The Royal Exchange Theatre and the Booth Centre are pleased to announce the launch of BACKSTAGE? ME? SHARING OUR LEARNING – an online resource reflecting on our recent three year partnership, which uses creativity and theatre to develop the personal and social skills of homeless adults in Manchester.

Backstage MeThe Community Leader Programme was a three year partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Booth Centre: a service offering advice and activities for homeless people in Manchester. Running from 2011 – 2014, the partnership aimed to contribute to participants’ ability to resettle, find stability and address ongoing health and substance misuse issues.

The BACKSTAGE? ME? SHARING OUR LEARNING resource has been produced by the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Booth Centre and is intended as an honest and informative reflection on the learning from the partnership. Whilst it is pertinent to partnerships between homelessness organisations and theatres, it is also relevant to other organisations and projects working with individuals with complex and multiple needs.

The resource is split into 3 main sections, each containing short films and documents to download…

1. Background to the Royal Exchange Theatre and Booth Centre Partnership

2. An overview of the 'Building Blocks', the five foundation stones which made the Community Leader Programme distinctive

3. Further information about the Backstage? Me? national event which was delivered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in April 2014

“We have worked with the Booth Centre for a number of years, finding our way through a succession of projects together. Our team have worked hard, utilising everything they knew about meaningful, arts-based participation, but the challenges that they have overcome have been due to a three-way learning process between the participants, Booth Centre and us. This learning resource can be an invaluable document for any organisation striving to achieve similarly progressive outcomes.” Fiona Gasper, Royal Exchange Theatre Executive Director

“You can give someone a flat but if they have nothing to do, have no positive support network and have not addressed problems that have led them to become homeless in the first place – then the chances are that they will soon be back on the streets. The reason the Booth Centre spends half our time running activities like these drama projects, is that these help people to regain a purpose to their lives, to make new positive social networks, to gain new skills, confidence and self-esteem and to have some fun – all of which are essential if people are going to rebuild their lives away from the streets.” Amanda Croome, Booth Centre CEO

Please feel free to share the resource with your networks and if you would like to find out more about this partnership or if you have any comments or feedback please contact: Tracie Daly (Royal Exchange Theatre) on 0161 615 6739 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Amanda Croome (Booth Centre) on 0161 835 2499 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..