Fourth Wall

142. Daniel Bridgewater (Birmingham)

A 23 year old marketing consultant from Birmingham uses drama and performance to raise awareness of social issues and support aspiring entrepreneurs.

Daniel Bridgewater founded the social enterprise Fourth Wall, named after the imaginary barrier between theatre performers and their audience, in 2012 to teach entrepreneurial skills such as teamwork and leadership. Devoting 15 hours a week to Fourth Wall alongside his university and employment commitments, Daniel has worked with over 1,000 young people aged between 5 and 25, giving them the chance to express themselves on issues they feel passionate about through drama and performance.

Daniel developed Fourth Wall after seeing a gap for young people to build practical skills in an affordable and accessible way through the arts.

Fourth Wall develops teamwork and management skills through providing training and long-term support to individuals who want to create their own community theatre company or arts-based enterprise. The performances these groups create are based on issues that concern them ranging from future aspirations to knife crime and domestic violence.

They currently operate five theatre companies across the West Midlands which they run in partnership with their trained franchisee, and have also worked in a number of schools – something which they look to expand upon in the coming year.

Daniel is also heavily involved in youth leadership and governance through his Trusteeship of UpRising, a UK-wide leadership organisation, as a Trustee for the RSA’s chain of academies and as a school governor for a primary school in Birmingham. He is also the co-founder Birmingham’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Board and the city-wide leadership programme The Art of Leadership. He now runs his own marketing firm which specialises in the tech and education sectors.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Daniel has come up with an innovative way to support budding entrepreneurs to build their team working and leadership skills through drama while raising the profile of issues that matter to the young people taking part. Over 1000 young people across the West Midlands have been involved in productions tackling issues from knife crime to their hopes and dreams for the future. I am delighted to recognise Daniel as the 142nd UK Point of Light.”

Dan said:

“It’s great to be recognised in such a way. Even though I gave a lot of time for free to develop it, I knew I wanted Fourth Wall to be something that was sustainable with a long-term impact. I feel we have achieved this. We’re still growing, but it is now at a point where people know our brand and what we do, and I can walk into a theatre company and see people learning and having fun. It’s a remarkable feeling.”

Richard Burden MP said:

“I am delighted that Daniel has received an award from the Prime Minister for his tireless work in helping young people express themselves through drama and the arts. Daniel’s extensive list of voluntary commitments demonstrate how much he does to develop young people’s skills and self-esteem in our part of Birmingham. I am proud to have worked with him in his role as Governor for a local Academy, and to have recognised his contribution to our community in a Parliamentary Reception earlier this year. I cannot think of a more worthy recipient for the Point of Light Award.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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