How it all started…
Clara Shield trained in theatre and drama at university specialising in drama, theatre and film in education. Clara wrote and performed plays for children and young people in both youth and school settings which explored a range of different issues.
Qualifying as a youth and community worker in 2002 after studying a post graduate in community arts, Clara focussed on working with children and young people. Developing youth work activity which is based on the theory of good youth work practice and is most importantly participative, empowering and educational, has been a key feature.
Clara has worked as a specialist in young people’s sexual health, targeted and integrated youth support services, girls work, general health and advice and guidance. Holding posts which have been practitioner based in addition to management and strategic policy development, provides a wide range of skills and experience. Clara has worked with a range of partners including PCT, Local Authority, Voluntary Sector and Private Sector, in addition to NGO’s as far away as Ghana, West Africa and Nelson, New Zealand.
Using drama to explore issues for community groups has been a key feature for Clara’s creative practice. Working within community theatre and drama with both women’s groups and youth theatres has enabled Clara to specialise in Forum Theatre, a unique practice which aims to empower communities and is based upon the work of renowned practitioner Augusto Boal.
Training and development has been an ongoing interest and skill. Clara has written and delivered training courses on Sexual health awareness, assertiveness, self-esteem, challenging oppression, youth work, Common Assessment Framework and is a qualified NVQ and Arts Awards Assessor.
Clara also plays an active role within the Women’s voluntary sector in Newcastle. In 2007 Clara created a womens’ network and events group ’Newcastle Women’s Collective’ www.newcastlewomenscollective.co.uk which has over 200 members.
Clara is also a trustee of West End Women and Girls Centre, a Newcastle based project with a legacy of over 30 years of working exclusively for girls and women.