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The following are testimonials received from our parents and guardians [names have been removed]:

Family New Skills Chaperone Oliver at last Three Siblings Transformation Confidence Inspiration Expectation + Flourishing


My daughter was so excited to be chosen for a part in Annie back in 20xx ( I can’t remember the year!).

From the first time my daughter attended HBYT her confidence has grown. She enjoys every minute she spends with you and your team, and has met the loveliest of people whilst attending.

Everyone, no matter what their ability, is made to feel welcome in the HBYT ‘family’, and is included and given a chance.

My daughter is continuing to grow in confidence each week as she feels very much a part of the group. I think it is one of the best establishments for young people and Herne Bay is lucky to have HBYT, which is such an attribute to the town.

The shows are absolutely brilliant too.

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New Skills

HBYT has given my daughter numerous skills in the three performances she has done with you. Besides helping her improve her acting and confidence, which has led her to paid work and meeting some famous people along the way, I have also seen improvements in other areas.

It has taught her the importance of dedication and team work. There have been times where she has found it tough over the years, especially the dancing side, and wanted to give up. She has learnt that you can't give up on the first hurdle and effort pays off.

Also, that once you have committed to something, you must see it through: a good life lesson to learn. She has also learnt along the way that everyone makes mistakes and that it's okay to learn from these and carry on. She is a perfectionist and gets annoyed with herself.

Also, she has said she likes that your classes are fun, but you don't take any nonsense. Things she has done before she left, as she got fed up with the constant mucking around!

Thank you for giving her the opportunity.

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Just back from the final Oliver show, my daughter's first and my first chaperoning experience. The work that goes on behind the scenes is truly phenomenal.

The thought that goes into every move, prop and most importantly ever child is incredible.  

I was a little nervous chaperoning for the first time but Tracie has everything covered and soon put me to work.

The team of chaperones are awesome and the kids were super special, excited, nervous, but so polite, and a credit to you parents.

Well done HBYT - what a team 

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Oliver at last!

I wanted to write and say thank you for looking after my son so well over the last few months (indeed years!).  I can’t begin to express how enormously proud we are of him, but suffice to say the whole Oliver experience has been life-changing.

As you may know, I’ve been involved with music education for my entire professional career.  I too love musical theatre and I used to ‘tread the boards’ many moons ago.  My son has been telling me for years how incredible the HBYMTS group is, having played in quite a few shows with you guys now.  And so when Oliver came along, we were both really keen to get my son involved - not really ever envisaging what lay ahead!

My son has grown up before our eyes, both physically and emotionally, during what has, at times been a bittersweet experience. The realisation that the pandemic might have robbed him of his chance to perform, and therefore miss out on everything he has gained over the past week in particular, is just starting to sink in.  When the show was cancelled back in March of last year, we told ourselves it would just be a few weeks delay - trying to keep his spirits up and also, making Oliver our bright light to aim for in all the doom and gloom.

The show was outstanding, Andrew.  Your cast was so accomplished with so many amazing voices and dancers.  Tracie is incredible.  The band was sensational.  Vicky was so kind and generous with my son, encouraging him to rediscover his changed voice after a fairly significant loss in confidence.  I don’t think many of us can imagine how it felt to sing in public again after a prolonged period of inactivity, with a completely different voice to the one you started with! The costumes, the set, the sound, the lighting, the front of house, the chaperones, the venue - they were all first class! In short, you not only lived up to, but surpassed everyone’s expectations - in what must have been the most challenging circumstances possible!

My son has loved every minute from start to finish.  He has made friends, I suspect in some cases, for life.  He looks up to and admires the adult cast and he has learnt so much from them.  Oliver has taught him to never give up on his dreams and to cherish every single moment on and off the stage.  His confidence will be forever boosted by this production and none of this could have happened without you.  So thank you - you are a total inspiration. 

We look forward to Bugsy…

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Three sibling pupils 

I always recommend Herne Bay Youth Theatre to other parents, because I am so impressed. All three of my children love attending and never find it a chore, and I personally am amazed by the standard of performances that Herne Bay Youth Theatre produce, even when working with children who may have done little or no musical theatre in the past. It is a truly inclusive group, building the skills and confidence of children who attend in a fun, non-pressurised environment. 

I have certainly seen an increase in confidence in my two younger children since they have been members of the group, and my older two children have both benefitted from taking on responsibility for helping younger members of the cast. I feel that it has also been invaluable for them to interact with other children of various ages, in different groups from their normal school friends.  My oldest child has suffered with low self-esteem and confidence issues during teenage years, and is now very reluctant to perform publicly at school, however they are still really keen to perform with HBYT, which is a testament to the positive environment there. 

In terms of improvements, I don't think there is much I can say, I think HBYT is fantastic value for money, encouraging children to express themselves and have confidence, while creating performances that are really high quality. I suppose the only thing I can say is that for some people, the 2.5/3 hour long sessions might be more time commitment than they are willing to give, so perhaps running some shorter sessions after school or similar might suit some families. Occasionally it is frustrating that we never have a free day at the weekend for family outings etc, but the benefits of attending Saturday club, and being in the cast of Oliver far outweigh this minor irritation!

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So, in the summer, at your amazing summer school, I was in tears as I watched my daughter cry her way through the performance at Arkley Road. It was tough to watch her struggle so much.

Yesterday afternoon I was in tears again - because of you! My same little girl was leading the workhouse children, marching, singing, clapping, raising arms, running about and completely and utterly joining in. The transformation just made me cry!

One of our highlights is the effect your work has had outside of the performances, on Saturday evening we listened to my daughter sing all the Oliver! songs in the car on the way back from Marlow Panto. She didn’t talk about the Panto at all. She just sang all the Oliver! songs.

Thanks you so much for being so inclusive, you have all been so caring, professional and incredible.

This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime for my girls.

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I just wanted to say the BIGGEST Thank You to Andrew and the team at HBYT.

The “Oliver” journey has been one that I and my daughter will never forget!

She only joined HBYT at the end of 2019, full of anticipation and excitement for her first ever production.  Who knew then we would be waiting so long! But,………

I loved seeing my daughter “shine” on that stage! The confidence you have instilled in her is something I will always be grateful to you for.

Through what has been a challenging 2 years for the whole world, I worried for the kids and how they would be impacted by the roller coaster the pandemic brought to their lives but, thank goodness for Andrew, the team and the friends she made at HBYT because we firmly believe you got her through it! Oliver was a focus, something to look forward to, and was a constant. Allowing her to laugh, have fun, sing, dance and socialise at a time when all those things were so scarce!

I cannot thank you enough!

On to the next one!

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Dear Andrew

What an incredible, amazing, inspiring experience for both my son and myself.

My heart bursts with pride seeing my son on that stage, totally engrossed in everything he does and it has inspired him to apply for performing arts @ college next year.

His commitment to HBYT is admirable, even choosing to miss out on family engagements, so that he can attend his rehearsals.

He had never really lacked confidence prior to Covid, but sadly became very unsettled during lock down and having to spend so much time at home.

HBYT and the Oliver production has reignited that confidence and that glint in his eye that he has for performing. I am genuinely very grateful that we found you and my son has been able to do something that he clearly loves. Long may it continue.



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Expectation +

Good morning Andrew.

This email is, first and foremost, intented for you, Andrew and team, however please do also feel free to use for testimonials...

Thank you so much for all of the hard work and dedication that went into this incredible performance of Oliver! We thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. We really had no idea what to expect but this show truly surpassed expectation.

It was delightful to see the children really forming an integral part of the show. They weren't just ushered on and off the stage for the occasional song and dance number, they each had their own cheeky character, their own important part to play and their own chance to shine and to really become part of something incredibly special.

Even though it took him a long time to settle in, our once anxious son, has come out the other side of this performance positively brimming with confidence and having made some amazing new friends. He literally cannot wait to get back on the stage and, not that I would want to put him in the position of having to choose at his young age, I am quietly confident that where football would once have trumped theatre, the jazz shoe is well and truly on the other foot now!

Thank you and congratulations on an amazing show.

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Hugest of thank yous to HBYT, who have been nothing but amazing with my 7 year old son, who has additional needs. 

He wanted to join his big sister in what she loves, but I was filled with apprehension in letting him join, with the thoughts of “What if he's not good enough?”, “What if he can't keep up or he has one of his meltdowns and is misunderstood?” 

From day one I was reassured by Andrew and his team that HBYT is all inclusive and open to any child wishing to give it a go. Scripts and dance moves were adapted to suit him and he was made to feel part of the family from day one. 

Through this experience I have seen my boy flourish, the smiles have been endless, and watching the bonds he has formed with older children who have taken him under their wing has been heart-warming.

This is just the beginning of his Musical Theatre journey. I can’t wait to see his confidence soar even higher and the sparkle in his eyes become even brighter. 

From a Mum who thought this would never be something my child could achieve or even enjoy the hugest of thanks. 

You really do ROCK!

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