The Impact of Different Planet Arts' Work

The Impact of Different Planet Arts' Work

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"Its so rare that we can go out together as a family and all take part...its the first time really that we've been able to go to something like this and you know think yes this is for us"
Parent

"It was wonderful, really powerful"
Dome Theatre Brighton Director of Programming 

"Outstanding really outstanding!"
Deputy Head SEND School

"Really good for our kids, I’ve never seen them like that before they really engaged even the ones who usually don’t. I’ve never seen him engage like that before, he loved it."
Parent

"He can't stop speaking about it, he’s gone home and told his parents - that’s really rare that he’s interested, picks something up and joins in. He is full of it, thank you for being so brilliant"
Teacher SEND School

"You really understand our kids, there's no judgment....we can just relax and be. We love it, when can we have more?"
SEND Parents Group Coordinator

Sensory Theatre and Inclusive Arts

Disabled children, young people and their families experience marginalisation from society and often feel excluded from the arts and cultural life.  Facilities and experiences may not be genuinely accessible, and those that are may be separate events. Inclusive events are not always created with the same production values and quality of performance, limiting opportunities for participants’ engagement and enjoyment. Families often feel there is not enough specialist provision necessary to support their needs and to deliver genuine inclusion. Families and friends experience limited access to cultural and social events where everyone can participate, benefit and enjoy together. Resulting in isolation and a lack of peer appropriate relationships and the opportunities to live and learn together often taken for granted by most of us.

What we do
We combine our skills and experience as dramatherapists and play therapists and musicians, storytellers, puppeteers, performers, and visual and digital artists to create truly groundbreaking work that is fresh and vibrant. We integrate therapeutic methodology with interactive environments and high-quality performance to create possibilities for participation and inclusion.

We believe in using the senses as a key component of the work we deliver. We create magical worlds where sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, and movement combine. Our theatre experiences are vehicles for discovery, connection, and community. We produce work with high production values that is satisfying, enjoyable, and therapeutic.

Disabled children, young people and their families experience marginalisation from society and often feel excluded from the arts and cultural life.  Facilities and experiences may not be genuinely accessible, and those that are may be separate events. Inclusive events are not always created with the same production values and quality of performance, limiting opportunities for participants’ engagement and enjoyment. Resulting in isolation and a lack of peer appropriate relationships and the opportunities to live and learn together; often taken for granted by most of us.

Otherworld Immersive Sensory Theatre Project

Otherworld immersive theatre installation and arts project ran for 3 years around Sussex providing over 6000 opportunities for participation in sensory theatre, inclusive cinema, and art workshops. Using object theatre, music, puppets, sensory storytelling, and technology to create immersive performance installations we created opportunities for engagement with and connection. We provided exciting participatory arts where the theatre unfolded around participants responding to their needs as their stories became part of the performances. Families, after school groups, respite care providers, family groups, and schools came back again and again and communities grew up around our performance hubs in theatres schools, and arts centers as we toured Sussex.

Debbie’s story
"And as a parent, you can feel your shoulders drop, and you can feel yourself relaxing and actually enjoying your child. And you start to be a child as well yourself, you started to get on their level and think, “let's explore this,” you know, and so often that's what our kids want to do."

What people are saying...

“Quite often families can build an expectation about something being inclusive, attend and be disappointed. But because this is genuinely inclusive, I think the likelihood of disappointment is very, very low .. There's a delight really walking into an environment which really does tick all the boxes that's quite palpable I'd say.”
Amaze – Coordinator 

“These occasions are incredibly rare for these families because to get siblings involved in something and parents involved in something and that child with PMLD involved is extraordinary and it's extraordinary to them and, therefore, you're creating an extremely memorable and touching experience for those families.”
West Sussex Children’s Disability Team Coordinator 

“There are lots of children and young people that fall on the autistic spectrum who can be difficult to engage in more traditional activities and Different Planet Arts seems to be able to achieve that and sometimes in incredibly touching ways.”
Autism Sussex Coordinator (Aspens)

97% thought it was a very good experience (top score) for disabled children and young people.
%
86% of children asked really enjoyed our shows and wanted more!( smiley faces and taking mats)
%
98% of respondents said they would definitely bring their children back to another event given the opportunity
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Covid Blended Delivery Research & Development Project


During the pandemic, we worked closely with local families in a research and development project that explored ways to continue delivering meaningful and impactful work during the restrictions imposed by Covid. We created new ways of working in response to their needs and what worked and what didn’t. Together we devised new mixed media - online and live formats for delivering our work within any one project, explored interactive online delivery, developed and delivered doorstep performances and Covid safe outdoor performances, and an online participatory sensory film for families to enjoy at home. Together with our participant families, we were able to create new methodologies and work that will see us continue to deliver impactful work into the future.

A Family's story
My son was really able to take part and loved it. The project, especially the doorstep performance, showed me how to engage with my son more meaningfully, and also gave me the confidence to try more arts projects that expose my son to new and stimulating experiences.

"Really good for our kids, I’ve never seen them like that before they really engaged even the ones who usually don’t. I’ve never seen them engage like that before, he loved it.’ 
Teacher SEND school

‘The immersive theatre show was amazing, awesome and out of this world!"  
 Parent

"I don’t want to go home can we stay forever?"
- Child

Inclusive Play Skills and Creative Engagement Training

Courses and Workshops

We deliver inclusive play skills training ranging from one-day workshops to weekly programmes of classes. These are for parents and carers and groups such as teachers and foster carers to gain skills and resources in inclusive play and inclusive arts engagement. We deliver training in different areas of inclusive arts and play such as an introduction to inclusive play, sensory storytelling, creating multisensory spaces, and inclusive music to parents, carers, respite workers, teachers, foster carers, professional creatives, and organisations around the South East and nationally.

Claire's story
"The sessions were incredibly enjoyable, educational, informative and inspirational. And they were led in a beautifully relaxed, engaging and friendly way by such brilliant facilitators!"

"A wonderful course - it's made the world of difference."
- Parent

‘‘We’ve used a lot of what you’ve suggested and its really working."  
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Professional

‘'I really want to thank you all for your hard work, if it wasn't for people like you we wouldn't have anywhere to go. You’ve been so supportive ..it's made all the difference it really has.' 
- Parent

‘'It made all the difference, its meant everything, I was really depressed what with the lockdown and really looked forward to our sessions and yes I’ve learnt so much. I wasn’t sure at first but yes really enjoyed it and used loads of the stuff you showed us with the boys and it's been great. We’ve come on in leaps and bounds…"
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Parent, and volunteer group worker with PaCC Brighton 

‘Really liked all the support and ideas from the other parents too….I’ll definitely use some of the techniques when we can do group work with the coffee mornings at Amaze again especially with the autistic lad that I work with. You’ve all been brilliant thank you!"
- Dad, and volunteer group worker with PaCC Brighton

What people are saying...

87% of parents said they learnt a lot . The highest marker on the scorer in Inclusive play skills courses
%
92 % percent of parents and professionals said the training content was very relevant to their children and young people's needs
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75% of our new neurodiverse facilitators said they felt really confident in co-delivering our inclusive play skills courses after
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The Benefits of Sensory Theatre & Inclusive Arts

  • Inclusion and equity……joining in and participating in the arts
  • Developing resilience and a sense of well being
  • Opportunities to increase self-esteem, confidence and improve mental health
  • Providing family support and opportunities for participants to build stronger family relationships
  • Opportunities to build and nurture peer appropriate relationships
  • Increasing community participation
  • Supports and encourages education and development
  • Spaces for experimenting with and gaining agency
  • Vehicles to socialise and communicate and develop social skills
  • Having fun!
To continue with this work we rely on the generous support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsorship and donations from individuals.

Find out how you can help us make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people and their families.