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A passion for poetry: Student spends summer break at National Youth Theatre

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Kizzy Wade, a Vocational student at Selby College, has completed a summer placement with the National Youth Theatre (NYT) – a world-leading youth arts organisation.

NYT’s summer programme, which ran from Monday 2nd August until Saturday 4th September 2021, provided Kizzy with a platform to further explore and expand her passion for poetry.

Following a successful interview process where she had to recall poetry characters and recite monologue, Kizzy was awarded one of 270 places on the course.

At only 16 years old, Kizzy is a keen poet and spoken word activist who focuses her writing on issues such as disability, mental health and challenges people face in society.

“I actually found my love for poetry by accident, which is quite ironic as it is my biggest passion now. I joined a poetry session on zoom by mistake this time last year and since then, I’ve never looked back. I really enjoy being able to address current issues that my generation is facing, as well as my own thoughts and experiences, to create words which will resonate with people or make them think,” said Kizzy. “Attending the NYT summer camp provided platform to explore this further and gave me the confidence boost I needed to host my own poetry reading at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later on in the summer holidays, which was a big step for me.”

Established in 1956, the NYT was the first youth theatre in the world. The NYT discovers, develops and platforms exceptional performers and theatre technicians aged 14-25 from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Famous actors including Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Rosamund Pike, Orlando Bloom, Catherine Tate, Matt Lucas, Hugh Bonneville and Matt Smith, have previously attended the theatre.

During her summer break, Kizzy also carried out her own solo poetry reading at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over zoom.

“Kizzy lives with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and OCD, which she admits has often made accessing the arts more difficult. However, she has not let this stop her breaking through her physical limitations to create art. Whether she is studying at College, writing poetry, working part-time or playing Powerchair Football – when Kizzy puts her mind to something, she well and truly shines – and I’m sure everyone at the NYT will have seen this,” said Lorraine Fisher, Wellbeing Coordinator at Selby College.

In 2020, Kizzy was nominated for a TrinityTalent Award for her achievements with spoken word, as part of her Bronze Arts Award. She also completed her Arts Award with Collective Encounters, where she focused on writing poetry and delivering poetry workshops.

TrinityTalent celebrates talented young people achieving Trinity’s music, drama and Arts Award qualifications in the UK.

With a passion for poetry, Kizzy has taken part in a number of poetry books to raise money for charity initiatives such as Guide Dogs and the House of Bread (HOB), an organisation which supports vulnerable and homeless people.

She also recently held her own poetry ‘Kizzy Talks’ in aid of A Smile for a Child, which provides funds for disabled children to purchase sports equipment or whatever a child needs to participate in their sport.

As part of her Media course at Selby College, Kizzy created a poetry website which focuses on political propaganda and art. The website is now also being used as a learning hub for youths who are interested in learning poetry techniques.

Beyond poetry, Kizzy spends her time playing Powerchair Football and is currently taking part in the Football Association’s Rising Stars regional talent pathway. She is now a part of the England Under 16’s Squad and plays for her local team, Leeds Powerchair FC. Whilst Kizzy really enjoys playing at a regional level for England, she is currently awaiting to hear if she has made it on to their national pathway scheme.

To read more about Kizzy’s poetry, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/kizzywadepoetry/