative writing or visual art.
Our partners, Solace Women’s Aid, will provide the safe space for the activities and provide the pastoral support the women need during the programme.
By small imaginings, actions and commitments, together and individually we change the world.
Feedback from participants
We have worked with Solace Women's Aid before. Click here to read about our Blue Skies project in 2015. Here is some of the feedback:
“It’s enlightened me and left me feeling anything is possible.”
“My heart feels at home. I look forward to every Friday. My self-doubt is zero now!”