Shelby Bootle - Bridge The Gap Studios

Shelby Bootle

Theatre Mentor, Bridge The Gap Studios

19 year old Shelby Bootle from Peckham in South East London spent her final year at college studying Performing Arts and is deeply passionate about working with young people, especially through Performing Arts, which allows them to create a safe platform for them to create and express as well as a platform for their voices to be heard and listened to. Shelby has worked as a volunteer with Bridge The Gap Studios, taking on the book “Silent Voices” written by Johnathan Toy, and creating a new play which is based on real stories of young people and the struggles they are facing.

Shelby Bootle

In 2018, Shelby had a great opportunity to perform in Parliament in hand with the Youth Violence Commission and has also volunteered with the exclusive theatre company ‘Angel Shed Theatre’ for children aged 5-16.  Angel Shed allows children to be themselves, allow their imagination to come out and to be proud of what they can achieve together.

Shelby is currently part of a PTSD vs. Culture campaign at BTG, with aims of raising awareness around trauma that young people experience as a result of exposure to violence out of and inside the home.  The aim of the campaign is to open up healthy conversations around youth violence and ways to tackle the trauma that young people experience a lot of the time before even picking up a knife. This campaign will culminate in a showcase taking place March 2020.

Bridge The Gap Studios are a Social Enterprise that works with young people all over London who are facing challenging life situations. They encourage and facilitate behavioural improvements in these young people to help them make solid connections between them and their success (at home, in education and in their future aspirations).

A growing challenge in behavioural management is said to stem from the fact that many young people don’t know how to correctly express how they feel and engage with the future they want. This is especially apparent in young men. In addition to this, more and more young people process knowledge and information through practical application rather than just through theory. Knowing this, BTG Studios uses the performing arts to combine a healthy balance of both. This is done by using Forum Theatre, musical elements and specialised coaching to help young people to express, explore and resolve issues.

Delivering workshops with Bridge The Gap Studios is what Shelby is currently working on and these early intervention sessions are focused on knife crime awareness, and have been delivered in multiple primary schools around south London.

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