Friendly Circle

A family bonding project supported through funding from People’s Health Trust using money raised by HealthLives through The Health Lottery.


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Friendly Circle Project

The Friendly Circle Project has been carried out by IROKO Theatre Company over a two-year period. Funded by the People’s Health Trust Fund, the project provided fun, enjoyable, participatory group music-making activities, games, museum visits and picnics to help strengthen interaction, health, wellbeing and inter-generational encounters, especially for men living in and around Carpenters Estate, Abbey Road and Central Stratford areas of East London.

Activities Undertaken



Group-music/movement workshops


Inter-generational activities days


Outings – museums and picnics


Open Day Events


Training and Skills development for 5 local volunteers


Categories of reported benefits



Strengthening positive interaction

‘Well organised.  A good way of making us know one another….’

Attendance in future similar activities in the neighbourhood

“I loved every second of it.  I hope to attend similar one soon.”

Making new acquaintances

“It has helped me to unwind and to meet new faces and friends….”

Skills development

“Great interactive event to bring different cultures together and learn a new skill.”


“My daughter is very shy and has sensory issues, but we found the session to have a therapeutic effect on her joining in.”

Public Engagement

Facebook Engagement: Over 35,000







Percentage increase


Total number of people participating in the project








Regular beneficiaries







“…It was really moving to see everyone drumming and chanting in unison. It brought us together, connected us in a way that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible.” - Participant

“I really enjoyed it together with my husband and daughter (age 8) and would love to attend again.  My daughter is very shy and has sensory issues, but we found the session to have a therapeutic effect on her joining in.” - Participant

“Very good at engaging audience and other people.  Able to encourage people (children) to join in and make sure that children had access to an instrument.  Well structured, with different sections to maintain interest.” - Participant

“I just want to thank you for a wonderful all- inclusive trip to the Horniman Museum and Gardens yesterday. I manage to add a lot to my vocabulary from the many things I have learnt; some of wish I have mentioned in our previous conversation at the lunch table, (the new species of goat and some musical instruments that I have never seen before and not to mention the creative art itself that is breath taking.) - Participant


“I never dreamed of getting an invite to the House of Commons.  It was a great experience meeting new people and talking to them.  They thought I was the director! J  Thanks for giving me the chance.” – IROKO volunteer attending the PHT Instagram Award at The House of Commons

“Apart from the creative side of things which I really enjoy, It makes me feel a part of something that is giving so much to the community which it serves...  The drumming and dancing transcend creed or colour and unites people from all walks of life. I have learnt to be patient, with myself and others, and it’s taught me not to take myself too seriously.  I would never have got up and danced in front of a crowd a few months ago! I’ve grown in confidence and tenacity. I’ve always had a problem with sticking with things! And I’ve made friends. These guys are awesome and I hope to be a part of this experience for as long as they will have me.” A volunteer

“During the last few months I have enjoyed being part of the group, developing skills through drumming.  It is good to see how simple techniques can help the participants to co-ordinate their movement whether it be drumming or dance.  They also apply common songs that are easily blended into the workshops.  I look forward in continuing volunteering with Iroko and to be part of any developments that will continue to keep Iroko at the fore front of African culture in the local community. A volunteer


Contact us now for bookings and more information.

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