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Social Issues


Devon & Plymouth Racial Equality Council

“This is me!” Aquila said, when she picked up my puppet of the asylum seeker. It was so significant to her that I had to let her keep it.

Most of the ladies attending our workshop at Devon & Plymouth Racial Equality Council have experienced rascism, displacement from their homes and/or other great trauma, so I was surprised and delighted by the way they enthusiastically embraced shadow puppet making. The morning was filled with enchantment, creativity and laughter. I feel humbled and full of respect for the women that I met while working with Vanessa Crosse at DPREC.



Stay Safe Online

Teenagers with special educational needs explore internet safety using shadow puppets. Here the puppet has two new online friends, but are they who they seem to be?  Can either of them be trusted?

During the first of two workshops for Lifeworks at Dartington, in Devon, members of the Kool Club made puppets, discussed and performed scenes around the topics of: passwords, sexting, Childline, Facebook and blocking unpleasant people.

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World Day of Bullying Prevention

Today the world is focusing on how to tackle the international problem of bullying.  I am busy making new puppets, for workshop participants to use when expressing how this problem affects their lives and how we can deal with bullying together.  For more information about this workshop see "Stop Bullying", on the Themes Page.

Using puppets to communicate how overpowering bullying can feel.   

Using puppets to communicate how overpowering bullying can feel.


"Stop Bullying" trial at Hooe Primary School, Plymstock.

This trial confirmed that LBF's "Stop Bullying" workshop is ready to launch.  In the morning of 6th July, 30 students, discussed, wrote, rehearsed and performed for each other a rich variety of scenes about bullying, its causes and solutions.  The year 6 students, ( 10 years old ) produced such insights as the bully whose father is a drunk and the wheelchair used accused of being a bully when she tries to defend herself from taunts.  

Student quotes included:

"You get to really explain the emotion. I enjoyed performing because if it has happened to you, you can express it without telling someone"

"I enjoyed performing most because it makes people understand more what I have been through"

"I enjoyed watching, to see what other people think about bullying"

The class teacher, Sam, said "Fantastic session that has led to all the children feeling more comfortable talking about bullying"

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"Stop Bullying" Trial at Your Way, Plymouth.

On 15th June our second trial was at the "Your Way" Studio for adults with special educational needs.  We only had half a day, so this time participants chose their puppets from a selection that Light Bulb Fantastic provided.  Following a discussion, small groups devised their own scenes, adding their personal insights, feelings and even humour. The students having a free rein allowed their teachers and me to observe and challenge any misconceptions, for example clarifying the difference between an argument and bullying.

Every student was included, differentiated support being provided as needed, for example using narration to prompt action during performances on the screen.

Sarah, Your Way support worker, said "Nice to act it out, instead of sitting listening to someone just talk about it"

Alison, Your Way project coordinator, said she learnt "People who become bullies are victims themselves and have their own issues"

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"Stop Bullying" Trial at Oakwood College, Dawlish

Bullying is a huge problem for many people with learning difficulties, so on 19th May, Light Bulb Fantastic's first trial of our anti-bullying workshop was at Oakwood College for special needs.  I was impressed at how openly the students shared their difficult experiences, of being a bully as well as being bullied.  During the day the teenagers made their own puppets, wrote, rehearsed and performed powerful scenes illustrating different aspects of bullying, its causes and solutions.

Jenny, their teacher, said it was "Informative, fun, entertaining and interesting, especially watching the students using their skills and becoming more confident throughout the day"