Social Purpose Learning Champion Award Winner

Peter McGarry (Tameside)
Eye Witness Theatre

Pete epitomises social purpose learning in action. He says,’ As I hurtle towards my seventies I feel an ever increasing ambition to write something of value. Although I have had TV, radio and theatre success I am still wrenched towards using my writing to enhance the quality of life for others – rather than gaining recognition in insubstantial, and transitory, conventions of the mainstream.’ Since qualifying as a social worker in 1977 Pete’s career has been underpinned by a series of opportunities that have served as an innovative platform both for development in writing and in the provision of health and social care awareness and training.

His writing has been bound up with his social work practice as a child protection specialist and he has been deeply attracted to the idea of using performance as a theatrical tool for training and learning in child protection/safeguarding arenas. He formed Eye Witness Theatre Company to support the production of theatre based training modules and over the last twenty five years such modules – both as theatre production and film - have been delivered to multiagency professionals not only in the UK and Ireland but also in Australia, US/Canada and across Europe. More recently he adds, ‘Chronological inevitability is directing my ambition, to further develop scripts, scenarios and plays with inter-active workshops not only for training and awareness for professionals but for older people too. Such modules have, so far, been instrumental in engendering dialogue between professionals in adult social care and older people’.

Nominated by Nell Corrin