Here you will find a one-stop source of guidance and practical advice. Please note that these are member-only resources.
Youth Arts Mentoring Toolkit
A resource for anyone seeking information and guidance on mentoring in a youth arts setting. Whether you are a potential mentor or mentee, a youth theatre or other arts organisation looking to develop mentorships for young artists, or a young artist seeking guidance on how to learn and develop through mentorship, this resource is packed with practical step-by-step advice, tips, templates and examples of best practice. The resource introduces a number of different models for mentorships illustrated with case studies from Scotland and Ireland including from the Tenderfoot programme, Dublin; Toonspeak Young People's Theatre and Ryan Youth Theatre, Glasgow and Stranraer; County Limerick Youth Theatre; Edinburgh International Festival and Castlebrae Community High School; Kildare Youth Theatre and Youth Theatre Arts Scotland.
The Youth Arts Mentoring Toolkit can be accessed and downloaded at the following link:
The Youth Arts Mentoring Toolkit has been funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme. It has been developed under Creative Commons - a two-year European partnership project carried out by Youth Theatre Ireland and Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS) between summer 2016 and March 2018. The project has so far supported Youth Theatre Ireland and YTAS to exchange knowledge and skills, facilitate a residential youth exchange in Dublin, and develop new resources and expertise, including this ‘Mentorship Resource’. The resource was developed in partnership, drawing on YTAS’s experience delivering its Young Arts Leaders programme between 2014 and 2016, and a training course for professionals in March 2016. A ‘Mentorship Resource’ was identified as a priority by Youth Theatre Ireland and YTAS to help guide young people and their leaders to establish creative mentorship programmes in their local communities. It defines contemporary best practice in Scotland and Ireland.
Data Protection and Confidentiality
Data Protection and Confidentiality need to be considered by any organisation or group who has access to personal and senstive information relating to individuals. The EU GDPR Regulation now governs how this personal and sensitive data is processed. However, those who work with young people should be aware that sharing child protection concerns about specific young people is not a breach of confidentiality or data protection protocols. Below you will find a Guide to GDPR developed specifically for youth theatres and a Template for creating your own Data Protection and Confidentiality Statement. We have also provided a Sample Privacy Statement you can adapt to your own needs.
Funding Overview 2016
Youth theatres can draw upon many sources of income including members fees, box office, funding schemes and grants, private sponsorship and fundraising. We have gathered together an overview of a broad range of potential funding sources including details of national, local and international grants, award schemes and corporate funding schemes. Also included is a funding tips section to provide guidance on making an application.
Membership and Recruitment
Membership recruitment is a number of specified actions through which the youth theatre can proactively seek new members. It should be an integral part of the youth theatre’s annual programme and not motivated solely by dissipating numbers.
Membership Registration Forms
A Membership Form should be completed by every young person who joins a youth theatre. You should include a section for parents/primary carers of those under 18 to complete so that you can get consent for the young person's participation but also get permission to use photos etc. You should also request relevant information relating to medical conditions or additional needs that may affect a young person's participation in the youth theatre. You still need information such as emergency contact details for members aged over 18. The sample forms provided are compliant with the GDPR data protection regulation for the processing of sensitive and personal data.
Information for Parents
Parental involvement in youth theatres can vary hugely. Some youth theatres are managed by parents of members while others feel that it is the young person’s space and keep parental involvement to a minimum. However regardless of the level of involvement, parents and primary carers are entitled to know what their son/daughter/ward are doing and need to be informed if any issues arise pertaining to them. Parental consent is necessary for young people to take part in general youth theatre activities while specific permission is required to participate in trips away or other extras.
We recommend that youth theatres develop an Information Sheet for parents that they send when a new member joins the youth theatre. It contains all the information that a parent/primary carer should have about their young person's participation in the youth theatre. The Advice Sheet below gives you detailed information on how to create one.
Group contracts have many uses. They can help ensure that youth theatre members' voices are heard, can create a shared sense of responsibility and can help ensure the group runs smoothly.
It can be a considerable challenge to ensure your youth theatre is in a position to include all young people who wish to get involved including those from ethnic communities, young people with a disability, lesbian, gay and transgender young people, those with mental health issues, early school leavers or those involved in the juvenile justice system.
The National Youth Council of Ireland and Youthnet have developed Access All Areas: A Diversity Toolkit for the Youth Work Sector. It is a self-assessment tool for youth theatres to assess the level of equality and inclusion in their programmes and includes practical tips on ways to make youth organisations fully inclusive for all young people.
Access All Areas can also be downloaded from the National Youth Council of Ireland’s website.
Staff and Volunteers
Volunteer Information Forms
A Volunteer Information Form can be sent to interested adults who wish to volunteer for the youth theatre. It can serve a number of purposes.
A Declaration Form allows a youth theatre to ask those interested in working with its young people to self declare any reasons why they think they may be unsuitable for working with children or young people...
The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 state that organisations must submit staff and volunteers who carry out relevant work for vetting. Employees and volunteers must complete the garda vetting process in advance of beginning work or being contracted by an organisation.
Youth Theatre Ireland is a Registered Organisation with the National Vetting Bureau and has developed a Garda Vetting Consortium for submitting forms on behalf of member youth theatres. The policy below provides an overview of the legislation, outlines the terms of membership of the Consortium and details the procedure for vetting. It also provides guidance on dealing with returned convictions / prosecutions.
If your youth theatre is affiliated to Youth Theatre Ireland and wishes to join the Consortium, contact Louise Holian, our Garda Vetting Liaison Person.
Sample Facilitator Agreement
When it comes to engaging the services of a facilitator, it is recommended that youth theatres develop an agreement. This is so that there is clarity around roles, time-commitment, payment etc. It is less likely for difficulties to arise if both parties are clear what to expect.
Welfare and Child Protection
Children First Act Resources
From 11th March 2018, the Children First Act 2015 will be fully operational. This is a hugely significant development that will impact all organisations providing services to children and young people.
Provisions of the legislation include mandatory reporting of child abuse by certain professionals and a legal obligation on organisations to carry out a risk assessment and prepare and publish a Child Safeguarding Statement.
Organisations are advised to become familiar with the Children First National Guidance 2017, and the accompanying supporting resources, available from the Tusla website http://www.tusla.ie/children-first/children-first-2017/. These include a guide for reporting child protection and welfare concerns, and also guidance for organisations on developing a Child Safeguarding Statement.
A free, online child welfare and protection e-learning programme module has also been prepared by Tusla and is now available for free of charge also on www.tusla.ie. All staff and volunteers of organisations who work with children and young people should complete this training.
To support Youth Theatre Ireland members in meeting the requirements of the Children First Act, we have developed two sample templates which you can download below. These templates are only a guide and you need to adapt them to reflect your own organisation's circumstances.
If Youth Theatre Ireland members require more information, please contact Youth Theatre Ireland’s Child Protection and Welfare Officer, Louise Holian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications with Young People
Recent developments in communications such as mobile phones and social media can be extremely useful tools for communicating with your members and your wider audience. However, there are also risks involved and youth theatres need to be mindful of these and take precautions to help ensure safe usage. The advice below is taken from Youth Theatre Ireland Child Protection and Welfare Guidelines for Youth Theatres.
Managing a Youth Theatre
Companies Act 2014
The Companies Act 2014 was introduced on 1st June 2015 and it replaced the Companies Acts 1963-2013. All youth theatres that are registered as a company with the CRO need to ensure they have a suitable company type, governance document and name, and are compliant with the Companies Act.
Regulation and Compliance
There have been significant changes in charity and company regulation/compliance that will effect youth theatres. These changes include:
- Charity Regulation Authority
- The Governance Code
- Changes in Company Law
- Adapting to SORP Accounting Procedures
We have gathered some useful resources to help ensure you are aware of requirements and implementing them in the running of your groups and organisations.
These resources have been provided by The Wheel and we thank them for giving us permission to share them with our members.
Mission and Vision Statements
A Mission Statement states the fundamental purpose of the youth theatre...
A Vision Statement states what the youth theatre hopes to achieve and what it hopes to be....
It can be difficult to know if your group has the right types and level of insurance cover. This fact sheet below provides guidance and emphasises the importance of getting insurance that suits your group’s needs.
Youth Theatre Ireland has teamed up with JLT Insurances to offer member youth theatres a specially tailored insurance scheme. It covers most youth theatre activities and includes cover for volunteers and casual employees. All this is for an extremely competitive premium of €195 (inlcuding fees and levies). Full information on the scheme is available in the flyer below.
For more details, contact Katie at email@example.com
Accident & Incident Reporting
An Accident & Incident Report Form records the details of any accident or incident that happens in youth theatre time.
Performance Rights and Copyright
Youth Theatre Ireland has developed an advice sheet on securing performance rights, but also looking at the issue of copyright.
We are building a comprehensive hub of information on the various aspects of producing theatre.
It can be difficult in a busy youth theatre calendar to set aside time to sit down and develop a longer term artistic vision and plan. In order to make it a bit easier, we have created a sample three year artistic plan that you can use as a starting point to discussions around your own vision for the artistic development of your group.
Auditioning For Performance Courses
Advice Sheet on Auditioning
While not every youth theatre member is interested in pursuing a career in theatre, many do have an interest in training as theatre professionals, including actors. This advice sheet has been developed to offer practical advice to those who wish to apply for a performance based course, specifically advice on auditioning. Among the guidance offered is choosing the most suitable audition pieces.
How to Promote Your Youth Theatres
How To Promote Your Youth Theatre
Following our one day training event focused on How to Promote Your Youth Theatre on 24th May 2014 we have updated and renamed the Press Pack for Youth Theatres resources to How to Promote Your Youth Theatre.
With contributions from Sinead McPhillips and Roseanne Smith, some of the most experienced professionals in the business, these updated resources give greater insight into the best ways to promote your youth theatre. From attracting new members to building your online community profile and selling more tickets to your productions, these resources are designed to help you develop your basic marketing and promotional skills.
Promoting Your Youth Theatre is a year long endeavour and not something to be crammed into the few weeks before the start of the youth theatre year or a few hours before your latest production opens.
With the help of the following tools you can ensure that your youth theatre is well represented across the media.
Don’t forget to send us a copy of your press release and a really good production shot or rehearsal image so we can include your show in the Whats On section of the home page!
Can’t find what you are looking for?
Can’t find what you are looking for?
You can contact us directly for advice on all aspects of youth theatre including:
- Sourcing guest facilitators/directors
- Sourcing and developing scripts/material
- Building structures within your youth theatre
- Planning projects and programmes
- Developing strategic plans
- Accessing local, national, international funding opportunities
- Connecting with local support structures (ETB, Arts Offices, venues etc.)
- Evaluating projects
And that's to name but a few!