About Angel Shed
A Barrier-smashing Inclusive Performing Arts Charity
Angel Shed is a charity in Islington, North London, specialising in inclusive performing arts for children and young people. We provide a safe space for children to express themselves, develop confidence, and grow into curious, creative, and courageous young people. Established in 2004, we have engaged thousands of children and young people across Islington and beyond.
What we do
- We provide five weekly performing arts workshops for 100+ children and young people (aged 7-19) in theatre, music, & movement.
“I have never felt left out, I’m always included. I can speak to any staff member without feeling intimidated. I can speak to anyone and I always feel supported. I am free to share my ideas. Angel Shed is fun and they make everyone feel included. Angel Shed is creative and unlike others.”
Youth Theatre 2 member, December 2022
- We put on regular performances created by our members, in professional theatre spaces at our base in City and Islington College.
“Imaginative characters, very funny talented young people who were invested in the process and very supportive of each other. Everyone clearly enjoyed themselves. Angel Shed is helping develop the next generation of confident, deep-thinking, and creative individuals.”
Audience member, ‘The Suits’, December 2022
- We run an extensive volunteer programme, providing training and experience in inclusive facilitation with children and young people.
“Volunteering at Angel Shed was probably one of the best experiences of my life. My ideas were listened to, my voice was heard. I felt trusted to lead and run games. Volunteering with Angel Shed has also developed my practice.”
Performing Arts Volunteer, July 2023
- We engage in a range of outreach projects, delivering inclusive activities with some of the most under-served members of our community.
“It was an absolutely amazing experience working with Angel Shed on a project based on exploring the environment. Our class of children with severe and complex needs went on a voyage of discovery across the galaxy to visit new planets. So much care and thought had gone into the preparation and resourcing for every session and it meant that every child could participate, and they did, with enthusiasm. The team used signing and helped the children to find their own voice during every part of the session, ensuring that they were totally engaged. It was magical!”
Heather Johnston, Middle Primary Class Teacher, Richard Cloudesley Primary, June 2023
- We deliver training for organisations to work more inclusively within their staff teams or with service users.
"Angel Shed delivered training in inclusive practice to our team of public speaking trainers. They did a fantastic job of adapting their content to suit our setting and providing training that was collaborative and experiential for our team of highly experienced facilitators."
Alanna Beeken, Programmes Director, Speakers Trust, September 2023
Our Workshops and Performances
Our highly experienced and trained staff and volunteer team are the backbone of our work, delivering high-quality artistic work while providing the most appropriate support for each participant. We are led by the ideas of our 100+ members and they are active participants in the planning, creation, and performance of our work. This allows our members to share and explore the stories, issues and topics that are relevant to them.
We create inspirational and outstanding youth-led theatre, focused on long-term collaboration with children and young people from across the Islington community. Continued engagement is a core element of our work; 50% of participants aged 13-19 have been members for 6-10 years, while the average membership of all Youth Theatre members (ages 10-19) is over 4 years.
We facilitate accessible activities for children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities:
- anyone is welcome to join
- workshops are cost-free to those who cannot afford them
- there are no auditions
- one-to-one support can be provided
We adapt to the needs of individual members, meaning everyone can participate in a way which works for them - everyone’s needs are supported, and all voices are listened to and valued.
We actively reach out to those most likely to be otherwise excluded. This includes: disabled children and young people, those with social, emotional and mental health needs, young carers, neurodivergent children and young people, and those come from low-income backgrounds.
The differences Angel Shed makes in children and young people's lives are varied. We carry out regular monitoring and evaluation to measure the impact of our work against these primary outcomes:
Belonging to a community
98% of parents/carers noticed a positive impact on their child’s sense of belonging/community.
“The 1:1 support provided at Angel Shed has been really important for our son. We feel supported by the staff at all times - communication is great. Attending Angel Shed has impacted his development in many ways, including increased confidence and gaining new friends. I suspect it will be a huge help in his transition to a new school at 16 as he will have practiced experiencing new settings with new people. We are really grateful for all the support and commitment from the entire team.”
Parent/carer of MC & YT2 member, July 2023
88% of members say they felt included.
“It makes me feel much more included to be in Angel Shed. It makes me much more confident. And it builds up my self-esteem.”
Music Collective member, December 2022
95% of parents/carers noticed a positive impact on their child’s relationships (e.g. family, friends).
“She has made friends and is always happy to come out the house.”
Parent/carer of Youth Theatre 1 member, March 2023
95% of parents/carers noticed a positive impact on their child’s mental health.
“Our daughter is so inspired, relaxed and really enjoys her time at Angel Shed. She feels very safe and supported and she feels like she is encouraged and able to perform without pressure. It is clearly a very nurturing rather than competitive environment. She has gained so much confidence in Angel Shed and created new friendships. During a tricky time at school, Angel Shed really provided some consistency and support from peers, as well as a great emotional outlet.”
Parent/carer of YT1 member, July 2023
Increased confidence and self-esteem
88% of members say they had got better at collaborating with other children.
“It has really helped with my confidence. It’s a huge confidence boost. I started doing Angel Shed, meeting new people, and I could be myself. I started coming out of my shell. I was able to be confident not just here, but everywhere.”
YT2 member, December 2022
98% of parents/carers noticed a positive impact on their child’s confidence & self-esteem.
“Angel Shed focuses on what the kids CAN DO rather than what they CAN NOT DO. As such, his self-esteem and confidence improved tremendously. By the end of the year, he was standing on stage singing and performing. This is his first year at Angel Shed and I can say that Angel Shed has improved his confidence dramatically.”
Parent/carer of MC & YT2 member, July 2023
98% of members say they had developed skills.
“Angel Shed is a really fun place and you also learn how to perform in front of people and gain new skills.”
Youth Theatre 1 member, July 2023
97% of parents/carers noticed a positive impact on their child’s transferable skills (e.g. communication, teamwork).
“Totally helped starting my daughter on her journey after starting school with English as a second language. Eight years later she still loves it!”
Parent/carer of Youth Theatre 2 member, December 2022
We currently have over 100 members across our five core membership groups. Of our current members: over 70% come from low-income families and access our financial support, over 35% have special educational needs, are disabled, or are neurodivergent, and over 60% are from the global majority.
81% of members live in Islington, with 10% from neighbouring boroughs (Hackney, Camden, and Haringey), and the remainder from other London boroughs.
Islington has the fifth highest relative rate of children living in poverty in the UK (End Child Poverty Coalition, 2023) and the majority of Angel Shed members live in the most deprived wards in the borough.
* all statistics gathered 2022-23
Angel Shed is a registered charity (no. 1111684)