Ethelbert Terrace, Margate, Kent
“The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.“Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook
Many children have been sent to economically deprived Thanet and these children are arriving friendless, destabilised and lack family support. These vulnerable children are easily influenced as they have a strong desire to fit in the new community. Many gangs are targeting primary age children, befriending and grooming them. In addition to that, local teachers refuse to give school places to the foster children without ministerial direction.
The aim of the design is to create a space where foster children would have a sense of belonging after being sent to an unfamiliar place far from home. The space would also serve as a platform to raise awareness on the ongoing social issues and to help foster new relationships between the foster children and the local community.
The building consists of a playback theatre and a youth club as the main idea behind the design of the building is to create a space for the foster children to acclimatise themselves to the local society and culture. The playback theatre programme would be the point of integration between the local community and the foster children. Participants from the art therapy programme would share their personal experiences and offer advice to the younger generation to prevent them from ending up in the same position. Besides that, they would be involved in the making of the props and backdrop for the playback theatre. The theatre is also used as a platform to raise awareness on the ongoing social issues and to urge the public to lend a helping hand. The foster children would have access to the youth club in exchange of their involvement in the theatre.