Citz Member Adar on our Peer Research project with Groundswell

Posted on: 20 December 2018

Written by: Tom Davies

As part of a longer term research project, a group of nine Cardboard Citizens Members were trained by Groundswell to carry out research during the tour of Rising. Our peer researchers carried out surveys and interviews with audiences in the hostels and day centres that we visited.

This initial research aimed to get a snapshot of people Cardboard Citizens were performing to, some of whom will go on to become Cardboard Citizens members. The longer piece of research then intends to measure Cardboard Citizens impact on wellbeing, mental health and employment opportunities and shine a light on the transformational process that members experience through engagement with our activity.

Adar, one of our trained peer researchers, describes his experience here:

My name is Adar, and after two full day sessions of intensive training and seven dates being present alongside others (including one date in Manchester) I am PROUD to be a trained peer research ambassador for the Rising tour by Cardboard Citizens in partnership with Groundswell (‘from the Ground up’).

This project was managed, supervised and facilitated by Cardboard Citizens, where the play was brought to life. Groundswell facilitated research materials, training (with the lovely Katie), and provided us with packs, Android tablets and audio recorders for the interviews and surveys that we conducted after the play.

This was such a ‘life-skills’ experience for me and I found undying respect for the company of actors in the play… but on the ‘flipside’ I was able to conduct and carry-out surveys and interviews with residents of the hostels and day centres where the show was performed. From a personal point of view, it opened my eyes and brought more warmth with a ‘tinge’ of hope, as the ‘Forum’ aspects of the play showed more agreement among strangers than I would have thought. Every single time the play was performed, in every single different venue, it yielded very similar responses from audience members (who were mostly guests with lived experience of homelessness), about the solutions to the problems that the protagonist called ‘Terrence’ faced during the play.

The absolute teamwork of good member and research ambassadors, great actors, a brilliant supervisor (Jessie) and with the efforts of the theatre company that enabled this to all happen… it is really a truly powerful combo to see… as I have now seen.