BTEC Performing Arts students at Huddersfield New College recently wrote and performed a powerful play to a number of local schools to help educate children about the risk of becoming involved in local drug trafficking.
Commissioned by West Yorkshire Police and developed with their expert input, ‘County Lines’ told the story of how children and young people are at risk of being exploited by drug dealers and gangs who use them to transport drugs around the UK. This is a growing issue in the UK, and The Children’s Commissioner estimates there at least 46,000 children in England being exploited in gang activity.
Our BTEC Performing Arts students wrote and performed the play, which was reviewed by West Yorkshire Police to ensure that it was realistic and reflected a real life scenario. The performance told the story of how one 15 year old ended up trapped in a dangerous situation after being attracted by the 'easy money' offered by a 21 year old old drug dealer. Schools from across the area joined a public performance by the student cast.
Subject to funding, it is hoped this can be an annual activity with the play potentially being filmed and distributed more widely.
Kelsie Ford, Teacher of Performing Arts said: “Our students developed an incredibly realistic theatre performance that not only engaged our guests, but also educated them about the risks of County Lines activity and how quickly they can become trapped in a dangerous situation. They listened to the feedback of West Yorkshire Police to develop a piece of theatre that showed how gangs exploit the vulnerable, and how difficult it is to extract themselves from this type of situation. I would like to thank West Yorkshire Police for this opportunity which allowed our young people to work on a hard-hitting topic whilst producing a piece of theatre that makes a difference.”