Introducing ARTPAD

Playwork Partnerships and the Drama Department of the University of Gloucestershire have been working for the past year on developing ARTPAD (Achieving Resilience Through Play and Drama) – a training course for teachers, youth workers and playworkers that explores how to use drama techniques and understand children’s play in order to support the development of resilience in children and young people.

Based on research undertaken in the UK and the partner countries of Hungary, Germany, Poland and Austria, core principles were developed that highlighted the environment, the role of the adult and alignment amongst others, as essential components for the training course.

The overall aim of the project is to help re-engage children and young people in formal, informal and non-formal education who, for whatever reason, have disengaged with learning by developing specialised training for those that work with them and support them. This will include understanding a range of drama approaches that can be used, alongside an understanding of the importance of understanding and providing time and space for play. The final course will be a University Module endorsed through the University of Gloucestershire and the University of Gdansk.

In March the course will be piloted in Poland with experienced trainers and practitioners from all five countries, including from the UK alongside the Drama Department: trainer and facilitator Pete Duncan; Playworker and Trainer Tony Delahoy of Play Torbay; Playworker, Youth worker and trainer Simbi Folarin from DENS of Equality.

The 30 hour course will be delivered over a week with time for reflection and feedback before pilot courses are run by the trainers in each partner country. Wendy Russell from the University of Gloucestershire is evaluating the whole project which will finally be disseminated in Budapest this summer.

Karen Benjamin

ARTPAD Introductory Event

Tuesday 24 April  3.30 – 6.00pm
at the University of Gloucestershire.

The event will introduce ARTPAD and the training course with Guest Speaker Kate Cairns, Author of ‘Attachment, Trauma and Resilience’.

If you are interested in attending please contact Karen Benjamin at or check out the website

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