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Project information

Floodgates – project with displaced individuals.

‘Floodgates' is a metaphor for the experiences of anyone who has reached the UK after undergoing overwhelming experiences, and also a reference to British fears about waves of uncontrolled immigration. We will work with displaced individuals, especially women, based in North and East London.

September 2010 - September 2011

Charity information: The Jericho House

The Jericho House logo
  • Need


    As a result of their experiences, refugees primarily suffer from 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder', leaving them with depression, low self-esteem and shame; they sometimes face hostility and discouragement from members of settled communities. Women are especially vulnerable, having less exposure and confidence in society. In 2007 a third of all Londoners were born outside the UK; girls and women of all ethnic minority groups in London comprised 33% of all female residents.


    The project will have some practical support from UpBeat, an arts organisation that provides services to individuals recovering from mental health issues, as well as refugee groups. The early sessions will take the form of a meal, offering participants the opportunity to share their stories. These then will act as a platform to develop professional performances, authored and directed by migrants and staged in a prominent London venue, eventually forming part of the arts calendar in the city.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build the confidence of displaced individuals living in London


    » Organise weekly meals for 12-15 women from migrant communities
    » Encourage the participants to share their stories, identity and cultural heritage

    What success will look like

    Success will be seeing participants grow in their confidence and having positive changes in their personal lives.

    Aim 2

    To help displaced individuals to acquire new skills


    » Organise specifically-tailored workshops involving artistic professionals from different disciplines

    What success will look like

    Success will be enabling participants to develop skills in communication, cooperation, networking, listening, creative and analytical thinking, and problem solving.

    Aim 3

    To educate the general public about the issues migrants face including aspects of conflict


    » Script, devise and stage professional theatre performances with participants

    What success will look like

    Success will be sold out performances in a prominent London venue, accompanied by a full media coverage.

  • Impact


    The project will empower women to raise awareness of the issues affecting them in the local community. It will enhance their confidence and teach new skills, leading to better emotional health and improved social and employment status.
    We will use semi-structured interviews and questionnaires at the beginning and the end of the project to monitor these changes. An audience survey will provide us with feedback on how the performance shed new light on the issues of migrants living in London.


    The risk lies in the ongoing commitment of participants and therefore, the continuity of the project. We have dealt with this risk by integrating the organic nature of this work strongly into our planning, meaning the project is shaped by its participants more than by us, and so can respond naturally to shifting membership. We also have established relationships with professional migrant artists who could step in to help.


    Donors to ‘Floodgates’ will be invited to one of the meetings and the resulting performance in a London venue. In addition, they will receive a quarterly update by email and the final evaluation report of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £27,040

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,950 Venue Hiring venue with kitchen
      £8,240 Project costs Meals, participants' travel, materials, volunteer and office expenses, legal costs
      £7,650 Fees Payment to workshop leaders
      £9,200 Salaries Payment to the managemt team of the project

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Private donation £350 Guaranteed
    Private donation £3,000 Conditional
    Funding Network £6,800 Conditional
    UnLtd £3,800 Conditional
  • Background


    North and East London have a high density of migrant and refugee communities which puts pressure on the borough councils to respond to their needs. In 2007 Camden, Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets were the most deprived areas with high rates of migrant inflow, and these authorities also have established structures with which we can work to develop our project.


    Migrant and disadvantaged women based in North and East London will be our primary beneficiaries. They experience difficulties being integrated and fully accepted by their host society. In addition, the community we will be working in will benefit from the improved social and potential employment status of these women.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are building on the success of pilot projects carried out last year that involved service users from ThamesReach and the Helen Bamber Foundation. For some participants it was the first regular job they had been given in many years. Their enthusiasm and competence was remarked upon by many, and some have since gone on to regular employment elsewhere. In addition, our team has extensive individual experience and skills in relevant fields to deliver the project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sonia Fraser - Workshop Leader

    Trained as an actress, Sonia is a professional theatre director and a qualified Transpersonal Psychotherapist; she will develop and lead workshops.

    Ahmed Masoud - Workshop Facilitator

    Ahmed is a Palestinian writer, director and choreographer from Gaza who has written/directed a number of plays; he will help to facilitate workshops.

    Helen Kirkpatrick - Workshop Assistant And Facilitator

    Helen, a professional actress; with a background in Politics and Sociology, has worked with mentally ill adults for 14 years; she will assist Sonia.

    Jonathan Holmes - Director Of The Jericho House

    Jonathan, a theatre and film director whose work has focused on displaced communities, will oversee the project to ensure that it is run effectively.