‘Practice, practice, practice’: How Havering kids with ADHD shone in Christmas play.

Children with ADHD shone on stage in a Christmas play, last weekend.

It was a proud time for parents of 23 cast members, who overcame problems with hyperactivity to learn the lines of festive classic, A Christmas Carol.

Months and months of rehearsals paid off handsomely in two fine performances at the Fairkytes Arts Centre, in Billet Lane.

Suffering with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder means youngsters usually find it hard to express themselves to people.

Day-to-day life in school and at home can be a struggle for them and their families, and aggression can end up being an outlet for pent-up feelings.

But last Friday and Saturday nights saw only impressive and disciplined performances by the young actors.

Audiences which included Havering Mayor, Cllr Melvin Wallace, enjoyed a fun time.

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Mum Donna Ball’s son George, 11, played lead role, Scrooge, in the show.

She was full of praise for the work of the group behind the production; Add+up.

“I was very proud to see him up on stage. I really don’t know how they learnt the lines: it must have been practice, practice, practice,” she said.

Donna labelled the Hornchurch-based group “fantastic” for its work with vulnerable children with ADHD in the community.

“Add+up build up the children’s confidence,” she said. “They can be very hyperactive, so trying to get their attention and get them to follow instructions is very hard. They cannot take in information like other children which leads to aggression.”

Shelia Keeling of Add+up explained why the production was laid on with funding by Awards for All, a National Lottery off-shoot.

“We use the arts and crafts to help children to express themselves which helps them in their lives.”

Sheila hailed George for the progress made by him in three years coming to Add+Up.

“When George came to us he was shy, but he was absolutely excellent seeing he had so many lines to learn.

“He has become a real role-model to the other children, who look up to him now.”

Add+up run a drop in centre for families with a member who has ADHD. It is at 59 Billet Road, Hornchurch.

For more details, visit: www.addup.co.uk