What Our Parents Say

Helen Bailey, mum to Isabella and Bee

“My youngest daughter has a rare genetic condition, Learning Disability, Autism and Physical difficulties, she started True colours theatre group when she was around 5 years old, they provided her with lots of space and inclusive support to help her express her sensory needs and meet new people.

 

Sadly, we had to leave the group due to my oldest daughter starting a group elsewhere.

 

Fast-forward a few years and we were then attending a mainstream Theatre Group for both children, every week I was stopped by a member of staff and told, my youngest had been destructive and tried to hurt someone (This was out of character for her). It then got to the point after a while they said she couldn’t attend any more as it was too risky for her safety and that of others and they couldn’t accept the behaviour.

 

We have now moved both children back to True Colours Theatre group and the difference in their mood has been outstanding for the better.

 

They love the classes and feel they can both be free to be themselves, free from judgement, my oldest child has Autism and ADHD and is part of the LGBQT community, they have both made friends in the groups and all feel accepted.

 

As a single parent I have also made some lifelong friends.

 

All the Staff, Volunteers and supporters are truly inspirational and have gone out of their way to rectify any concerns.

 

True Colours Theatre group get my recommendation.”

 

 

 

 

Nicola Wrightson, mum to Faye

 

“My daughter has always had a flair for performing arts, she's always singing and dancing. We tried a number of drama groups, and dance lessons, but inevitably something always came up, or was an issue, and my daughter was never able to settle. If you asked her, it was because she was different and felt like she never fitted in.

 

We found True Colours, on the journey to diagnose my daughter with autism, it was mentioned by another local charity. To say we have never looked back is an understatement, my daughter loves it and can't wait for

Saturday mornings. That first session, where we were both nervous, one of the members pointed at my daughter "you joining us today" she nodded, he took her hand, introduced himself, she looked at me and said, "I think I've found my people, mam. I can be myself here, can't I" off she went, full of smiles. She loved it, she couldn't wait for the next session. It has given her focus, it's made the all to difficult weeks at school easier, as she has something to look forward too. 

 

Ali is wonderful, she gets it, she understands all too well the difficulty of managing high functioning autism, and she relates this to my daughter on a regular basis. Nothing is too much trouble, from little questions being answered, to going the extra mile to accommodate requests.

 

My daughter has firm friends, she has conversations and is included with people she understands, and they understand her. Always confident at being able to or wanting to perform, my daughter is now super confident, and she really is able to beat her nerves and anxiety.

 

The weekly meetings at the pathways and Tim Lamb centre are a highlight of the week, and a fabulous way to blow off steam and bond with others and make those friendships more solid. It's lovely to see.

 

Also, behind all these wonderful kids are a group of parents getting to know each other, supporting each other, offering advice, or a shoulder to cry on, it's like one big family, and it's an absolute pleasure to be involved and to get to know everyone.

 

Quotes from Faye:

 

“I love True Colours, I can be myself, I don't have to mask my emotions, Ali is amazing, she understands me, I like Sophia, and how she found me a yellow hoodie, I have friends, I can't wait for Saturday” 

 

 

 

Dawn Harman, mum to Alex and Lucy

“Alex is 13 and joined True Colours with her younger sister Lucy age 4 earlier this year just before coming out of lockdown.

 

During lockdown Alex and Lucy's Aunty Stacie died aged only 32 after a battle with cancer. This happened only a month after the death of their Paternal grandmother Maureen.


 

Lucy was too young to understand fully but Alex was devastated by the gravity of her loss. Alex used to speak to her Aunty regularly, often texting to talk about her day or say goodnight. It was hard watching our happy girl struggle with her emotions. She went through counselling through her school.  When we heard about a new drama group in our area, we thought it would be a good activity for both girls. 

 

We hadn’t really heard much about True Colours previously or the amazing work they do. We certainly couldn’t have imagined how much of a positive impact their new drama group would have on them.

 

Alex was thrilled to be given a solo in the summer show and it was so lovely to see her confidence soar and to see her smile and laugh so much again. 

 

Alex loves being a Sunbeam and a peer supporter to the Butterflies class. She recently had the confidence to join her school choir and audition for a role in her school play which she successfully got. 

 

Both girls love coming to True Colours and have made some lovely friends” 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Rowle – Mum to Daniel

“True Colours has been an absolute godsend to us both.  Daniel and I became very isolated after lockdown as I was shielding him all through the lockdowns. 

 

He left Tyne Met College a few weeks before the first lockdown and there are still no day centre services taking on new clients.  So Daniel only had contact with me, his carer and close family.  He had no contact with anyone his age at all for 18 months. This affected his behaviour, mental health, wellbeing and confidence.  He wouldn't let me out of his sight and was extremely anxious if we had to go anywhere.

 

True Colours has given both of us something to look forward to.

 

We have both made new friends.

 

We have people to talk to and laugh with.

 

Daniel is happy again and growing in confidence each week.  He talks about True Colours all the time.  He loves it, and it's so lovely for me to see him happy again and having contact with other young people and growing in confidence.  He loves the Classes and staff, especially Ali and Gemma Jenkins.

 

Daniel says "it's absolutely amazing, and loves True Colours so much!"  He wishes it was on every day.

 

I can't thank you all enough!”

 

 

 

Karen Ferguson, mum to Izzy.

“I just wanted to let you know what a difference True Colours has made to our family.  After her first session Izzy came out beaming. Her first words were, I love it here it’s the best. When asked what made it so great she said “because I’m not the only person who needs help, everyone does and I’ve had a wonderful time.”

The love and support shown by Ali, Shannon and Gemma in the classes is amazing and nothing is too much trouble. All of the children and young people are included and valued.

The peer supporters, in particular Jack and Max, are outstanding and have developed lovely, supportive bonds with the younger children. 

I can honestly say that without True Colours in our lives it would be extremely difficult for Izzy to feel part of something and the other parents I’ve met have been a huge support too.
I can’t thank you all enough for the life changing difference you’ve made to my family.
Love and thanks”