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Pericles

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Pericles is a pioneering and original training and work project for young people and adults with special learning needs and/or mental health problems.

We offer a wide range of practical and artistic activities within small groups that are introduced according to each person’s need and ability, complemented by specialist therapeutic activities. The approach to individual development, training and work at Pericles has been developed out of the work of Rudolf Steiner and John Ruskin, placing a strong emphasis on ecological ways of working with the Earth’s resources and a holistic view of development.

Day facilities are available for up to forty eight weeks a year in addition to a limited number of residential places in small-scale settings.  These houses are run under the West Sussex Shared Lives Scheme and people live together in them as an extended family.

The practical training and work and artistic activities that we offer are wide ranging and include:

  • Catering and customer service at the Sharp Thorne Organic Café
  • Gardening and estate management, plus fruit growing and jam making which is used by the Sharp Thorne Organic Café. Vegetables are also grown which are supplied to the Café and to the Pericles houses
  • Woodlands craft and management
  • Farming
  • An individually tailored therapy programme which might include eurythmy; counselling, art therapy, rhythmic massage, drama therapy and speech therapy

In addition, Pericles Theatre Company was set up in 1999 in order to create Total Theatre, a multi-disciplinary approach to theatre. The Theatre Company is part of the charity Hoathly Hill Trust (charity number 1053982).  We work with professionals, amateurs with training or students in any of the theatre disciplines, and people with a special need such as problems around mental health, learning difficulties, homelessness, exclusion, isolation or neglect. We access and develop the artistic talent of people who have no other means of experiencing theatre or show-casing their talent. We use the medium of theatre consciously as an effective learning tool for both the audience and for participants to create educational and awareness-raising projects which bring people of all ages and abilities and from all walks of life together.

All that we offer at Pericles is aimed at providing opportunities for people to:

  • Gain self-confidence and skills through experiencing achievement in a wide variety of practical and artistic activities
  • Learn to respect self, others and the environment through working on the land and in craft production using sustainable resources and methods
  • Benefit from small group activities and from individually timetabled programmes
  • Develop the social and interpersonal skills needed to live and work alongside others
  • Gain strength and reassurance through individual therapies that are integrated into the daily work schedule
  • Acquire and increase independence and integration through small scale shared supported housing
Keywords: skills, vocational training, education, gardening, horticulture, catering, woodlands craft and management, farming, art, art therapy, drama, holistic therapies, theatre, shared living, learning disability, mental health needs

Last Updated: 20th August, 2014

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