“Approximately 3 years ago, whilst walking with my sister Wendy and her little dog Floss, we discussed the possibility of her writing a short story on domestic abuse, which could be submitted to a women’s magazine and considered for publication.

I was Police staff at the time and had spent 13 years of my 26 years service, assisting Police officers in supporting victims of abuse, Wendy is a published writer and it was decided that I would send her a few “Bullet points” from which she would write a short article. When she read my e-mail, she felt that the content would be best suited to a play format and so “Waking up Dead” came into being. With a great deal of hard work and perseverance, we worked with both senior Police officers and the local community to raise enough money to stage the play in the Council Chamber at Merton Council. From there we decided that we wanted to raise awareness of other issues such as Mental Health, Poverty, and homelessness using the powerful media of drama and film.

Together with two friends, we formed our company “Safeword Theatre and Film Production Ltd”. I found a specialist intellectual property solicitor who agreed to work for us on a pro bono basis. He drew up the documentation to register our company at Companies House and advised us on matters such as copyright. Indeed he is still supporting us on our journey.

It was at this point that the manager of MetroBank suggested I approach Co-Innovate. We received a grant from Tescos Bags of help which enabled Us to stage “Waking up Dead” at the local library. This is now our home and we plan to stage future Productions there. Stephen Hammond MP has Kindly agreed to be our patron and we have a meeting with him next week to discuss how he can support us.

We have just been awarded £10,000 from The National lottery to produce and stage our next play which raises awareness of domestic abuse within a gay male relationship. It also includes Homophobic Hate Crime.”

How has BtG helped Safeword?

BtG has helped us immensely on our journey. Andy Cripps has been invaluable in helping us with marketing ideas, and generally keeping us going when things got tough! During our meetings he has listened and given us gentle professional guidance to turn our ideas into reality. Without BtG we would not be where we are today!

Company achievements

Successful funding from Tescos to enable re staging of our first play “Waking Up Dead”
Successful sponsorship from local businesses to produce the production
Agreement of Stephen Hammond MP to be our Patron
Successful lottery funding to purchase lighting and sound equipment and stage our next play “When the Birds stopped singing”
A fantastic review of “Waking Up Dead” given by Both Jennifer Gilmour (a published author, Domestic Abuse advocate and survivor)
A fantastic review of “Waking Up Dead” from a West Theatre critic
Working with the local library to make the stage there our home
Securing free rehearsal space at Metro bank for as long as needed
Gaining the interest of Asst Chief Constable of Cheshire Police ( Julie Cooke) who is the National Police lead in Hate Crime and LGBT
She has asked to meet with us in order to assist in promoting our next play
The great feeling of turning an idea into a reality!