In 2015, Birmingham Repertory Theatre took part in an initial pilot scheme Up My Street, a partnership project funded by Mind, to help strengthen mental health in young black men through theatre. This scheme was developed in response to statistics that show young black men in the UK are much more likely to develop serious mental illness than any other demographic.
Motivated by the scheme, participants formed Lightpost Theatre Company.
Addressing the effects of racism, discrimination, negative self-image and invisibility, Lightpost Theatre Company helps to strengthen the mental health resilience and wellbeing of those involved, improve self-belief, raise mental health awareness, assist personal development, and encourage inclusion and friendship.
With three years' funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Lightpost Theatre Company has since welcomed hundreds of participants aged 18-26 from across the West Midlands who have gone on to create their own productions, perform to sell-out audiences, gain employment and training within the industry and create new leaders for a new generation of members.