These Mortal Fools

Issue 83

Against the backdrop of a pandemic and upsetting world events, charity Mortal Fools, has been working hard to make a positive difference to communities and the young people and families they work with. Mortal Fools are a creative learning company based in Northumberland, working regionally and Nationally, co-creating theatre, film and creative projects with young people and artists.

They work closely with young people who are struggling in some way – struggling with their mental health, at school or home, with their identity, with what’s going on in their life, with confidence or to make sense of the world around them. Mortal Fools’ work is an early intervention that provides a safe space and scaffolds towards good mental health. 2022 represents the 10th birthday of the organisation; an organisation that started as a youth theatre group in a church hall, has evolved into a multi-award winning, growing organisation with an increasing project portfolio working meaningfully with 1000s of young people each year. While they have grown considerably in size, scope and reach since inception, they remain committed to working with young people as artists, prioritising those in under-served locations and circumstances and providing creative opportunities to collaborate with professional artists to make theatre and film which is relevant to their lives and of such quality that it delights, entertains, and challenges audiences.

The pandemic was a shake-up for Mortal Fools and a period of purposeful growth in response to the urgent needs of North East young people. Within the uncertainty, they found creativity, collaboration, co-creation opportunities, new ways of working and exciting new community serving and income generating streams. During a period where a lot of “normal” business activity felt impossible, seeds of possibility emerged and were a trigger for great innovation. There is nothing quite like a global crisis to break an organisation out of their decisionmaking routines, structures and ways of doing things.

An anchoring purpose of all Mortal Fools work is to support people to have better quality inter-personal relationships and to be the best authentic version of themselves. Mortal Fools encourages folks to come out of their comfort zone, authentically show up, try new things, experiment and be human. They’ve taken this mission, alongside the learning from delivering training underpinned by social sciences, to large corporate companies, public bodies, SMEs and freelancers across the last decade, to develop CONNECT; a programme of training and professional development for organisations, teams, and individuals – a strand of work that directly funds their work with young people.

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