I arrived at The George Hotel in Huddersfield last night and the hotel window looks out onto the town square in front of the train station. It’s a nice enough place. My relationship with huddersfield goes back some years to PROPER JOB Theatre company who commissioned a play. I can’t even remember the title. That was fifteen years ago.
But today the workshop’s for young people at Huddersfield Univeristy. Not just any young people. They are part of a drive to make university available to children in the care system. Less than one percent of children in care attend university. It is a disgusting statistic when you consider that a child in care is under the legal parentage of the government.
Because of the beaurocracy, through cross agency work there’s been alot of focused atention to get them here. There are fifteen in all, from childrens homes and foster care. They hadn’t met each other. They’re in one spacious room. Each of them has a key worker who leaves when I arrive. University staff and youth worker sit back and let me do what i do best. My job is to get them to write a poem.
I spent two hours with one group in the morning and two hours with a different group in the afternoon. By the end of the day they all had the first draft of a poem. Tomorrow they will work on it some more and tomorrow night they will read it in front of an audience in the university theatre. The event has already sold out. I go back to the hotel once again reminded of why I do what I do. Later on I sit in the hotel bar and drink. Considering I stopped drinking seven months ago. This is not a good thing. It is not a good thing at all.