Broad Oak Sports College, Bury

Assistant Head Teacher (Welfare and Guidance)
As someone who regularly attends Case Conferences and Child in Need meetings for families where there has been an element of Domestic Abuse, I felt that the message relayed by the actors in the performance was extremely powerful. It showed that Domestic Abuse does not always have to be physical to have a damaging impact on all members of the family. It affects people physically, but also has a deeper impact when it destroys self-confidence and leaves victims fearful and low in self-esteem. This can then affect the emotional and academic development of children.

The play was very sensitively done, with the violence implied instead of being portrayed explicitly. Our students (year 9-11) all recognised the ‘control’ Jodie faced from her boyfriend.

Bolton Youth Worker

A fifteen year old girl, attending youth club is currently in a relationship with a 17-year-old lad… Whilst watching it, the girl turned to me and said “its me”! after we had watched it, we had a chat about it and she had noticed some of the similarities between herself and the actors. She identified that some of the behaviour that her boyfriend was demonstrating towards her was wrong and she told me that she could see that now...I will continue to offer the girl support, informally educating her around the subject as and when she wants to talk about it.

Greater Manchester Police

GMP commissioned Essential Safeguarding and Mad Theatre Company to work with young people to raise awareness of teenage domestic abuse . The performance of Black Eyes and Cottage Pie helps young people and professionals spot the signs of unsafe and unhealthy behaviours and is a great way to start the conversation about consent and power and control. The performance is excellent and has been shown to over 25,000 young people and 5,000 professionals, with some fantastic feedback from schools and community organisations.

Superintendent Chris Allsop

King David High School

Black eyes and Cottage Pie was brilliant, sensitive and thought provoking. It really helped us to tackle some very difficult issues. Will definitely have the crew back again for future year groups.

Rabbi Rickman

City West Housing Provider

We have booked Essential Safeguarding more than once and they never disappoint. The team were excellent, they engaged all our young people and the production of Black eyes and Cottage Pie was very apt. The group could relate to what they had watched and Louise and her team took the time to discuss the feelings and thoughts. Thank you!

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner 2016

I found the production very powerful. The performance put over a very clear and accessible message not only to young people but to adults as well. The aim of raising awareness of the prevalence and the impact of abusive relationships in the home came across very clearly. I can see how this production can be used by schools and youth centres to give support to young people and to increase our awareness of what abuse means , the impact and how you can report and protect yourself and not suffer in silence. My congratulations to you and the team at Essential Safeguarding you are doing a great job.

Jim Battle

Jewish Women's Aid

Black Eyes and Cottage Pie is an exceptional production that raises awareness of vital interpersonal issues facing young people and adults today. The play has been an eye-opening education for pupils in Jewish schools and for the general Jewish community. It was an excellent trigger for important discussions surrounding domestic violence, child sexual exploitation, revenge porn, child abuse, teenage pregnancy and sexuality. We highly recommend all school pupils and young people to see the play, and learn from its essential messages. Wishing you continued success in your vital work.

Ziona Handler