Memorial for Bill Kenwright from The RYTC

The RYTC team was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and patron Bill Kenwright CBE. 

Bill was a partner, father, grandfather, great friend and patron. He will be missed by many and this is testament to his giving nature and impact on the theatre and creative arts space. The team wanted to honour his legacy and influence with this memorial page.

The RYTC’s Artistic Director started her career in Bill Kenwright’s work family. Bill told her to go and open her own youth theatre, because ‘being creative is so important for our kids!’ His mantra… “go and do it”!! And if “it” is right – then you can’t fail.”

To name only a fraction of the awards and achievements Bill received are the notable honour of a CBE in 2002, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Theatrical Management Association in 2008, and an honourary BBC Radio 2 special episode of Friday Night in 2017 broadcast from the London Palladium itself. Bill was nominated for a London Theatre Critics’ Award for West Side Story and a Tony Award for Blood Brothers.

This multi-award winning career saw Bill’s West End productions constantly in notable venues such as the RSC, Dominion, Palladium, Apollo and many others. Ensuring his legacy as one of the UK’s most successful theatre producers.

Bill embodied the spirit of empowering young people through creative opportunities. His legacy will be felt and continued through the many groups and communities he supported with the mission of providing opportunities to local young people. Bill made his community and generations of people richer through experiences such as finding like minds, getting creative and fostering confidence in young people.

The RYTC in memory of Bill will continue to “go and do it” as his legacy will continue to empower our team, kids and encourage everyone to be creative.

Our thoughts are with Bill’s family at this difficult time and also with the many people we know he impacted for the better.

In the whirlwind of teenage life, where school, social activities, and personal growth compete for attention, finding moments of calm and focus can seem like an elusive dream. Yet, amidst the chaos, the practice of mindfulness offers a beacon of hope—a way to cultivate inner peace, clarity, and resilience. Mindfulness isn’t just about sitting still and emptying your mind; it’s a powerful tool that can help teens navigate the challenges of adolescence with grace and resilience. 

In this week’s blog, we’ll explore what mindfulness is and share a variety of mindfulness activities specifically tailored for teens.

What is Mindfulness?

At its core, mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment, without judgment or distraction. It involves paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment with openness and curiosity. Mindfulness encourages individuals to observe their experiences with acceptance and compassion, rather than reacting impulsively or getting caught up in negative patterns of thinking.

For teenagers, who often find themselves swept up in the whirlwind of social pressures, academic demands, and emotional ups and downs, mindfulness can be a game-changer. By cultivating mindfulness skills, teens can learn to manage stress more effectively, enhance their focus and concentration, build emotional resilience, and foster a greater sense of well-being.

Mindfulness Activities for Teens

1. Mindful Breathing

Encourage teens to take a few moments each day to focus on their breath. They can practice mindful breathing by simply observing the sensation of their breath as it flows in and out of their body. This can be done anywhere, whether sitting in class, waiting for the bus, or before bedtime.

2. Body Scan Meditation

Guide teens through a body scan meditation, where they systematically bring their awareness to each part of their body, from head to toe, noticing any sensations or tension they may be holding. This practice can help them develop greater body awareness and release physical tension.

3. Mindful Walking

Invite teens to take a mindful walk outdoors, paying attention to the sensations of their feet touching the ground, the sounds of nature around them, and the sights and smells in their environment. This can be a refreshing way to break free from the constant stimulation of screens and technology.

4. Mindful Eating

Encourage teens to practice mindful eating by savoring each bite of their food, paying attention to the taste, texture, and sensations in their mouth. This can help them develop a healthier relationship with food and cultivate a greater appreciation for the nourishment it provides.

5. Gratitude Journaling

Have teens keep a gratitude journal where they write down three things they’re grateful for each day. This simple practice can help shift their focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right in their lives, fostering a greater sense of positivity and well-being.

6. Mindful Listening

Teach teens the art of mindful listening by having them focus their full attention on the sounds around them, whether it’s the chirping of birds, the hum of traffic, or the rustling of leaves in the wind. This can help them become more present and attuned to their surroundings.

7. Guided Imagery

Lead teens through a guided imagery exercise where they visualize themselves in a peaceful, serene setting, such as a tranquil beach or lush forest. Encourage them to engage all their senses in the visualization, immersing themselves fully in the experience.

8. Mindful Movement

Encourage teens to explore mindful movement practices such as yoga, tai chi, or qigong. These gentle, flowing movements can help them connect mind and body, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

Conclusion

By incorporating these mindfulness activities into their daily routine, teens can enhance their focus, reduce stress, and cultivate a greater sense of well-being. As they become more familiar with the practice of mindfulness, they’ll develop valuable skills that will serve them well both now and in the years to come. So why not encourage the teens in your life to give mindfulness a try? The benefits are boundless, and the journey is worth embarking on.