The Awards, which are now in their 14th year, celebrate the talent and achievements of North East’s culture and art sectors.
Mortal Fools are a multi-award winning, theatre, drama and creative learning charity that specialise in co-creating theatre and creative interventions with young people. Mortal Fools specialise in starting important conversations and making a positive social impact through creative projects. One such project is Melva – centring around the story of one girl’s adventure to find out what she’s really capable of.
Melva started life as a theatre show and school’s package, centring around helping children aged 7-11, to explore and understand their emotions, support their well-being and build resilience. The show was originally designed in response to the 2017 green paper ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’.
After a sold out North East tour of the stage show Melva and seeing the positive impact on young people who engaged with Melva and then the subsequent effect of the pandemic and lockdowns on children’s mental health and well-being, Mortal Fools were determined to reimagine and further develop Melva, so it could reach more children and benefit others in a whole new way.
And that is where our collaboration with Mortal Fools started. We came together to create a digital Melva platform and programme consisting of Melva the feature film, classroom resources, lesson plans and a whole new Melva story, Melva Mapletree and the Quest for Barnabas Boggle; an interactive storytelling game with supplementary resources, which allows the conversation and education around mental health to continue at home, despite the constraints of the pandemic!
The overall aim of the Melva Digital Programme is to use theatre, storytelling, and practical activities to:
- Help young people better understand their worries and anxiety
- Provide young people, their teachers, and their families with child-friendly, accessible language to talk about and deal with mental health and wellbeing
- Address mental health stigma by encouraging open conversations between young people, their peers, and the adults in their lives about wellbeing
We’re really excited that our project has become a finalist and we’ll be celebrating the success of Melva Digital together, as well as the regions achievements, during the awards ceremony on 2nd September, at Durham Cathedral. Good luck and congratulations to all other finalists!