Concrete Youth theatre company seek participants for groundbreaking arts project

Innovative theatre company Concrete Youth is looking for participants to take part in a new research project to explore groundbreaking sensory experiences for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

'To the Moon and Back', a past show by Concrete Youth.
‘To the Moon and Back’, a past show by Concrete Youth.

Since mid-last year, Concrete Youth has been working with renowned researcher, Joanna Grace, along with specialists in the US and Singapore to explore the benefits and impact of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) on people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). To the company’s knowledge, ASMR has never been used as a sensory experience with people with PMLD before. Due to this, the company launched a significant research project to ensure the safety, comfortability and suitable of ASMR with their audience.

Concrete Youth secured funding from the National Lottery Community Fund in September 2020 to begin the first phase of this research. The company formed a small research group of 50 people with PMLD. The participants were sent a short clip with a range of ASMR techniques. Members of the group returned feedback and descriptions of their reactions to the clips, along with videos of them listening. The responses to the clips were overwhelmingly positive and group members reported relaxation and high levels of engagement.

The company are now continuing their research into the next phase of the project, and extending their group of research participants to accommodate it.

Artistic Director, Daniel Swift said: “We’re very excited about to be exploring the impact of this new sensory experience for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Especially at a time when we haven’t been in a theatre with our audience for nearly 2 years now, we’re delighted to continue our engagement with them on a truly exciting and ground-breaking project”.

Audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities from across the UK are encourages to register. When the next phase of the project launches later this year, participants will receive a research kit full of information, instructions, ASMR tracks, clips and resources, along with various accessible feedback outlets.

Parents, carers, teachers and supporters of people with PMLD can register the person they care for at

[Daniel Swift – Concrete Youth]

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