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National Partnership Programme:

Soft Touch Arts

Soft Touch was established in 1986 and has since become a celebrated participatory arts and community development organisation, working in and around Leicester. Tender are really excited to announce that over the next three years one of the many new ventures they will be rolling out through the Leicestershire region is Tender’s Healthy Relationships project.

Over the last twenty five years the organisation has worked alongside local participants to produce hundreds of creative projects from performance and film to music and sculpture, whilst audiences have varied from a local to international scale.

For Soft Touch the purpose behind every single project is to enable people with limited opportunities to work together to effect positive change for themselves and their communities. Collaborations have included working with Gypsy Traveller communities, looking at gender based violence, and re-examining homosexuality with members of the African and Caribbean communities. However, Soft Touch also has an impressive track record of working with young people and schools.

The organisation told Tender that ‘inclusion stands at the heart of [their] company ethos and they therefore prioritise working with schools in deprived neighbourhoods and working with young people who are very challenging to engage and are not achieving academically’.  Of the 19 schools in Leicester, Soft Touch has already worked in 12 of them in the past 5 years alone and has built lasting relationships with the majority. This is an extremely exciting beginning for Leicester’s Healthy Relationships project and we look forward to hearing about the performances developed by both new and past schools.

If you’re interested in learning more about projects run by Soft Touch click on the link below to have a look at their website.

http://www.soft-touch.org.uk

Kelly Crow, a project worker for Soft Touch will be leading Tender’s Healthy Relationships programme in Leicestershire. She told Tender that whilst the drama element of the project was a personal interest for her, it was also the possibility to ‘explore new territories’ and look in-depth at the issues around healthy relationships that really excited her about starting this project.

Hear more from Kelly on her hopes for the project and why she recognises domestic violence as such a prominent issue that needs to be challenged.

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