Young Members receive Arts Awards

Posted on: 14 August 2015

Written by: Vicky Ream

This week we celebrated the achievements of our younger Members as they were awarded five Arts Awards at Bronze and Silver level.  The scheme inspires young people to grow their arts and leadership talents. The group have been working on different projects throughout the year including the performances A Matter of Mind and Speakeasy and the summer workshops programme. One of the Members, Dominique organised the summer open mic session as part of her final project for the Silver Arts Award.  

Benedict Victor Holdsworth completed his Bronze Arts Award, he has written this powerful blog about his experiences with Cardboard Citizens:

My life wasn’t ever full of flashy colours, it’s not a mistake to say that it was colourless. Every spark of happiness was quickly finished before it could start something big. Finally, I grew up with the acceptance of this fact that I never deserve anything good. Anything which is going to give me a wondrous opportunity to finally invest my energy and to be proud of it.

Every single passion was dying after some time due to life circumstances and I was entirely powerless, unable to stop this process of decaying.
Ironically enough it has taken two periods of homelessness and the horrid feeling of being denied the existence, all of these just to get the will for living. Additionally, I found the strength in the moment normally taking away all the strength - in suicide attempt. I stood on the Waterloo Bridge ready to jump and cut myself from this lack of fortune.

Although, the same thing saved me in the end: the view from Waterloo Bridge.

Full of the extraordinary strength and fear of how much of a fool I was, I decided to accept the fact of being homeless and find the help in the youth centre. But this is not the story about them, this is about me finding the purpose of living. Well, at least one of them… People are mostly motivated by love, money… I became motivated by my pride and enormous longing to become someone, to get the reputation. It wasn’t about the fame or career. It was just to prove my own worth of a being.
That has taken me to move from my safe place in the drop-in area of the centre to the barn where Cardboard Citizens were performing “Benefit”. I am not a big fan of modern theatre, it lacks the atmosphere of mysterious, for contemporary spectators, times of the past. It builds the distance between performance and the spectators. Whereas in the modern theatre you don’t feel it, you know the feeling of coping with this and that problems because it did happened, in fact. I talked with the crew and actors and they made me excited for the end product which changed completely my entire viewpoint.

In that moment I felt the spark unable to be taken down by anything. It made me go and try in a completely new environment, with completely new people something completely new which made me sick whenever I thought about it. Although, Cardboard Citizens proved to me the importance of overcoming the boundaries, trusting people and accepting people as a part of a team. And the greatest product of this was the Speakeasy performance.

Once again I felt extremely sick just thinking of coping with completely new people unable to figure out who are they and what they are going to do. My trust issues and all-time doubt were stopping me from time to time from full participation in the workshops. Although, the time limit wasn’t leaving any time for this. That’s why I decided to accept all the “newness” of every happenings and decided to push myself more and provide as much of my creativeness as I was able. It was draining me out of energy, but it was absolutely worth all the hassle.

The end product - performance changed entirely my viewpoint and made me realise how important is to allow others to work with you and accept their thoughts.
Thanks to the Cardboard Citizens my life flourish with colours of the creativity.



With thanks to

Arts Council England Lottery funded