“I enjoyed being able to discuss topics like sexism because I find these topics interesting, personal and also topical”
Workshop Participant
“If I could plan my own sex ed, I would include many different kinds of relationships from all backgrounds and make sure people aren't embarrassed”
Workshop Participant
“My experience of sex ed in school was awkward with teachers laughing more than pupils & we only watched videos, not many talks”
Workshop Participant
“It was nice to have my work in an art exhibition with better known artists - it made my work feel special”
Workshop Participant
“Our form tutor stopped teaching us gay rights so we wouldn't ‘catch the gay’.”
Workshop Participant
“I enjoyed being able to sit and work having people around me and do the blind drawing exercise because it helped me realise how structured I am and how to free my drawing”
Workshop Participant
Home / Projects / As You Are

As You Are


As You Are involved young people aged 9-13 years in exploring labels, stereotyping and personal identity via the creation of human puppets, murals, superheroes and a puppet show in collaboration with Hastings Adventure Playground.

The aim of the project was to open up young people’s thinking beyond gender and linked stereotypes and enhance their PSHE awareness; to enhance young people’s art, communication, thinking and group work skills; and to involve young people in the development of the project and its programme.

We measured these by observing young people, asking them how they were experiencing the programme, attending to the content of their creative pieces, interviewing them, asking them to rate sessions and seeking the views of workers that knew the young people outside of the sessions.

[Young person’s] mum says he's talking more, about the abuse that he gets when out and about. You are running an excellent project. (Playground Manager)

Young people began to have increased awareness of, or new opportunities to express, issues relating to stereotyping:

aGender is inspiring. It helps young people talk about challenging but really important issues concerning identity and equality. (Youth Council, female participant)

Some kids call me ‘spastic’ – that’s not who I am – I feel sad. My Super hero is Shame Man: he visits people who are saying mean things to others and makes them feel funny inside until they are nice again. (Male Hastings Adventure Playground participant)

The young people’s group work and art skills were greatly enhanced and they became more willing to ‘connect’ and ‘reflect’ in the group setting and nearly all felt they learnt new art skills. Some Youth Council members told us that they had no interest in art but are now more aware of its strength in bringing about positive social change.