Jo Sadler-Lovett, Co-Artistic and Participation Director of Blue Elephant Theatre, tells us about the invaluable work of Blue Elephant Theatre, “Our focus is on supporting the mental health and well-being of our community and as a result, our projects span a lot of different issues…“
What’s your job role?
Co-Artistic and Participation Director
What does your organisation do?
Blue Elephant Theatre provides creative opportunities for people across Southwark, both as participants and professional theatre makers. We run several different projects for the community to engage with, as well as offering professional theatre makers a space to develop their work and produce affordable (often free) shows for the public.
Our focus is on supporting the mental health and well-being of our community and as a result, our projects span a lot of different issues, from educational support, youth violence intervention, human rights and many more.
Our Participation Department works across different age groups to provide meaningful activities for everyone. We provide regular activities for young people, parent and child classes for early years and participation and volunteering opportunities for adults. We co-create our work with participants to ensure that it fulfils the needs of the people we work with.
We operate out of our own building in Camberwell and also forge partnerships across the borough, creating outreach work in unusual places! We have something happening somewhere in Southwark, 6 days of the week, all year round.
How does your organisation support & benefit the Southwark community?
BET works to create opportunities for people of all ages across the borough, to support the well-being of everyone. We have regular activities for disadvantaged young people which are free of charge. When possible, we create opportunities for adult participation and early years provision. Details of these can be found through our websites and social media. We also create performances which are accessible to the local community. We are often showing free family theatre in nearby parks and community spaces as well as in our own venue. We house professional theatre companies who are creating.
work in our building and result in an eclectic mix of competitively priced professional theatre experiences for anyone to enjoy.
What are you working on, is there anything you would like to highlight?
We have launched a project which focusses on positive mental health and well being for adults. We have three opportunities for people to refer themselves to take part.
1- Parental Mental Health: for parents with children aged between 1-3 to enjoy a creative project together. This will include creative activities nurturing the development of children whilst the specific focus will be on supporting the well-being of parents.
2- Dance for Dementia: a dance project working with people who live with dementia to build well-being.
3- Adult Well-Being: a self-referral group for people who want to use drama to foster increased well-being and have fun. Classes will focus on positive mental health, whilst being active and lively.
We also have an opportunity for employers to support their staff’s mental health, for free.
4- Leave the day behind: a one-off workshop for professionals who struggle to switch of from the pressure and stress at work. This will explore ways to let go and enabling people to increase their over-all well-being.
A quote from a beneficiary of Blue Elephant Theatre:
“This has been one of the best things I’ve been involved in. I think it should be replicated in other boroughs, parts of the country. I feel like I’ve learned more about my neighbourhood, where I’ve lived for years. Society needs more things like this!” – A participant talking about their involvement in our community play
How did you hear about Community Southwark?
We have worked with Community Southwark for many years.
How has Community Southwark helped you?
We have felt supported in finding funding and opportunities to be more involved with Southwark life, particularly through the regular panel discussions held by CS.
Would you recommend Community Southwark to other charities for support?
If yes why?
The good practise guidance for small charities is vital.
CS have good understanding of relevant local issues and can connect people together.
Funding support is extremely useful
How can people get support from your organisation?
Please get in touch! We are a small team but we work really hard to listen to our community. If you see something you like, please say. If you see a gap in our provision, we want to know. If you have an idea, we would love to hear about it.
How can people find out more about what you do?
They can check out our website (
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