Performer and writer Ann Brown was due to bring her inspirational, true-life story to Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax West Yorkshire, following a positive reaction to its opening night at the 53: Two Theatre Manchester. Now it will be livestreamed to raise vital funds for EdShift.

EdShift CIC, based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, provides drama-based learning programmes across schools in Calderdale to prevent domestic abuse and promote healthy relationships.

Their ACT OUT/ SPEAK UP programme works with pupils age 7 – 16. Pupils learn how to distinguish between the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships, how relationships can affect their physical and mental health and how to form and maintain safe relationships.

Founder, Ellie Brook was contacted by Ann Brown via twitter, who had been searching for recipients of donations raised when her play Green Door, is broadcast via live stream on May 16th at 7.30PM. Regarding the funding Ellie told us that,

It is a huge honour that Ann chose EdShift as the beneficiary of 50% of the donations. The funds will be used to create a short-animated film for young people living with domestic abuse during lockdown. The scars that domestic abuse leaves on children can last a lifetime. Children and young people are the hidden victims in domestic abuse, and we need to do much more to prevent it to protect them.

One of their main concerns is children getting physically harmed in the crossfire. Their animated film will provide them with effective tools to ensure that they know exactly what to do to keep themselves safe and what action to take if someone is in imminent danger.

Ann Brown, a domestic abuse survivor herself, felt that EdShift was the right organisation because it is local and is proactive in preventing domestic abuse by educating a rising generation through drama.
Ellie Brook said,

"Ann and I both want to achieve the same thing; we want to get the nation talking. The whole premise behind our ACT OUT/ SPEAK UP Programme is to get young people talking about their expectations and beliefs regarding relationships. It’s the most important step towards change."

EdShift’s animated film will be based on their step-by-step guide for young people living in unsafe environments during lockdown. It provides children and young people with essential coping strategies and ideas as to what they can do to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Ellie described the forthcoming project as follows:

"We are working with local graphic design company Gold Rabbit to bring our step-by-step guide to life. It is an exciting and vital project even though the subject matter should not be a reality. But at least we can say that we did something to help, something that mattered, and which could potentially save lives."

This has all been made possible because an inspiring and brave woman took action. EdShift cannot thank her enough.