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Speak Up

The words Speak Up in green against a pink background

Speak Up

Speak Up is a new secondary school programme that aims to inspire a movement of young people, who want to speak up about the issues that matter to them – in their schools, their communities and nationally.

Young people will work collaboratively with their teachers, artists, local arts organisations and the National Theatre to make local artworks and creative projects.

This innovative programme has been developed with our Theatre Nation Partnerships (TNP) - Cast in Doncaster, The Lowry in Salford, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Sunderland Empire and Sunderland Culture, Theatre Royal Wakefield, and the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre – for young people who have been most affected by the pandemic and whose voices are not always heard.

Speak Up takes place in areas of low arts engagement where there is an inequality of access to opportunities for young people.

Schools are selected via invitation from the TNP venues and the National Theatre. 

Speak Up is a co-created programme where young people, teachers and artists are equal partners.

Young people will be supported and nurtured to become the leaders of the future, putting them at the heart of the creative process and decision making.

Teachers will become opportunity seekers and actively find ways that Speak Up can shape the culture of their school.

Artists will collaboratively and equitably make work without any predetermined outcomes.

Arts organisations will use this programme to meaningfully shape how those with less power can have genuine agency within their organisations.   

Over three years Speak Up will engage with 140,000 young people in 55 selected secondary schools nationwide. Together we will inspire each other to find new ways to think, see and bring about change individually and in the world.  

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Creative Associate: LUNG

LUNG are the Creative Associate on Speak Up. Their role is to devise, develop and maintain the methodology and creative ambitions for Speak Up. 

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Speak Up Partners

We are working with partners across the country to deliver Speak Up. 

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Speak Up Team

Contact: [email protected] 

Annabel Weeden
Participation Producer, CAST 
Ella Dufton
Speak Up Manager, The Lowry 
Ellie Hart
Speak Up Project Manager, National Theatre 
Gemma Woffinden
Speak Up Producer, Theatre Royal Wakefield 
Helen Monks
Speak Up Creative Associate, National Theatre   
Jenna Omeltschenko
Touring Partnerships Manager, National Theatre 
Kerry Hunt
Education and Partnerships Manager, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch 
Liam Smith
Speak Up Project Coordinator, National Theatre 
Lucy-Ellen Parker
Speak Up and Audiences Manager, Wolverhampton Grand 
Matt Woodhead
Speak Up Creative Associate, National Theatre   
Rachel Hamer
Young People & Communities Producer, Sunderland Culture 
Steph Durkin
Creative Learning Producer, Sunderland Empire    


The Mohn Westlake Foundation

The Mohn Westlake Foundation Trustees share our belief in the importance of youth voice, and care about the detrimental effects of the pandemic on young people’s aspirations, confidence and agency.  

In partnership with Mohn Westlake Foundation we created Speak Up, and we are excited to be working together with young people in some of the most economically disadvantaged areas of the country to enable positive change in their lives, schools and local communities.



Speak Up Creative Associate: