23 February 2019

2019 NOW Festival – ACEs

Hundreds of children and young people from schools, clubs and youth groups across Liverpool came together to deliver a range of dramatic performances at the Epstein Theatre, exploring the subject of ‘Rise Up – Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) and Resilience.’

Merseyside Youth Association’s mental health promotion team hosted the fourth annual NOW Festival, in partnership with Liverpool Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership and the Arts Council.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that affect children while growing up, such as suffering from child maltreatment or living in a household affected by domestic violence, substance misuse or mental illness.

Kath Thompson, the festival director explains: “There is growing evidence through research that the hardships and adversity people face in childhood are the largest contributing factor to poor health both physical and mental, as well as other social problems.

“Under the guidance and support of our team, local young people curated pieces exploring the life-long effects of childhood, how it affects our physical and mental health. We’ve questioned if there is any truth to the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and what enables some people to be resilient and rise up against all the odds. This mixture of original live performances and films were showcased each night during the festival.”