In a few days time hundreds of people will be heading to Tate Britain for We Forgot The Lot (WFTL), an inclusive arts event for children with and without Tourettes.
I’ve been hit by a huge wave of excitement – after almost a year of planning I can hardly believe it’s now so close. The Tate team, Leftwing Idiot and I first met to discuss collaborating on 17th April last year. Planning and preparing’s been an amazing process and although there are a still a few last-minute things to sort out, everything’s pretty much set for an amazing day.
For everyone coming or thinking of coming (there’s still space for a few more people), here are some things you might find useful:
Entrance – Tate Britain has a couple of entrances. The Welcome Point for WFTL is at the Manton Entrance. Here you’ll be able to pick up a programme, a map, and a special wristband, and you’ll find out all about your mission. Keep a look out for a lycra-suited superhero.
WFTL Staff – There’ll be loads of staff and helpers at the event and they’ll all be wearing yellow We Forgot The Lot! t-shirts. Everyone involved will’ve had training and briefings about Tourettes and disability more generally. Lots of the other Tate staff – visitor assistants, security, shop and café workers – have been trained too. But if you have any questions or concerns at any point, please talk to someone in a yellow t-shirt.
Activities – There are nine different activities, led by eleven artists. Information about all of this will be on the programme that you’ll collect when you arrive. Most of the activities are running all day and you can drop in and out of them as you choose.
A few things happen at set times so make sure you don’t miss them. Chris+Keir’s Gallery Life Project requires you to sign up for it, and you can do this at the Welcome Point (More on this below).
The Gallery Life Project – This is aimed at older young people and invites them to become researchers exploring what’s happening during the event. As part of this slightly bonkers research project you may see young people watching, recording, and thinking about how people move, sit, interact, relax, escape. They’ll be collecting images and ideas along the way and these will be shared with everyone at the end of the day.
Hyperactivity Pack – The Hyperactivity Pack On Stimming and Staring is a paper activity you’ll be given when you arrive. It’s by artist Hana Tait and is definitely not a worksheet. Play, fiddle and move the pack to see where it leads you. You can use it on your own or in groups at any time during or after the event.
Photography – A team of official photographers will be on hand to make sure we’ve got loads of lovely pictures of the day. They’ll be snapping away to record all the interesting things that are happening. They’ll all be clearly identifiable and if you don’t want your photo taken, please them know. Look out for the pictures on our website soon after the event.
Playworkers – In addition to lots of staff, artists and volunteers there’ll be three roaming playworkers. They’ve all got loads of experience supporting children to enjoy and engage with activities. They’ll be there to help anyone who’s feeling shy, having a difficult time, or needs a bit of extra help.
British Sign Language – Verity’s our British Sign Language interpreter and she’ll be around to make sure WFTL’s accessible to BSL users. She’ll be at the Welcome Point at the start of the event, so if you sign – or even if you don’t – do say hello to her when you arrive.
Chill-Out Space – The chill-out space is near the Manton entrance and is for anyone who needs a place to calm down or relax. The space is marked on the map and it’ll be equipped with cushions, beanbags and bottled water. There’ll be a member of staff there and a playworker nearby. If you need to use this space urgently and need help getting there, just ask anyone with a yellow t-shirt on.
Social Space – The Clore Studio’s a lovely light room and the perfect setting for our social space. This area will be accessible only to people with WFTL wristbands and it’s a place to meet and chat with other people. Dr Tara Murphy, Consultant Psychologist from the Tourette Syndrome clinic at Great Ormond Street Hospital, will be there to give a short talk and answer questions. Tea and coffee will be available.
Under Fives – The activities have been designed for children aged five to sixteen but many of them will be enjoyable for younger children too. However, children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. ‘Box Clever’ and ‘Let’s Get Together!’ might be particularly enjoyable for younger children.
Lost Child Point – If a child gets lost, the meeting point is the big Touretteshero cut-out at the Welcome Point. If you lose someone, tell a member of the Gallery staff or someone in a yellow t-shirt straightaway and they’ll help reunite you.
Food – You’ll be able to buy food from the café but there are plenty of places to sit and eat your own food too, so bring a packed lunch or picnic if you like.
Social Story – You can download a ‘social story’ about going to the event here. This uses words and pictures to explain what to expect and might be particularly useful for children with Autism.
Interested Adults – If you’re an adult with or without Tourettes, but without any children to bring, you’re still welcome to come and be part of the day. There’s no need to book because the Gallery will be open to the public as usual.
The Final Event – At 3.30pm everyone will be encouraged to come together to celebrate the day and discover if our mission’s been accomplished. Bring your experiences, ideas, creations, journeys and excitement to share with everyone. Look out for a caped figure and listen out for music leading you to the final event.
If you’re coming I can’t wait to see you there. If you’re still thinking about coming what are you waiting for? Book now and join us for what looks set to be a brilliant event.