People’s Project Vote

Mar 17 2017 | By More

INSPIRE shortlisted in The People’s Project

A project run by Edinburgh-based Cutting Edge Theatre has been shortlisted in the People’s Project awards, in which the public vote for three of five nominated projects.

INSPIRE uses drama to help people with disabilities. It started in 2012 as part of a partnership with Fife College and now runs classes both in Fife and in several Edinburgh Special Schools.

The cast of Stomp visit INSPIRE. Photo Suzanne Lofthus

INSPIRE was founded by Cutting Edge’s artistic director Suzanne Lofthus. It runs weekly groups where the tutors use drama techniques to help people who have disabilities to improve their confidence, increase their self-esteem and improve their vocal abilities.

The overriding aim of the project is to help its participants feel more part of the society at large and help them to realise their potential.

The classes are taken at the students’ own pace and lead by them in what they want to achieve. INSPIRE also now hires two workshop assistants from the participants, giving them their first jobs.

Expressing her delight at being shortlisted for the project, Suzanne Lofthus told Æ: “INSPIRE classes are places where people come together, sharing experiences and where there is lots of laughter in amidst learning.

“They are places where we have seen some wonderful changes in lives. Young people who were once destined for a life in isolation are now finding new life, learning new skills and forming friendships in INSPIRE groups.”

Downs With Love

In 2016 INSPIRE created Downs With Love for the Fringe. Based on some of the real life experiences of Abi, who is one of INSPIRE’s participants, it challenged perceptions and told the story of a young girl who has Downs Syndrome.

Workshop assistant Tristen leading a session. Photo Suzanne Lofthus

Explaining what winning the funding of £48,880 would allow INSPIRE to do, Lofthus said: “It would help us to expand our classes and also allow us to develop a new, challenging play about Downs Syndrome, working with one of our participants and helping one of her dreams to come true.

“INSPIRE is all about helping people to realise their potential and to dream big!”

The People’s Projects is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, ITV, STV and The National Lottery that gives the public a say in awarding National Lottery funding to local projects across the UK.

Voting is organised by STV region, and INSPIRE is one of five projects nominated in STV East. You can vote for one project in each region per email address but your votes must all be placed at the same time.

Voting opens at 9am on Monday 20 March and closes at noon on Monday 3 April 2017. Voting will take place through the People’s Projects website. To find out more about the INSPIRE project, view a promotional video and vote for the project, to got to:


The People’s Projects Website:

Cutting Edge Theatre website

INSPIRE on Facebook Inspirecuttingedgetheatre

VOTE for INSPIRE here:


Tags: , , , ,

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. The People Vote INSPIRE : All Edinburgh | Apr 7 2017
  1. Susan wales says:

    Thanks for this Thom. I’ve voted too now.