Wild Things has been around since 2008. We began life as an after-school club run by actress and Mum of two, Nancy, at Buckstones School in Shaw, Oldham. Nancy wanted to set up something that her own children could be involved in that would be purely for them and others to enjoy, express themselves and become more confident in the process.
The club was a roaring success and there was soon demand for a more regular drama club to be available. It was then that we set up home at nearby Denshaw Village Hall, in the rolling Saddleworth hills. The club gradually became more and more popular, and in 2010 officially became a Limited Company with Companies House. Demand for the classes grew and grew and in 2016 we opened our second Performing Arts School in the centre of Oldham.
On top of the weekend classes, over the years, we have run many workshops, tailored-sessions and in-school Performing Arts classes and LAMDA exam tuition – all great successes. Throughout all of this, we have aimed to be an inclusive organisation and have placed a huge focus on the importance of celebrating individuality. We believe that young people, no matter what their background, ability or skill, should have access to the Performing Arts – and that it should serve them, not the other way around. This has become increasingly important to us over the years as we have had many brilliant students with disabilities, from the care system, from disadvantaged backgrounds, financial and otherwise, and with behavioural issues. All students are encouraged to be the best version of themselves, not some version of someone else, or what society might expect them to be.
However, with no access to external support as a Limited Company, we felt that it was long overdue that we became a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC). Becoming a CIC just underpins the existing fact that we do not exist to chase profits, hence emphasising the fact that the students themselves are at the centre of what we do. It gives us a strong community focus and a formal, more structured way of placing our values at the fore of our activities. It also makes us eligible to apply for grant funding to make sure that what we do in the longer term truly is accessible to all.
We are very excited to see what the future holds for ‘Wild Things Performing Arts CIC’!