The Thrive Puppet Team started in the summer of 2021. When it was set up, we were searching for young people to come and join the team from various churches and backgrounds. Our aim was to reach young people that were perhaps struggling in some way either with mental health or had just found lockdown challenging and maybe needed something new to help build them up, teach them new skills and encourage them.
Fiona Stutton, Thrive’s Children’s Ministry Adviser said, “It’s a real privilege to be working with such a great team of young people, training them up in new skills, helping to make a difference in their lives and giving them a clear purpose and opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others around our local area.”
One of the puppeteers is an 11-year-old girl who first came to the puppet team with her mum. She wouldn’t speak to anyone and after two rehearsals, she didn’t want to come back. Her mother really wanted her to give it another go and so we invited her back to operate the sound at the back rather than to control the puppets themselves. The next rehearsal, she came and sat at the back. At the following rehearsal she asked to hold up a prop. This moved on from wanting to do props to now operating some puppets. There was a wonderful moment when we took the team on tour to Ross-on-Wye for a performance. At first, her mum was going to come as a chauffeur and the girl (now 12) asked to go in a different car to her mum. Her confidence has grown tremendously, and both her parents have shared about how much the puppet team is making a difference and how their child is benefiting from being involved.
Other young people have shared how they have been able to make new friends and how they have grown more in confidence. Their highlights have been the performances and experiences of travelling to different places to perform, meeting other people and the music. It’s been great watching them grow in confidence and puppetry, all whilst having lots of fun!
The positive responses from the churches, which we have visited, has been so encouraging for the team and a fantastic testament to the team’s dedication and skills. Their performances have made a real difference at the various church outreach events.
The team have visited churches across Warwick, Leamington, and Coventry, taking part in outreach events, involving their local communities. Children and families from different backgrounds have really enjoyed the performances and the puppet team really enjoy putting them on!
Thrive Puppet Team performing at Thrive Juniors
Would you like the Thrive Puppet Team to visit your church?
Do you have an outreach event that you could benefit from our Puppet Team visiting to capture an audience and share a great message, from Easter, to Christmas, summer holidays to light parties or anything in between? Our team would love to come! We’re sure we could pull some strings! Do get in touch here.