The Garage was somewhere I could explore my creative potential without feeling shy or judged

Creative potential

The Garage Trust is about exploring your creative potential. It uses the performing arts to change the lives of Norfolk’s young people and their families facing challenging circumstances. We’re currently raising money so we can help hundreds more take part in dance, music or theatre classes and courses either here or at our sister site The Workshop in King’s Lynn. We spoke to former participant Victoria Wyatt, who explained why she’ll be forever grateful for her time at The Garage.

I attended the Music Foundations course. This was quite new to me, but it was something I wanted to know more about and use skills-wise as I wanted to go into musical theatre. I was 18 when I attended my first class and at this point I was still very much in my own shell. I felt initially shy and nervous, but these feelings quickly changed because the staff made sure I was comfortable, it was fun and it was a safe environment.

At the end of the course, I felt a little bit more confident as a person and that I had a better understanding of some basic skills in music that I didn’t have before, even just basic rhythm. I was still 18 when I finished the course.

It has definitely helped me get where I am today. They provided me with dance and singing lessons which developed my skills from virtually nothing. They helped me with auditioning for drama schools and universities for musical theatre [courses] where these skills are vital. Now I am a first-year university student at University Centre Colchester doing a BA Hons in Musical Theatre. I can safely say I wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the opportunities The Garage gave me.

There would be no way I would have had the opportunity to be involved in these classes at this level if it wasn’t for The Garage as I was not aware of any other opportunities or any that were accessible to someone like me and my background.

I found my overall experience at The Garage to be really enjoyable. It was a fun, safe environment to explore my creative potential without feeling shy or judged. I felt the facilities were really good and there was plenty of space to be able to be creative – like the dance studios and practice studios – in our own time to better our skills and practice.

Additionally, the staff there were so friendly and supportive in all situations whether good or bad. If you needed someone to talk to, they would help in any way they could to make you feel comfortable and support your journey to get where you need to be.

I will forever be thankful for the opportunities The Garage has provided, supporting me at times where I felt so small and lonely. They managed to get me to see otherwise and help me progress to do things that I never thought I’d do. For example, singing in front my whole class, audition for the dance company, become president of the student union and establishing it from nothing, being a student rep for my class… There would have been no way I would have had the confidence to do this prior to The Garage and I can’t thank everyone enough. I miss The Garage so much.

 

The Garage Trust’s Chair’s Bursary Fund was launched in honour of our outgoing chair of board Maggie Wheeler.

Adam Taylor, our Executive Director, said: “Our growth is a direct result of this incredible woman’s time, dedication, hard work and support. We owe the success of our flourishing participation and accredited courses programmes, us securing the freehold of our Norwich site and the opening of the King’s Lynn site to her. We can’t think of a better way to honour Maggie’s legacy than continuing to mentor and support young people to change their lives through the performing arts and these bursaries. We are continually grateful for people’s generous support and hope they will donate to our bursaries campaign and help us continue her work.”

The Garage Trust is reaching out to advocates, friends, participants and audiences, asking them to  pay it forward and help us cover the cost of provision for those who are facing significant challenges in their lives. Their donations will support the trust in establishing a fund that will cover the costs of bursaries for many years to come and help more young people explore their creative potential.

Maggie said: “The thing I’m most proud of is the work we do to give opportunities in the arts to young people who might not otherwise have them, to hear how they grow because of it. It’s about us helping them get from A to B. We don’t care what B is, it’s about them getting where they want to be. Whether that’s landing up with a career in the performing arts or just making a friend, it doesn’t matter.”

Interested in exploring your creative potential? We provide a range of accredited courses including our HNC Performing Arts Foundation ActingDance and Musical Theatre programmes as well as GCSEs in Dance and Drama. There’s also our MA Performing Arts Enterprise course. Scholarships are available. If you’re looking to take your first steps into the industry but don’t know where to start, try our Introduction to the Creative Industries course.

Help change young people's lives

We are continually grateful for your continued support. The Chair's Bursaries Fund will help change hundreds of young people's lives. We hope you will donate to our campaign and help us continue Maggie's legacy.

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