Applications open for theatre production led by disabled, care-experienced and migration-experienced children

The National Children's Bureau (NCB) and the University of Kent are partnering with Chickenshed Theatre to run a series of theatre workshops and monologue performances involving disabled children and young people, and those with experience of social care or the immigration system.

The workshops, starting on 25 May, will explore a series of topics including mental health, children’s social care, insecure immigration status and more. They will encourage participants to think about and, if comfortable, share their own lived experiences in a creative way. A final performance is planned for early 2025.

Recruitment is now open, and disabled children and young people (under 25 years old), with experience of children’s social care and those with experience of the UK immigration system are encouraged to apply.

Part of their ongoing Living Assessments project, NCB and the University of Kent have created Changing Narratives, a series of opportunities to encourage and empower children and young people with experience of children’s social care assessments to express their lived experience creatively. This has involved running an art competition and online art gallery, which is still open and accepting applications for its second theme. The project developed from discussions with experts by experience about the stigma they often face in society. The changing narratives project aims to provide an avenue for young people to celebrate their creativity and themselves as individuals. 

The final monologues will be used as a learning resource for children, young people, families and professionals.  

Chickenshed, an inclusive theatre company, has previously worked with NCB on a separate project, running workshops with young people living in supported accommodation

If you or anyone you know would like to apply, please complete this form.

At the heart of the values of NCB and the Living assessments project is giving opportunities for those with lived experience to express their voice to affect change. Changing Narratives gives an amazing opportunity for experts-by-experience to share insights in creative and innovative ways to affect positive change!

Dustin Hutchinson

Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager at NCB and Visiting Researcher at University of Cambridge


❓ Who can apply? 

Children and young people (under 25 years old) who identify as at least one of the following: 

  • Disabled 

  • With lived experience of children’s social care 

  • With experience of the UK immigration system 

❓What will I be doing? 

You’ll join a number of group workshops led by Chickenshed Theatre to explore creative self-expression and prepare for a performance in early 2025. The workshops will start on 25 May and take place every other Saturday from 11am to 1pm, until 20 July. They will then resume on 14 September. 

❓What will the performance be about? 

We will explore different themes, including mental health, disability, children’s social care, and insecure immigration status. You will be able to choose what you would like to focus on. 

❓ Where is the Chickenshed Theatre and how do I get there? 

The Chickenshed Theatre is in Enfield, north London. The closest Tube station is Cockfosters, but we will support you with travel and getting to the theatre. 

❓ Will my travel expenses be covered? 

Yes, we will cover the cost of your ticket to get to the theatre. 

❓ I’m curious but I don’t know if this is for me. What can I do? 

We’re sure that you will love taking part in the workshops, but if you’re not sure or have any questions, you can email [email protected]. You can also come to the first workshop on 25 May and then decide if you would like to continue (we’re sure you will!)

❓Do I have to attend all workshops? 

You are encouraged to attend all workshops or as many as you can, but we understand this might not always be possible. Please do let us know if you are going to miss any sessions.


If you have any more questions, please email Ava Berry at [email protected].