I recently added a series of events for More Than One to this website and during that process I thought that this project looks particularly good. So I contacted the organiser Rich Chilver to ask him to tell us more.
Ben Howard

Like I suspect, for a lot of people in the lead up to the recent general election, I read a lot on how this contest might play out. Columnists championed that the ‘the young vote’ could swing the result and with equal measure, the same pool of voters were criticised for being disinterested in their political duty. Here, the idea for More Than One started to form, voting just isn’t everything for everyone, some people want to help their community on their own terms.

I’m almost thirty and don’t feel comfortable saying what someone else cares about, let alone someone a decade younger than me. Forming a group right away to combat a ‘young person issue’ just felt weird. As a writer, I’m curious as to what I might learn and more importantly how my theatre background might help not one new organisation but a whole bunch of people to go on to form new organisations or help out existing ones. I threw around some ideas with Marc De’ath at the Waiting Room and secured Arts Council funding to offer free skills workshops to 18-25 year olds and eventually write a play about my journey.

So, More Than One is about helping young people get new ideas off the ground, pairing people with existing organisations doing good work and building up skills we hope will let those we work with thrive. It’s run by theatre makers paired with several guest speakers who’ve changed their communities for the better. Why theatre makers? What they do best is investigate complicated questions and encourage others to make creative solutions. They’re excellent in problem solving, positivity and can make someone who’s shy into a leader in no time. So much of theatre is showing what the world could be and that’s what More Than One wants to encourage. How could we change the world for the better? Then we’ll bring in guest speakers whose work is already helping society and they’ll share their stories with us.

What will we be doing? There’ll be debates paired with a wide variety of exercises to shake up preconceptions whilst also having fun. The eight week workshops will also adapt to the group and respond to those who want to be part of More Than One.

I’m excited by what I’ll learn over the eight weeks of free workshops and optimistic we can play our part in supporting a group of young people. I’m hoping lots of More Than One members can go onto help community groups and give not only their time but their passion, inventiveness and leadership. Skills which have been boosted during our time together.

So if you’re 18-25 or know someone who is, who’s feeling frustrated and looking to change the community for the better, More Than One will be a great starting point. Our meetings will be at The Waiting Room, Monday 17th / 24th August, Tuesday 1st September, Monday 7th / 14th / 21st / 28th September, Monday 5th October, 7.30pm-10.00pm.

Interested in knowing more? Email morethanone2015@gmail.com, or follow us @morethanone2015

This project is supported by Arts Council England, The Waiting Room and Lakeside Theatre.

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