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Blackpool Strategic Partnership


Project Aims - to improve the mental health of participants, raising aspirations, self-esteem and giving them the skills to set goals and make positive choices, aiming to reduce rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

This project explores self-image and identity in a group of 13-14 year old young women. Puppetry, role play, collage and textile work explores Images of women, attitudes towards sex and relationships and helps individuals to learn skills to make informed choices for the future.

A Tracey Emin inspired quilt
Esteem, Blackpool. The Tracey Emin inspired quilt made by the group. Photo Brian Slater


Rachel Riggs of DNA worked with Blackpool Council Teenage Pregnancy Team an d video artist Chantal Oakes, Supproted by Equalities office and Sexual Health worker Alex Keelan at Bispham High School to explore these issues with participants.

The participants felt that the project provided 'somewhere where they don't judge you, where people listen to your opinion.' They viewed the arts as important because 'there are things you couldn't explian in words... we're finding different ways to express things.'

By the end of the project, participants felt that they had more conridence, had found different ways to express themselves and had learned to be more open and tolerant.

The young women acknowledged that the sense of acheivement gained form the project was very important to them: 'If someone had discouraged me from coming, I wouldn't have acheived everything I've done - the collage, the talking.'

What makes puppetry particularly suitable for sex and relationships education is its distancing effect. A young person can make a puppet say and do things which the person controlling the puppet would feel unable to do.



Booking Details

Ages Suitable for 13 and up
Running time a series of sessions
Suitable venues high schools, youth centres
Availability by enquiry
All text and images © Dynamic New Animation 2002