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Discover our views on relevant and interesting topics.

We have been putting sustainability at the forefront of our conversations this year, and recently developed our own Sustainability Policy, with thanks to our Sustainability Intern Anna Barrett from Durham University.

Anna has contributed a guest post to our Directors Blog, to illustrate what has been going on behind the (green) scenes!

Over the past five months whist completing an MSc at Durham University I have had the opportunity to become a sustainability intern at Changing Relations. I’ve loved this opportunity and found it a really rewarding experience.

As sustainability intern, my work centred around trying to better the sustainability of the organisation and ensure environmentally focused thinking became the norm in every aspect of Changing Relations’ work. In order to do this, I began carrying out research into sustainability in general, looking at large organisations that are leading the way in terms of sustainability, and then seeing how these steps translate into the work of smaller organisations that are more of a similar size to Changing Relations. I spent time with Artistic Director Polly, going through the sustainable steps she already takes, and we talked a lot about how to make sure that these became standard practice throughout the team rather than just steps that she does. This also involved assessing the work environment in the office, and reviewing the resources and materials regularly used to see whether we could swap out options for more sustainable alternatives.

It was also really important to Polly and Lisa that we made sure sustainability became a central value of the organisation rather than just something added on, so I spent time working on ways to embed sustainability throughout the whole organisation. This involved work such as drafting sections for artists contracts focusing on sustainability, and drafting text that could be included in art packs which discussed the sustainable nature of the products and encouraged the recipient to recycle, reuse and repurpose the contents where possible. By the end of my project, I had created a Sustainability Policy and other work to support this including a Sustainable Induction for new starters and current team members to demonstrate the importance of sustainability to the organisation. Through this work not only were my research skills considerably strengthened, but I also gained further appreciation for the importance of sustainable thinking and the steps that we can all take to do our part.

One of the personal objectives I hoped to accomplish whilst undertaking my internship was to improve my confidence in communication skills, particularly presenting. I was given the chance to present my work at a Board Meeting at the end of my internship and despite initial nerves I accepted the invitation and received positive feedback which definitely boosted my confidence.

Overall I just want to say thank you to the team at Changing Relations and to the Careers and Enterprise team at the University for setting up such a positive and valuable experience for me. To be able to develop my employability at such a thriving and socially aware organisation only bettered the experience, and I felt welcomed, supported and empowered by the team at Changing Relations.

Thank you, Anna! Your work was fantastic and we enjoyed having you as a part of our team.

If you're interested to know HOW sustainability has been weaved through our organisation, take a look at our highlights video.

Contributing to PGCE Diversity Conference

Great to be back up in Newcastle University in the School Education, Communication and Language Sciences where Managing Director, Lisa, trained to be a teacher many moons ago. Today and tomorrow, we’re proud to have been invited to contribute a workshop to a conference for PGCE students on Diversity, Inclusion and Pupil Well-being. Our workshop explores Creative Methods for Addressing Sexting and draws on the work we developed with Ferryhill Business and Enterprise College. We’ll be showing the film on Sexting created by Rupert Ludlow together with Ferryhill students, diving into the Sex and Relationships Education Resource Pack that accompanies the film (created together with designer Louise Taylor), and encouraging future teachers to think about how they could challenge their students to notice – and hopefully overturn! – sexism in the context of the sharing of intimate personal images (sexting). Continue reading

Welcoming our new Management Board!

We’re absolutely delighted to be able to announce that we have successfully recruited a brand new Management Board to support us in taking Changing Relations forward to the best of our ability in accordance with our aims and ethos as a company. We’ll be kick-starting the New Year with a full team Away Day for our 3 Directors and the all new Management Board members. Interested to meet the team? Have a little browse of our new recruits!

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Listen to us talk about Make Do and Mend on Bishop FM

Thanks Bishop FM for interviewing us today about our performance of Make Do and Mend at Bishop Town Hall tomorrow. Have a listen here folks as Company Director Lisa Davis explains why you should go and see it!


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Take a seat on our Management Board?

Changing Relations*performer-chair-at-the-witham is looking to recruit a Management Board that can support us in shaping the strategic direction of the company. We are keen for our Board to be made up of those with experience and expertise in: Education, the Arts, Health, Social Science Research, Gender Equality, the Women’s Sector and the Voluntary & Community Sector. We are particularly (although not exclusively) interested in those based in the North East, since this is where we are based.

This would be a voluntary role and you would not be expected to take on any day-to-day responsibilities of running the company. We would, however, expect you to commit to attending Management Board meetings at least three times a year as well as the company’s AGM once a year.

If you are interested in playing a part in Changing Relations in this way, we would love to hear from you. Please write to Managing Director, Lisa Davis, detailing your relevant experience, why you would be interested in supporting our work and what you think you could contribute:lisa@jackdev.co.uk

The deadline for submitting applications is: Wednesday 2nd November.

*Changing Relations is a social enterprise that devises innovative projects to challenge thinking around gender equality and healthy relationships. We work collaboratively with – and for – a range of organisations, using the arts and creative methods in thought-provoking and impactful ways to effect positive social transformation. We are currently in the midst of a touring a performance on the theme of Domestic Abuse, visiting a number of venues around the North East. You can find out more about us and what we do on www.jackdev.co.uk and can read the review of our currently touring play Make Do and Mend here: http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/make-do-and-men-alphabetti-thea-13519

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Book Make Do and Mend tickets before they run out!

Fantastic news from the Alphabetti Theatre that our opening night this coming Thursday is nearly sold out. We’d be just as gutted as you if you turned up on the 29th September and found there were no tickets left, so please do get your tickets booked online. Don’t forget that we’re at the Alphabetti on the Friday night as well, not to mention a number of other venues around the North East.


Have a look at our project website to check the date / venue that works best for you. Go to  https://thewomensvoicesproject.com/ and select Tour Schedule 2016 to see the range of options from Stanley to Darlington, Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle.

We’ve got a fantastic production for you with humour, heartache, an original soundtrack being developed live through the rehearsal process and whole load of valuable social information. See you there!

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Great to attend rehearsals for our soon-to-tour production of Make Do and Mend last night and see Director & Script-writer Rachel Adamson work together with Movement Director Alys North explore ways of fine-tuning the performance ready for our first night, now less than one week away at the Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle on Thursday 29th September.

Here’s a little snap of our actors in chairs specially selected and customised by the women whose characters they are bringing to life on the stage. It was great to meet our new actor Rosie Stancliffe who was bringing a whole load of warmth and humour to the role of Lorna.


Don’t forget to snap up your tickets! Check the Tour Schedule on the project website to find the best date and venue for you! See you there!

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Apprenticeship Opportunity!

We’re really excited to announce that we are working with Durham County Council and the National Apprenticeship Service to create an Apprenticeship Opportunity at Changing Relations. We are based in Durham City and applicants would need to have a County Durham post code. You would also need to be under the age of 24.

The Apprenticeship Frameworks we are offering include:

  • Project Management
  • Community Arts
  • Professional Development for Work-Based Learning Practitioners

We are looking for someone who is interested in developing their skills in group facilitation around the issues of gender equality and healthy relationships, and who is prepared to learn about the breadth of behind-the-scenes activities involved in planning and delivering a creative, arts-based project.

If you think this is you, give us a shout. We would need to know why you want to work with us and why you think you’re the person we are looking for. Send an email through to Managing Director Lisa Davis on lisa@jwdb.co.uk

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Welcoming New Director!

We are delighted to announce that the fabulous dancer and choreographer – Alys North – has joined us here at Changing Relations as Creative Director. We are really looking forward to developing projects together with Alys and are very pleased at the breadth of educational and artistic expertise our management team now covers. Have a look at our People page if you’d like to get more of a flavour of the range of skills and experience Lisa, Polly and Alys bring to the table.

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New Website

Well it’s been a long time coming, but here is our all new up-to-date website. Many thanks to Rich Bielby for his efforts behind the scenes in constructing it for us. There may still be some little niggles to iron out, but we have so much news to start sharing with you, that it really is time to get you checking in with us regularly. So here we are with News Blog#1 to announce that we are here! Look out for all of our forthcoming updates on our Autumn Tour, our new Director, our changing status, to drop a few not-so-subtle hints!

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Commissions & Collaborations

“Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men & women, which have led to domination over & discrimination against women by men… violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men”.[1]

It is for this reason that our initial focus was to ask women about their stories & give them a platform to be heard: when Managing Director, Lisa Charlotte Davis, founded Changing Relations in 2013, part of her inspiration was the One Billion Rising movement launched by Eve Ensler (writer of The Vagina Monologues) to raise awareness of the UN statistic that, globally speaking, 1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, which equates to about one billion.

This inspired us to develop The Women’s Voices Project, to literally give voice to women. The women we spoke to along the way told us they valued being heard & that hearing their stories in a public arena was empowering, making them feel they had been taken seriously. Make Do and Mend is the result of this project, which is why our characters are all women.

[1] Quote taken from Nicole Westmarland’s book, Violence against women. 2015

We now continue to work with, & alongside, a variety of professional creative practitioners, including visual artists, writers, actors, performers, film-makers, sound artists & choreographers, utilising their skills & creative tools to create original & innovative work – producing a range of content drawing on different art forms to challenge thinking around gender equality, gender norms & healthy relationships. We use this as the basis of education & training that we offer to schools, communities & professionals also work in partnership with a wide range of partners, from schools, to Universities, to public, private & voluntary sector organisations, as we recognise the value of bringing together the relevant expertise for the given piece of work.

As a company, we use the arts to achieve our social objectives as we believe that this way, we can reach the heart as well as the mind, engaging people in the stories & perspectives of others, a crucial foundation of an empathetic response.

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