Hear Me Out

“Because if you believe in something, it’s believable”(C, aged 16)

During lockdown, spring and summer 2020, we worked with a fabulous group of young people, alongside The Venture Project in White City, meeting weekly via Zoom, listening to and watching music videos together, and discussing thoughts, feelings and opinions on music, and life in general. 

“People were always telling me what I should be doing, how I should be acting…when we talk it makes me think about stuff in the past…” 

Over the course of the project, 9 young people participated in 10 Zoom meetings; 2 ‘meet the artist’ sessions with Conrad Murray and Luzzey; 3 face-to-face sessions at The Venture Project; and a trip to the theatre to see ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at Painswick Rococo Gardens.

The group had the opportunity to meet Luzzey and hear all about his music.

A sense of belonging, trust, positivity and group support rang through the sessions, increasing as the weeks passed. In a world where nothing was certain, social interaction was limited and everything turned upside down, these young people came together on-line to listen, talk, socialise and share. 

They increased their confidence in expressing their thoughts, feelings and opinions in response to pieces of music; learnt to listen to others and appreciate each other’s points of view; to feel that their views were valued by other.

“It’s all the stuff I thought and felt through secondary school. I’ve never had the choice to take the easy path…”

Here is what Caroline from The Venture had to say:

“ it’s been really good to get the young people involved and giving them some structure within their lives … Some really interesting things have come out, we’ve had some sessions where we’ve laughed and laughed, and some where it’s been really emotional. We have had tears and laughter because they’ve felt in a safe place to open up and share. And the understanding which is sparked off a different conversation from another young person that might be having similar thoughts. And just sharing that ‘I’m not alone, there’s other people out there that have these fears and anxieties’.”

And Nicola from Strike a Light:

“It has been a genuine privilege getting to know this group of young people and sharing an insight into their lives and how they have been feeling through this time. The weekly meetings were a joy, and I loved the eclectic mix of music that they all brought to the table – everything from ACDC to Rick Astley, you never knew what was coming up! We had some great chats about music, how it made them feel different emotions, or reminded them of a particular time in their lives. I can’t wait to see how they get on with being involved in producing a community song, and I’m also hopeful that we can take the ‘Hear me Out’ model and work with other community groups in the future”

We are currently looking for other partner organisations to work with on ‘Hear me Out’ – if you are interested in finding out more, please email


Gloucester Future Producer 2020: Polly May

Hi, my name is Polly and I’m a 28 year old neurodiverse queer creative, community collaborator and events producer based in Gloucestershire. I’ve been working in the cultural sector for just over six years now running community programmes, workshops and events. The main artforms I produce and work within are Fine Art (especially printmaking and editing/producing zines), Poetry and Music. You can find out more about my work or get in touch here:

I’ve been following Strike a Light’s work for a couple of years and have attended and enjoyed a handful of shows they have put on. I found out about applications opening for the Gloucester Future Producers Talent Development Programme through their mailing list. I saw that they were doing it alongside Gloucester Culture Trust & Jolt Gloucester (who I had heard lots of great things about).

Dance and Theatre performance, what Strike A Light specialise in, is something that I don’t have much experience with as a Producer. I thought this would be a great opportunity to gain more insight into this particular area, as well as building a stronger network for myself within Gloucester. I decided to put in an application, which was an easy to navigate short form with questions about my experience and what I wanted to get out of the programme.

The group meet on zoom and there was a really great mix of people from different backgrounds, who are at different stages of their career and we all specialising in different areas of producing. I was really nervous before going onto the first call, but the leaders Jess and Dylan were friendly and welcoming, they really put everyone at ease. There is also a facebook group where people can share their work and links to interesting projects they have come across. Having this peer support network and being able to bounce ideas off various people has been really valuable and I’ve gained a lot of different perspectives on areas of the sector I don’t have much experience in.

For the first part of the course, Strike a Light programmed a series of guest speaker talks from various producers and arts professionals. These covered marketing, festivals/outdoor performances, working with artists/managers, health and safety/risk asessments, negotiating contracts with venues, working with local authorities and much more.

Ellie Harris the producer of Greenwich & Docklands International Festival was one of the brilliant guest speakers on the programme.

All of the speakers gave a real insight into their career progression, the experience of projects they have worked on and the highs and lows of being a producer. There was also a lot of really constructive and conversation about being creative when adapting work around the pandemic and the positives/challenges it has posed. Inviting these speakers in expanded my network, as they were very generous with their time and shared their contact details to get in touch for further support and opportunities.

Strike a Light and Jolt also keep us updated and get us involved with projects that they are running, as well as opportunities with organisations they are partnered with, including Of Earth and Sky a public art poetry project with artist Luke Jerram. Since joining the Future Producers programme, I have also become a member of the recently established Youth Advisory Board run by Jolt, which is for 18-30 year olds living in Gloucestershire who love art and culture. 

As well as zoom masterclasses and offering practical project experience, the leaders of the Future Producers programme have given me one-on-one mentoring sessions. Jess has supported me with updating my CV and putting together a website to showcase my freelance work. She’s also offered very valuable feedback on project proposals and pitches. Her insight, support and encouragement has really pushed my work in progressing to the next level. She then told me about an upcoming programme for Women in Leadership and encouraged me to apply, which I did.

When the pandemic started, I wasn’t sure if this programme would go ahead, or what the impact would be on it. I’m really glad that Strike a Light and Jolt worked creatively around the situation and made this opportunity happen. The cultural sector is notoriously difficult to break into and now more than ever, I feel like programmes like this one are needed. Up and coming arts professionals are increasingly feeling the pressure due to loss of work and a decrease in opportunities, but it’s been great to have that support and to use this time for peer to peer learning and reflection.

The Gloucester Future Producers Programme has not only presented me with a toolkit and filled my diary with useful contacts, it’s made me think differently about resilience and how to still make cool things happen by navigating the challenges and utilizing the positives that 2020 has presented to Cultural Producers.

Polly May


Call out for Gloucestershire based Artists

The fantastic Can’t Sit Still are recruiting Gloucestershire based artist-facilitators who have experienced pregnancy and birth, to lead groups for new mother’s and babies as part of their new arts & wellbeing project Invisible Thread.

We are seeking professional, freelance artist-facilitators who have experienced pregnancy and birth, to lead a series of 6 weekly ‘walking for wellbeing’ groups for new mothers and babies up to 12 months old, as part of ‘Invisible Thread’, an arts and wellbeing project devised and led by Can’t Sit Still. 

The groups accommodate up to 12 mothers and their babies and will take place outdoors, adhering to social distancing and current Government Guidelines. Facilitators will work in pairs to deliver these groups.

Invisible Thread is a development of our pilot 2019 project that demonstrably improved maternal wellbeing. Funded by Gloucestershire NHS, Bristol City Council, Arts Council England, Barnwood Trust, Strike A Light, Gloucestershire Libraries and Kingshill House, this 2021 project has developed in recognition of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of those experiencing pregnancy and birth during this time. 

Who are we looking for?

We want to meet people with any professional artistic practice (including but not limited to visual arts, performance, music and writing) who are likely to be experienced participatory arts practitioners and who feel that they are able to create and hold a space for new mothers to come together through outdoor creative practice to enhance wellbeing.

We believe that innovation occurs through the interactions of people with diverse experiences, expertise and points of view (Collective Genius – Hill, Brandeau, Truelove and Linebeck, 2014). This is why it’s important to us to welcome all voices into the Can’t Sit Still family. With this in mind we are very interested in receiving applications from people whose lived experiences are currently under-represented in our team. This includes people who: 

  • experience racism
  • have physical disabilities, impairments or differences
  • are neuro-divergent.

Due to possible Covid-19 restrictions, we can only consider applicants who have a permanent residence in Gloucestershire.

What you will deliver

We are recruiting facilitators who will work 1 day a week for 6 weeks in pairs.  Facilitators will lead 2 groups in 2 different areas of Gloucestershire per day – either Matson and Moreton-in Marsh (team MM), or Dursley and Lydney (team DL).

Before the sessions begin all facilitators will attend a planning and development day with lead artists from Can’t Sit Still.  During the day we will discuss the wider context of the Invisible Thread project and what we hope to achieve. Together, we will share practice and co-design the session delivery and evaluation framework.

There will also be a paid weekly online reflection session with the other facilitators and Can’t lead artists lasting for 1.5 hours. 

Essential criteria:

  • Professional artistic practice (including but not limited to theatre, dance, music, circus, visual arts, writing).
  • Experience of participatory arts practice.
  • Lived experience of pregnancy and birth.
  • Availability for ALL wellbeing groups sessions. We have some flexibility around which days of the week your sessions will run, but all sessions must run on the same day each week.
  • Availability for planning and development on Friday 8th January.
  • Availability for weekly 1.5 hour online reflection session, likely to either take place in the evening or first thing on a Friday morning.
  • Use of a car: travel between locations will be paid by Can’t Sit Still.
  • Current DBS check.
  • Public liability insurance.
  • Willingness to work outside, whatever the weather!


Deadline for applications: 9am on Monday 7th December

Interviews: 16th-18th December

Offers made: Week commencing 21st December

Planning and development day: Week commencing 4th January. Please note – our aim is to host this day IN PERSON at a venue in Gloucestershire, but this will depend on current Covid-19 guidelines.

Weekly groups begin: week beginning 18th January 2021.

Weekly groups finish: week ending 26th February

Fee offered:

£150 per day for wellbeing groups x 6 = £900

£150 for January planning day

£50 per 1.5 hour reflection session x 6 = £300

How to apply

Please email

  • A brief video, audio or written application to share why you would like to contribute to Invisible Thread 2021 and to demonstrate your suitability for the role.
  • A CV of your relevant work OR link to your website.
  • Whether you are applying to be on team MM or DL, or if it doesn’t matter.

Covid-19 restrictions:

We are working closely with Gloucestershire NHS and Public Health England to ensure this work can go ahead. If there are any changes imposed on us by the tightening of Covid-19 restrictions we will work with our facilitators, group members and partners to adapt and re-schedule wherever possible.


Programming Revolution

We’ve been doing a lot of thinking and talking to people about what 2021 and beyond might look like for Strike A Light.

We have spent the last few years bringing exceptional touring work to community spaces in the heart of the city and with the current situation that’s going to look different for a while.

We’re going to focus on programming artists rather than shows and giving them time and space to work with communities here in Gloucester, for those communities to be involved in the process and see what they create together.

Here’s Emma Jane to tell you more….

Event footage by Fluxx Films & Stroma Cairns 🎥

Past Opportunities

Leading as a Woman of Colour

This is a workshop for Women of Colour to consider and reflect on the tools of resilience needed in leadership.

Drawing from her experience in business and activism Kalkidan will guide the audience through common patterns of discrimination, micro aggression, and racism experienced by BIPOC Women in Business. What to look out for, who relevant parties are and how to navigate them. She will instruct listeners on tools that can help them realise their goals despite adverse environments they may be placed in. This will focus on raising finances and managing others. Crucially illustrating that leadership for WOC is often learning to navigate the biases of those in your network who may be gatekeeping your success. 

You will be asked to structure your experiences into the framework of your goals in order to build meaningful strategies for your life.

This hour long session has been programmed as part of a series of activities to support women who might wish to apply to the Women Leaders South West programme. This new project aims to enable women to tackle the barriers they face in becoming leaders in the arts.

About this Event:

Date & Time: Tuesday 3rd November 6 – 7.00pm 

Location: Zoom

What you will need:

– A wifi connection and access to the internet 

– The Zoom app downloaded on your laptop/phone/device. You will be sent a Zoom link & password on the day of the workshop


BSL interpreters Rabira Dachi and Pettra St. Hilaire will provide BSL interpretation.

Kalkidan’s presentation will be fully captioned. 

Please let us know if you have any other access needs to help you participate in this event. 

About Kalkidan:

Kalkidan Legesse is a social entrepreneur and black woman. As an ethical fashion activist, she is working to make the industry truly sustainable and truly inclusive. Find out more about Kalkidan at or on Instagram at @wowsancho.

Past Opportunities

Roundhouse Poetry Slam

Now in it’s 14th year, the Roundhouse Poetry Slam is back!

After being postponed earlier this year due to COVID-19, we’re delighted to announce that the Slam will be going ahead and in partnership with Gloucester Culture Trust and Strike a Light we’re looking for the most exciting poets aged 18-25 from the South West. Could you be one of the finalists this year?

This year’s Slam final judges include writer and poet Anthony Anaxagorou, poet, editor and essayist Will Harris and Cultural Producer and writer Tobi Kyeremateng.

By taking part, you’ll get….

• The chance to showcase your talent in front of live and online audiences.
• The opportunity to make industry contacts, raise your profile and network with peers and professionals in the spoken word industry.
• Have the opportunity to compete for the title of Roundhouse Slam Champion and win a cash prize if you finish in the top three or win the audience vote.
• Finalists’ performances will be professionally filmed and uploaded to the Roundhouse YouTube Channel, which has over 16,000 subscribers. Past finalist videos have been reposted by global online publications and accumulated views in excess of 5 million.
• Cash prizes for the runners up

Please note, this year we will be hosting the Slam Heats online via Zoom. We are on track and hoping that the final can take part live at the Roundhouse in London, but will of course be keeping an eye on the latest government advice. We understand that for some people, travelling or being in groups is not feasible or safe at this time so we will work with each finalist to figure out the best option for them. We will be able to provide financial support for finalists who need help paying for travel to London from within the UK.

Last year’s winner Kareem Parkins-Brown has been developing his first full-length solo show with support from the Roundhouse and Battersea Arts Centre, featured at an event for Stormzy’s #Merky Books and continues to develop his writing.


Apply by 26 October, midday
• Heat 1: 10 November – Online (Zoom)
• Heat 2: 11 November – Online (Zoom)
• Heat 3: 12 November – Online (Zoom)
• Final: 26 November, 7:30pm – Roundhouse, London


1. Complete the application form, including links to video footage of you performing a poem you have written. Deadline: midday, 26 October 2020
2. We will invite a shortlist of poets to perform in the Slam Heats which this year will be hosted online via Zoom on 10th, 11th and 12th November 2020.
3. The winner of each heat will progress directly to the Slam Final on 26th November 2020, along with the nine top scoring finalists from across all three heats.


Track & Trace Privacy Notice

To support NHS Test and Trace (which is part of the Department for Health and Social Care) in England, we have been mandated by law to collect and keep a limited record of staff, customers and visitors who attend our events for the purpose of contact tracing.

By maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors, and sharing these with NHS Test and Trace where requested, we can help to identify people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

As a customer/visitor of Strike A Light you will be asked to provide some basic information and contact details. The following information will be collected:

  • the names of all customers or visitors, or if it is a group of people, the name of one member of the group
  • a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people

We will be responsible for compliance with data protection legislation for the period of time we hold the information. If that information is requested by the NHS Test and Trace service, the service would at this point be responsible for compliance with data protection legislation for that period of time.

The NHS Test and Trace service as part of safeguarding your personal data, has in place technical, organisational and administrative security measures to protect your personal information that it receives from the venue/establishment, that it holds from loss, misuse, and unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction.

NHS Test and Trace have asked us to retain this information for 21 days from the date of your visit, to enable contact tracing to be carried out by NHS Test and Trace during that period. We will only share information with NHS Test and Trace if it is specifically requested by them.

For example, if another customer at the venue/event reported symptoms and subsequently tested positive, NHS Test and Trace can request the log of customer details for a particular time period.

We require all visitors to our events to pre-book tickets via our online booking system. There will not be the option to pay on the door.

Under government guidance, the information we collect may include information which we would not ordinarily collect from you and which we therefore collect only for the purpose of contact tracing. Information of this type will not be used for other purposes, and NHS Test and Trace will not disclose this information to any third party unless required to do so by law (for example, as a result of receiving a court order). In addition, where the information is only collected for the purpose of contact tracing, it will be destroyed by us 21 days after the date of your visit.

However, the government guidance may also cover information that we would usually collect and hold onto as part of our ordinary dealings with you. Where this is the case, this information only will continue to be held after 21 days and we will use it as we usually would, unless and until you tell us not to.

Your information will always be stored and used in compliance with the relevant data protection legislation.

The use of your information is covered by the General Data Protection Regulations Article 6 (1) (c) – a legal obligation to which we as a venue/establishment are subject to. The legal obligation to which we’re subject, means that we’re mandated by law, by a set of new regulations from the government, to co-operate with the NHS Test and Trace service, in order to help maintain a safe operating environment and to help fight any local outbreak of corona virus.

By law, you have a number of rights as a data subject, such as the right to be informed, the right to access information held about you and the right to rectification of any inaccurate data that we hold about you.

You have the right to request that we erase personal data about you that we hold (although this is not an absolute right).

You have the right to request that we restrict processing of personal data about you that we hold in certain circumstances.

You have the right to object to processing of personal data about you on grounds relating to your particular situation (also again this right is not absolute).

If you are unhappy or wish to complain about how your information is used, you should contact a member of staff in the first instance to resolve your issue (

If you are still not satisfied, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Their website address is

We keep our privacy notice under regular review, and we will make new versions available on our privacy notice page on This privacy notice was last updated on 16 September 2020.

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Archive Events

The Telephone Plays

Created by Yolanda Mercy, The Telephone plays (working title), is a short audio story telling experience in which audiences pick up a phone and listen to a live performance of an audio play. 

Yolanda Mercy is a Writer and Performer for stage, screen and audio who works nationally and internationally. Over the past 2 years she has worked on projects in 8 countries and across 3 continents. She was named Artist to Watch by the British Council, part of the BBC Writersroom and her writing has featured in Huffington Post.

Yolanda brought her award winning play ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ to Gloucester in 2018.

🗓 Dates:

  • Thursday 20 August

⏰ Times:

  • 6pm & 8pm (15 minutes)


This is a work in progress. Yolanda is looking for people to take part to help test her ideas to further develop the project.

Details on how to take part will be sent via the email you provide when booking your place. (Please note these may not be sent immediately on booking but will be sent ahead of the performance).

You will need access to a telephone (this can be a mobile phone or landline).

Any questions get in touch

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Archive Events

Stella Workshops

You are invited to Zoom to the Moon with Stella, the Star Engineer. She’s the girl who lives on the Moon and it’s her job to keep all the stars shining up in the sky.

What to expect

This 40 minute workshop for families is based on Filskit Theatre’s show, Stella. The workshop will be hosted online by Hannah Thompson, the actress and aerialist who plays Stella.

It is a fun, interactive training session for any budding star and space enthusiasts. Be prepared to move, to laugh, to be a bit silly and maybe even wish upon a star. 

🗓 Dates:

  • Wednesday 5 August: 3-6 year olds
  • Thursday 6 August: 7-9 year olds
  • Friday 7 August: All ages welcome


  • All 2pm (40 minute workshop)


Workshops will take place on Zoom. There is limited capacity to make this a special, interactive experience. Each workshop is adapted to suit a specific age range with all ages welcome on 7 August.

Places are booked per household. So if you have more than one child taking part together you only need to book one ticket.

You will receive a Zoom link via email (the link will not be sent immediately after booking but will be sent ahead of the session).

If you’ve got any questions drop us an email

Awesome people who are making this event possible 🎉👏🌟

Past Opportunities

ACE Project Grants Chat

Arts Council England Project Grants re-open for applications on 22 July.

They have released new guidance that outlines what has changed to make the fund more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners during Covid-19. 

We are hosting a space for artists and producers to talk through the guidance and ask any questions on Tuesday 4 August at 2pm.

The chat will take place on Zoom. The meeting link will be sent to the email address you provide when booking your place.

If you have any questions please email Jess on