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January 16, 2013

Theatre can work wonders

Community theatre takes many forms but for the most part, serves as a fun filled and creative outlet for some of the more thespian minded within our communities. However, for others a more serious purpose can sit behind the performance.  One project in particular has used drama and performance to support people with mental health issues, taking its work into prisons, hospitals and out into communities.  Theatre Nemo has just won a major award for its rehabilitative work with offenders.


Theatre can work wonders

To learn more about Theatre Nemo, click here

Theatre Nemo have been awarded the Robin Corbett Award from the Prison Reform Trust which they will receive at the House of Lords on the 5th February 2013.

This annual award is for outstanding rehabilitative work with prisoners done by a charity or community group, working in partnership with prison staff. Uniquely, the emphasis will be on work that fosters personal responsibility and calls on people in prison, and ex-offenders, to help themselves and others through mentoring and such like. Robin Corbett had a developed interest in prisoners’ education and people in prison ‘learning through doing’.

Here’s what people say about Theatre Nemo…

“Theatre NEMO have a friendly, unpretentious way of working, treating people as people and not merely as criminal or psychiatric categories. This genuinely engages often hard-to-reach individuals, enabling them to sense qualities in themselves that they may not have known they had, or lost sight of. These are strengths which state-based professionals often lose. No-one else is doing quite the same things as Theatre NEMO, and it deserves support to continue doing for them, for the good of its individual beneficiaries, and as a contribution to the quality of life in Scotland.”

Mike Nellis, Professor of Criminal and Community Justice, Glasgow School of Social Work

“ The example of Theatre Nemo deserves to be celebrated and emulated. It was set up by Isabel McCue as a creative response to the mental disintegration and suicide of her son; the company actively encourages people with mental health problems, and their carers, to use drama as a means of self-expression. Harry Burns rightly quotes it as an illustration of what needs to be done in Scotland.”

Sir Harry Burns, The vital clues to Scotland’s wretched health by Kenneth Roy Scottish Review

Here’s what Theatre Nemo do….

Theatre Nemo may be a small charity, but we have HUGE aspirations

Our Vision is of an inclusive, supportive, integrated society, which recognises and values the contribution made by those affected by mental ill-health alongside everyone else.

Our Mission is to empower people affected by mental ill-health to have better, more fulfilled lives through the creative arts.

Theatre Nemo’s work is based on 4 principal aims.

To improve and promote good mental health and well-being.

To improve the support available for carers, friends and families of those affected by mental ill-health.

To advance society’s understanding of mental ill-health and challenge misconceptions.

To make a significant and tangible contribution to create a more cohesive, integrated and inclusive community.