I first discovered Bounce in a room above TGI Fridays. Louise came in armed with scripts, Arts Awards and sweets and I was sold. I remember noticing how she had a talent for riling the young people up about things like social politics, identity, what was right and wrong with the world… at the dinner table this might not be ideal, but in a room full of disengaged teens it’s quite a feat! Their energy turned to creativity and thus passionate and real work could be born.
Early on in my Bounce journey, I visited the youth theatre in Hounslow. I’ll never forget the way Louise and Apryl spoke to the groups of young people, honest, direct and open. Naturally, I magpied this approach and have since encourage all any new facilitator to do the same.
If I remember correctly, this was also the session I discovered my (still) favourite game of all time ‘Death Potato’. A Pendry classic where all the lights are turned out and your senses become key, perfect mix of playing whilst paying attention…. with a smidge of danger thrown in for good measure of course!
Looking back at these sessions I suppose I learnt the things that have stayed with me pretty early on, though these have been developed over the years. Listen. Communicate. Play. In whichever order they come, these three things are always present and need to be in order to make work or even just basic relationships.
One of the many things I enjoyed about my time at Bounce was the range of creative activities things I got to try. Just as she does with the kids, Louise pushes for us all to ‘lean in to’ and enjoy our own creativity, whatever shape it may form and I suppose that’s where I found craft. Making bunting for a school prom or literary flowers for an enchanted forest, I could disappear for hours down a tunnel of content creative focus and when I resurfaced I felt well, refreshed, nourished. These were the first few buds of Creative Spaces London, offering moments to be here, making, being. So much time is spent time travelling re-living the past or pre-living the future and it’s a tough habit to break, (I’m still trying) but ‘being’, crafting, paying attention gives a little release a place to go and play, listen, communicate.
Cut to 7 years after that first meeting in a room above TGI’s and I’m coming into rooms armed with crafts, Arts Awards and sweets for CLS. I feel really proud of what we do and have so much fun doing it. Inevitably sometimes I miss the Bounce Brigade but that’s nothing that a bit of time with a good friend & a bag of sweets can’t solve x