GISDA - A Big Issue Cymru Big List Subscriber
GISDA, a charity that works with homeless young people from Gwynedd, has been chosen for the London 2012 Festival to represent the Welsh homeless at the Royal Opera House. Project Manager Gethin Evans explains more...
How did GISDA start?
GISDA was founded in 1985 by a group of volunteers in the Caernarfon area in order to respond to the growing problem of youth homelessness in the town during the early '80s, and the prejudices they faced when seeking help and support.
Why is GISDA a part of The Big Issue Cymru’s Big List?
We believe that homeless people should have the right to voice their views and opinions, and we support The Big Issue in their efforts to make this a reality. It is only by working together that we can tackle the issues that can lead to, and be a result of, homelessness.
Tell us more about the London 2012 Festival and GISDA’s involvement.
GISDA, who uses theatre and drama to engage with their young people, applied in the hope that their bilingual performance would catch the panel’s eye. The young group have known for some time that they have been chosen and have found it hard to keep quiet about it.
Darren Roberts, a member of GISDA’s Theatre Forum Group, said: “It’s like winning the gold medal at the Olympics for us! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our group, and we are so excited. We are the only group chosen from Wales and we want to make everyone proud.”
Award-winning charity Streetwise Opera will present a one-night special event at the Royal Opera House to showcase the skills of 300 performers, both from the UK and abroad, who have experienced homelessness.
The event, called ‘With One Voice’, is part of the biggest festival the UK has ever seen. London 2012 Festival is a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from June 21 until September 9. It will be the first time in history that homeless people have been involved in this way at the Olympics, providing an official platform to raise awareness of homelessness on a global stage.
Osian Ellis, who is GISDA’s Theatre Forum facilitator and has been working with this group for over nine months, said: “When they started the project I told them anything is possible if they commit to working hard. They have come a long way in such a short time. This is an amazing award for their hard work and dedication to the project.”
The group are also performing their piece of Theatre Forum at the National Assembly of Wales, Cardiff, on the May 23.
For more information, or to book a place at the performance, please contact email@example.com
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