I’ve been working with disadvantaged young people for over a decade now but I still get surprised by how those from the most damaging of circumstances are able to rise above and not get dragged down by the negativity of their past, so that they can make a better future for themselves.
Last week I was lucky enough to work with some young people who are in care, statistically some of the most disadvantaged individuals in the whole of Britain, those who are dealt a particularly rough hand and more importantly have been starved of that most crucial criteria for secure growth: love from your parents.
I’m glad that I can’t understand how a parent cannot love their own flesh and blood and turn their back on that child so that it has to learn to struggle on its own two feet without any of the support structures most of us take for granted. The young people I worked with were making this journey and it was a pleasure to meet them and make some theatre.
As we talked and played and created, took risks and laughed together, I was reminded of the essential human truth: that no matter what struggle, what pain, what terrible journey any of us has been on we can all move on; we do not need to stay stuck, lost in that destructive place but instead use the dark past to fuel a brighter future.
To those young people I worked with, I salute you.