Creative Enrichment Programme: RELEASE UK

Release UK met Coventry DJ and youth worker Asha Banton who spoke about growing up in a children's home and the racism he faced.

Release UK is a community arts club that comprises of young people enjoying the enrichments of a bespoke programme held every weekend at Barrs Hill School. Release UK’s workshops centre on youth led Drama, Citizenship, Assertiveness Training, Elocutions and studying popular British culture as a means of integration. Release UK is run at The Tamil Welfare Associations (TWA) weekend Arts and Academic school in the Midlands. TWA are proud to celebrate their Tamil heritage by teaching Tamil, Bharatanatyam classical dance, traditional Music and various Key stage subjects in the Tamil medium. Though this school educates some very academically gifted students, social skills often lag behind leaving youth lacking in confidence and unable to integrate like their counterparts. After holding a meeting with the TWA there was a strong desire from youth to peruse their creative calling and to embrace their British identity as well as their Tamil heritage.

The majority of the youth’s family fled Sri Lanka to evade war. There are young people however from the Indian subcontinent too but are all British citizens. Reena Jaisiah recently visited Sri Lanka and devoted time to war and tsunami affected orphans. In Sri Lanka Reena wanted to give something back; rather than throw money on the situation, but to improve the lives of those disaffected through arts. Reena’s experience in Sri Lanka left a lasting impression and Release UK is a continuation of the Caste Away Arts philosophy.  This programme is designed to build social bridges and improve learning through creativity and more importantly the youth are in a safe and conducive environment free from judgement and ridicule that they may face in school and society. This truly enables growth!  Release UK has proven to be a huge success and numbers are increasing each week and a second programme is the pipeline. Release UK are always looking for volunteers and workshops facilitators to offer something new. Please contact us on info@casteawayarts.com

Quotes from the Release UK members:

Rajan Kajda – age 14 – a young volunteer

Volunteering has made me realise I have a lot of give and I feel more confident  

Niveetha –  age 10

I love drama because it helps me understand life. Reena is a good leader and makes the sessions fun.

Ilakkiya-  age 7

I love drama it gives me energy!

Leshanth  – age 10

Release UK is brilliant! I like the game where you give everyone complements, it makes you feel positive. One thing I have learnt that it’s ok to make mistakes because if you don’t then you never learn.  

Muoortha  – age 10

It’s really good and these sessions help you respect one another.

Anupriya – age 13

The sessions provide everyone with a different perspective on life and we learn how to make ourselves heard. It’s a rare opportunity to talk about issues that we don’t usually get to talk about and we also learn professional drama skills. It’s amazing.