ƹƵ to host theatre performances tackling health and social care workforce shortages

Tue 02 July, 2024
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The ƹƵ of ƹƵ, in collaboration with Komola Collective, is presenting the Collaborative Targeted Outreach Programme (CTOP) play – an innovative theatre project aiming to demystify and celebrate the health and social care professions and encourage people to think about studying related courses.

The performances of CTOP are set to take place on Thursday 4 July and Friday 5 July at the ƹƵ of ƹƵ’s Luton campus. Attendees will have the opportunity to witness the power of theatre in highlighting the human stories behind the healthcare sector, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these vital professions.


The CTOP play seeks to improve perceptions and understanding of nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, and social work, crafted in partnership between and the ƹƵ of ƹƵ and developed in collaboration with esteemed writer Shahid Iqbal Khan.

Professor Nasreen Ali – the lead for the CTOP project and Professor of Public Health Equality at the ƹƵ of ƹƵ, said: “We are excited to use theatre as a tool to explore areas of concern, engage, inform and inspire underrepresented communities to consider choosing a course and careers in health and social care.”

This ground breaking initiative is designed to engage with young people, parents, career-switchers, and under-represented groups from diverse ethnic backgrounds and discuss the challenges and opportunities of studying a course and going on to a career in health and social care.

The Director of the CTOP play, Filiz Ozcan, a founding member of Komola Collective, added: “The CTOP play offers a unique and powerful platform to share the human stories behind the healthcare sector. Through theatre, we aim to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for these vital professions, highlighting the diversity and resilience within the health and social care community.”

Martha Roberts, Chief People Officer at , shared her enthusiasm for the CTOP research initiative, stating: “Building the NHS and social care workforce of the future means that we are really keen to work with today’s young people, their schools, and colleges, to give them a taste of the exciting things we currently do. The CTOP play is a pioneering approach to engaging local communities with career conversations about health and social care."

The play’s writer, Shahid Iqbal Khan, added: “It resonated with me because I have had many soul-searching days in my life trying to decide on the right career. This project delves deep into the choices, dilemmas and barriers that many people face when it comes to choosing and selecting the right careers. I have dual careers - I am a playwright and I am also a pharmacy technician for GP practices.”


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