As part of Shape's 40th anniversary celebrations, our Inspiring Futures youth programme brought a celebratory afternoon event for young disabled Londoners (aged 16 to 30) at the Roundhouse, Camden.

Aimed at disabled people aged 16 to 30 and living in London who want to get into work in the arts and creative industries, the event focused on careers, access and creativity. Attendees spent the afternoon networking, learning about accessible career options and jobs in the arts and enjoying workshops, performances, tours of the Roundhouse and conversations with top professionals from diverse cultural organisations including The Royal Opera House, The V&A, The London Theatre Consortium and more.

Shape is a registered Arts Award Centre and this event forms part of Arts Award Week, which marks the culmination of 10 months of 10th birthday celebrations for Arts Award – over 130 Arts Award centres across the UK are taking part.


The day started with a panel discussion chaired by A New Direction, asking "How do we ensure accessible and inclusive career routes for young disabled people in London's thriving creative economy?". After this, attendees were split into three groups taking turns to visit our Careers Hub, have guided tours of the Roundhouse and take part in workshops.

The Careers Hub is an open space for information, connections and conversations with professionals from organisations in the arts and cultural sectors and should be a valuable resource in giving insight into accessible, creative employment. Guests will be able to meet and chat with ambassadors from The Royal Opera House, The National Theatre, The V&A, CCSkills, A New Direction, Heart n Soul, Chickenshed Theatre, Wac Arts, Stopgap, Artsadmin, A New Direction and Vial Xposure.

There were two separate workshops: "Create Your Show" with performer Yolanda Mercy - a 15 minute excerpt from her show "On the Edge of Me" followed by a workshop on putting your own show together - and the Roundhouse's own Radio Workshop, which gives expert guidance on producing your own radio show. 

After the workshops there were refreshments provided, followed by two phenomenal performances: "And Time Ticks On" performed by Stopgap's Sg Troop, and then "Overlap" performed by dancer DJ, a longstanding member of Corali.

participants in the audience at the event

Banner image: Participants in the careers hub
Insert image: Participants in the audience, listening to the panel speak