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University hosts powerful performance looking at the issue of bullying and mental health

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Beat the bully cast

The University of Bradford is hosting a play by the Girlington Unity Girls Group that explores the issue of bullying.

The aim of the performance, titled ‘Beat The Bully, Be a Buddy’ is to demonstrate and identify ways of tackling mental health, through art, drama and music.

Jen Nevin, Health and Wellbeing Coordinator at Girlington Community Centre explains: "At Girlington Community Centre we understand the importance of having a safe environment to express yourself free from judgement, having opportunity to access the arts is vital to health, wellbeing and community cohesion.  We want to offer a welcoming space for those who might not currently feel the arts are for them, to try new skills and use the power of theatre to feel connected and empowered.

“Through the making of this piece the Unity Girls have been through an inclusive process of devising where they have felt supported in being able to express their own experiences around bullying and mental health. Through the project they have learned valuable skills in performance and ways of working together, their passion and dedication to get people talking about real issues is infectious. 

“This project has had a considerable impact on the young women's wellbeing and has opened doors for them whether they choose to work in the arts or elsewhere. It has also inspired the people of Girlington to see what's possible when people get creative and work together. We are excited to continue to support the people in Girlington to reach their creative ambitions!"

The play is taking place on Wednesday 19 February, 6.30-8.30pm in the Great Hall at the University, tickets are free but must be booked.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, Professor Shirley Congdon who saw the performance previously and is opening the event, said: “This is a very powerful performance and we encourage people to attend and support this group of brave and talented young girls.

“We are committed to raising awareness around the issue of mental health and the detrimental effect that bullying can have on a person.”

There will also be an opportunity for people to talk bullying and their real life experiences.

The Girlington Unity Girls group is made up of 14 young girls aged between 12-25 years old. The Girlington Community Centre has provided a safe space for the girls to talk about feelings, emotions and mental health.

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