Cathartic Interview: BeeCreative

 

Today at Cathartic we are delighted to be speaking to Stevie Williams, who alongside partner Carley Dawson, runs BeeCreative.   They are an organisation who aim to use creativity to help people build confidence, self esteem and raise awareness of Mental Health issues.

 

Stevie and Carley are Performing Arts Graduates from the University of Chichester. Stevie has been diagnosed with severe Dyslexia and Carley suffers from diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and they focus upon putting these experiences into their creative work. They are both performing artists and workshop/class creators in the company; designing and creating everything from performance scripts to lesson plans.

 

Tell us more about BeeCreative. What do you do?

BeeCreative is an organisation aimed at using creativity to help people reach their full potential. This can be building confidence and self esteem in our Confidence Through Drama classes, that run in several venues five days a week or raising awareness in schools of Mental illnesses; such as Dyslexia, OCD, Anxiety or Eating disorders. We create a platform in schools where children can voice their questions as well as bringing their own answers and experiences.

Our Mind Matters workshops include a performance, full workshop and Q&A portion to bring awareness into schools using performative skills and creativity. Our classes and workshops run across the South from Portchester, through Southampton and as far as Christchurch. Our mission is to build confidence, promote the creative arts and raise awareness. We also get creative ourselves devising our own contemporary performances for the stages across the stage.

 

What is the story or inspiration that lead to the creation BeeCreative?

Carley and I formed BeeCreative a year after we graduated, we felt like we weren't using our degrees in a positive or productive way. Before the company, I was a care worker and coached dance in schools and Carley worked in an office and was coaching singing from home. We both felt that we wanted to do more, and having suffered with mental illness through school and into adulthood we felt we wanted to raise awareness and create an avenue where people could express themselves through fun and creativity, even if it's just because they love drama and want to improve performance skills!

Our Confidence Through Drama initiative rose from the realisation that children suffer with anxiety and low self esteem that builds from when they are young, through school and sometimes into adulthood. We felt that drama helped us deal with our own self confidence problems and performance allows people to express themselves in ways that they might not of considered before.

Using our skills we brought Confidence Through Drama to our local community centres and received fantastic feedback and really felt the impact of our work. From children telling us just how doing our class brought more confidence into their lives, to parents commenting how much their children have enjoyed the class on our Facebook page.

 

What specific issues does BeeCreative provide support for?

We currently provide support for people suffering from the following issues:

  • Low Self-Esteem / Lack of Confidence.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dyslexia.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
  • Anorexia.
  • Bulimia.

 

What challenges does BeeCreative face on a daily basis and how have you overcome them?

Our main issue currently is lack of exposure. We are a young company but we have made strides getting into schools, such as Highcliffe School and Wicor Primary School, as well as others like Chamberlayne College for the Arts. We are looking for funding from Arts Council England and other sources, as we have struggled with self-funding and finances for the business.

 

Are there any success stories that you would like to share, something that has made you proud to be doing the work that you do?

We are very proud of our Confidence Through Drama workshop that was delivered to Highcliffe school, the self-esteem of the students (Year 7 females) was very low. At the beginning they were very quiet and reserved but by the end were reading poetry aloud in front of everyone on their own.

We are also very proud of performing our Mind Matters Dyslexia workshop to Teaching Assistants; it felt extremely beneficial to help their understanding of the lesser known facts in a performative way and they seemed very engaged. Having taught children whose confidence can start at zero, in each lesson we ask the children to write how they feel at the beginning and the end of each class, we have had some lovely and rewarding responses.

 

How can people support your cause or get involved with helping BeeCreative?


People can help support us by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as sending us artwork showcasing all creativity that people can do. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and we would love to spread the word in schools and communities, so any shares, mentions or recommendations would be a great help. Any Teachers, Schools or Colleges who would like to get in touch with us are always welcomed.

 

How can people contact BeeCreative for support?

We can be found in the following places:

Website: http://www.beecreativecompany.co.uk/ Twitter: @beecreativeco

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebeecreativecompany


At
Cathartic, we believe in the power of creativity and self expression as a vital tool for help with wellbeing and  Mental Health issues.

BeeCreative are an organisation doing good work with younger members of society, we are delighted to be highlighting their valuable work and fully support all their endeavours in the future.