We are raising our voices
We want to be heard
Every poem, every story
Every sentence, every word
We have something to say
We have something to share
We are raising our voices
Because deep down we care

Raised Voices is Arc Theatre’s female leadership and peer mentoring project for young people in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham (LBBD), previously funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) 2013-2016 and supported by the LBBD Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).  The project follows on from Arc’s previous multi-media programmes  with girls in the Borough, including Finding the Words (also funded by PHF) and Girls Have Their Say (funded by the Home Office CAGGK).  Find out more about our Previous Girls Projects

The all-female project is led by Arc’s Education Director, Natalie SmithRaised Voices is a weekly drama and presentation skills group for young women aged 11 and over from schools and colleges across the Borough, who have come together to celebrate female empowerment by producing a series of new films and workshop resources created to inspire, encourage discussion on, and raise awareness of issues challenging young people today.

Raised Voices is used as a model of Best Practice by the Borough’s Children’s Services and the group has won awards locally and nationally, including a Department of Health Special Recognition Award from the House of Commons, and Community Group of the Year at the 2015 Barking & Dagenham Women’s Empowerment Awards. The group was also featured in a powerful new BBC3 TV documentary exploring FGM – ‘Stop Cutting Our Girls’, produced by Love Productions as a ‘Comic Relief Special’ first screened on 11 March 2015.

Year 1:

In 2014, our first intake of over 50 participants created an original short film and booklet resource, which went on tour to present to over 20 schools, youth centres and at conferences around the Borough and beyond.

The resource tackled a range of hard-hitting subjects affecting young women today, including body image, self-harm, sexual exploitation, domestic violence and female genital mutilation, whilst encouraging female empowerment and solidarity.

Read more about Year 1 and watch full film resource…

Year 2:

In 2015, our committed group of ‘Olders’ – participants from Year 1, went on to recruit and mentor a new cohort of ‘Youngers’ – leading them on their own exciting new adventure in the Borough.

Whilst improving confidence and self-esteem, learning leadership techniques and developing speaking and listening skills, our extended group of over 60 girls have been working on the latest new issue-based film resource, along with this accompanying website, for launch on 17 September 2015, again leading to a comprehensive tour of local schools and youth venues.

Year 3:

In 2016, our next group of Olders will work together to recruit a new intake of Youngers to once again embrace female solidarity and create a brand new resource they hope will help young people to overcome difficult challenges, and empower others to raise their voices and start talking today.

Visit our News page to find out all the latest from Raised Voices!

About Arc Theatre

Based in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, for over 30 years Arc has been creating high-impact educational theatre, drama and training programmes that tackle difficult subjects, challenge attitudes and assumptions and bring about real change in the way people view and relate to one another.  The Company is passionate about the power of theatre and creative thinking to mobilise people, increase emotional intelligence and provide meaningful education pathways.

For more information about Arc and Raised Voices, contact Natalie Smith, Education Director at nat@arctheatre.com or call 020 8595 8509.

Arc Theatre, Kingsley Hall, Parlsoes Avenue, Dagenham RM9 5NB