Play to help parents and carers

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An ex Chumbawamba musician has written a play with music to help parents and carers understand issues faced by children moving to secondary school.

‘Ch ch ch ch changes’, by Boff Whalley, uses original songs to give insight into the stages of development that children experience and help parents and carers to support their child’s emotional progress.

The play, which has been commissioned by NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and produced by arts and health charity Space2, explores both the concerns children have about leaving primary school, and the challenges parents and carers have to cope with as their child moves into adolescence.

The research process involved consultation with parents, carers and children at Allerton C of E Primary School, Leeds, and Westgate Primary School, Otley.

Boff said: “It became very clear that no two families are the same. Parents and carers often panic about the lack of close contact with teachers when children go to high school, and the changes that they will face. We wanted to make this performance entertaining but also helpful, so that the adults can take something away with them.”

Ruth Gordon, programme manager for Leeds Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Local Transformation Plan, Children and Maternity Services, Leeds CCGs, said: “We hope that this play will help parents think about their own ways of helping their children so that they can support their mental health and wellbeing.”

The play for invited teachers, parents and carers will tour 30 primary schools and community groups, offering a chance to talk afterwards. To book a performance go to or call 0113 320 0159 ex 1.