Ben is an accomplished and experienced workshop facilitator, project coordinator and director who has worked for Contact, Apples & Snakes, Library Theatre Company, Creative Partnerships/Curious Minds, Writing On The Wall, Phoenix Youth Theatre, and a host of other schools and young people’s organisations.
His areas of interest include spoken word/performance poetry, drama (with a focus on forum, physical and hip hop theatre), environmental arts, creative writing and human beatbox.
Ben has experience of working with infants, children, young people and young adults from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities, including prisoners and young offenders, NEETs, gifted and talented and mental health survivors.
Testimonials from staff:
“Ben finds a unique and natural way to engage with young people, giving them a platform to learn and have new experiences and also give them a sense of leadership and power sharing that is really special.” – Danny Fahey, Project Manager, Contact/Reclaim.
I thought Ben Mellor was excellent in explaining his poetry to year 8. He kept the childrens’ interest and attention throughout his performance. When Ben spoke doing his poetry slam he was clear and very expressive. Even though the language he used was sometimes above their age (children) the children followed the sentiment he was putting across. The SEN children I support Ibrahim Moughal and Isaan ___ wanted to go forward to say a poem and did interact with him well. Mr Howarth in year 8 top set English followed up Ben’s poetry slam by getting the children in groups of 3 to use a 7 word slam the class had come up with. The children enjoyed doing poetry slam and learned a lot from the experience.
Julie Benson – Teacher, Derby High School, Bury.
The whole day was a massive success, and the school were absolutely delighted at the intervention during the school-based workshops and the performances from their pupils at the evening event. I can’t compliment Ben and Keisha enough. Their delivery of the workshops, their approach with the students, and the way they shared their expertise in spoken word with the young people, was outstanding in every respect. All of us – the WoW staff, the school staff and the pupils enjoyed a friendly day of first class creativity, and were inspired by how many young people went from workshop to performance in a matter of a couple of hours.
Mike Morris – Director, Writing On The Wall Festival
Testimonials from pupils/participants:
Can we keep going to workshops there after this project is over?
I feel really honoured that they have asked us to be involved.
We learned loads but it was really fun.
It’s given me more confidence in my self and my writing because people liked my poem.
Participants from Heritage Lottery Fund workshop
I liked having the freedom to write anything I wanted to. Gaining a better insight into the different styles of writing. Learning more about Ben as a poet. Hearing other people’s ideas, learning the processes he goes through when he produces a piece of writing.
His poems are really good and interesting and he made poetry interesting. He was fun and taught what could be a hard subject in an interesting way.
My favourite thing about the workshop was the fact that I couldn’t find a favourite! Being able to hear and experience the creativity and the power that poetry has was enjoyable and something I’ll take away with me. I found his work extremely interesting and the whole experience thoroughly unique. I learned a lot in the workshop and feel I could learn much more. I learned that if you sit and just write straight for five minutes without stopping you can really learn what you’re capable of!
Listening to Ben perform, I’ve never heard poems done like that, almost like a rap. I liked the way he got us all working together.
6th Form students from Arthur Mellows College, Peterborough
Glad he did modern things such as rapping and ‘beatboxing’
Best lesson so far
Don’t think it could be improved
Hope we get more opportunities like this in the future
Love his improvisations
Great how he got the audience involved
Really well organised
Loved it when we made our own poem as a class
Different than anything I’ve done before
A great way to celebrate National Poetry Day
Liked it when Ben was beatboxing and Rafiq was rapping
Overall, I think Ben was a pleasure to have in school
I hope he comes again
Gives poetry a good name when it often has a bad one with youths
How long left, 10 minutes or 1 minute?
He said that repetitively, innit?
Me and my mates wanted Ben to stay longer,
But he’s too too busy, and needs to be stronger,
He wore a nice hat, good jeans and some adidas shoes,
And if he had a poem battle with me, he’d probably lose,
At the end of English today, Miss Beckett on the PC typed in Ben Mellor,
His face popped up and he were a good looking fella,
I’ve learnt a lot from Ben and also from Miss Beckett,
I knew Miss Worthington and Miss Beckett would never wreck it,
If I got a chance to have a quick chat with him on the phone,
I would say ‘Come back now, with that amazing microphone!’,
So many thanks to him, I hope I see him again,
Because his last name’s Mellor and his first name’s Ben!
Yr 7, 8 & 9 pupils, Derby High School, Bury.