A business dedicated to helping vulnerable young people and children find their way in life through a very quirky approach — want to know what it is?

 

‘Bridge The Gap makes you feel as if you’re supposed to be here, as if you have value, it’s quite hard to explain, but they really make you feel like you’re somebody, and that you can live your dreams. They help you to see how you can do it even though you haven’t yet got there’.

This quote comes from the mouth of a young Londoner who found himself losing sight of his goals, in the hysteria of modern-day life. The dream of creating his own business was slowly slipping from his grasp, as negative peer influences swayed him from his path, and defeatism started to take a hold. Self-doubt flooded his mind, but curiosity led this young man to a new, fresh-faced, London-based community movement: Bridge The Gap.

Bridge The Gap is a programme, founded by Tsion Martins, Jonathan Ogundeji and Dennis Charlery, which focuses on the development of young people. Between the three of them, they found that children who are not given the opportunity to express their creativity tend to turn to activities that are detrimental to their own success.

‘Bridge The Gap is designed to help young people reach their success in ways they didn’t think possible, but using a platform that most people wouldn’t pull on, performing arts, especially since performing arts is something that is not rated as highly as other subjects in the UK curriculum such as Maths, English or Science’.

— Tsion Martins.

Currently featuring in two South London community centres, the Harris Academy and St. Joseph’s College, Martins, Ogundeji, and Charlery are bettering the lives of over fifty teenagers, using a frequently rejected method of therapy. Performing Arts. Sounds odd, right? On the contrary, after making contact with Bridge The Gap Studios and quizzing them on the use of Performing Arts, the reason was clear.

‘Performing Arts isn’t the only way to succeed, but it definitely opens doors to allow people to realise what the right way is. A lot of times we deal with young people who don’t know how to express themselves properly which could be due to a lack of confidence, self-esteem or could be through bad past experiences which have traumatised them. Performing Arts is a great platform as it enables them to be open, free, learn expressions and visualise certain situations through role play. There are so many different paths to success but being able to express and articulate yourself in the right way is key’.

— Bridge The Gap Studios.

In many ways, Bridge The Gap is much like an icebreaker. You know, those activities you do as a group in a new class, or at a new job? But, for life. Which is something that the majority of children need in the modern, technology-dominated society that we live in.

I wanted to get a feel for how the young Londoners that BTG Studios assist feel about their newfound, Performing Arts, life icebreaker. The simple answer is: they love it! Why? Because the idea of acting, being in the spotlight, working in music studios and interacting with professionals from all walks of the Performing Arts spectrum is exciting. Kind of like Ed Balls on Strictly Come Dancing!

Bridge The Gap is trying to make a difference for children in London. Their ‘Setting Scenes’ programme focuses primarily on pulling young people away from gang culture and violent conduct. While an upcoming initiative called ‘Writing Scripts’ aims to give young people with disabilities, learning or hearing impairments the opportunity to make friends and write their own plays.

Martins, Ogundeji and Charlery aim to teach children how to harness their creativity and express themselves in order for them to stay away from gang culture, so they can have longevity in a career of their choice.

Let’s help them. Not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the future generation.

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