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International Women's Day: Sharing Insights from Celine Wyatt of Blackpool Grand Theatre

Celine Wyatt
7 March 2024
International Women's Day: Sharing Insights from Celine Wyatt of Blackpool Grand Theatre

On International Women's Day, we're honoured to share insights from Celine Wyatt FRSA, Head of Creative Development and Learning at Blackpool Grand Theatre, who was interviewed by our own Lucy Costelloe for our latest podcast episode. Celine's compelling journey of resilience in the arts sector serves to inspire greater inclusion for women in creative fields.

From childhood instilled values of confidence, to navigating pregnancy, motherhood, and the harsh realities of menopause - all while building an award-winning career - Celine epitomises the resilience required of women in our sector. Her story underscores both the joys of success and the systemic barriers women face that must be addressed through openness, empowerment and reform.

Whether pioneering innovative storytelling to build resilience skills, or boldly shattering taboos around women's health experiences, Celine's candid voice is a rallying cry. Listen to the full episode here, or read on to discover some of Celine's most inspiring insights. 

Resilience & Storytelling

A turning point for Celine was her discovery of the Resilience Framework developed by Professor Angie Hart. This practical approach translates resilience theory into actionable "resilient moves" that individuals can use to weather adversity. Celine took it a step further by integrating storytelling - her lifelong passion - into building resilience skills through "Story Led Resilient Practice."

"The stories are a rich can have an emotional reaction, relate to it, and then not necessarily speak to what you're personally going through," Celine explains. Her innovative character coaching methods empower children and young people to explore resilient choices through familiar tales.

Tackling Taboos Head-On

Perhaps Celine's most candid sharing centred on the health inequalities and taboos surrounding health experiences like menopause. Despite impacting millions, the realities of menopause symptoms like brain fog, mood changes, and lack of sleep remain heavily stigmatised in most workplaces.

"It's not funny going through the menopause," Celine stated frankly. "For some women, it can be one of the most difficult periods of their life with a devastating impact on mental health, relationships, and work."

Celine expressed disappointment that the UK government blocked efforts to make menopause a protected employment characteristic, forcing women to negotiate reasonable accommodations without policy protection. Her call is for increased open dialogue, training for managers, and eventual legislative reform to support health needs for women, and those who experience the menopause.

The Heart of Community

Through her conversation with Lucy, what shines through is Celine's grounding in community - from the original storytelling seeds planted by her parents, to the profound impact of her children and family, to her current work empowering young people and artists.

Celine's story reminds us that resilience is both an individual journey and a collective responsibility. As she shared, "You can only be resilient in so many areas...there are systems at play that can increase or lessen your resilience."

By breaking taboos, championing inclusion, and lifting each other up through our shared stories, the arts community can lead the way in creating a more equitable environment for women to thrive.

This International Women's Day, we celebrate trailblazers like Celine and commit to playing our part in building an arts sector that supports women in all their resilience, creativity, and authenticity.

Listen to the full episode

About Celine Wyatt
Celine is Head of Creative Learning at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool. She has a BA (Hons) in English and Drama with a Certificate in Education. Celine currently sits on the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Education Advisory Panel and the Edge Hill University Employability Panel. Celine has worked in theatre, cultural and education sectors and has had positions as a Teacher, Arts Officer, Youth Worker, Schools Cultural Development Officer and Creative Learning Director. She is a Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Fellow, a Common Purpose Graduate, a Trustee of Zest Academy Trust, a Member of the Royal Society of Arts Evidence Champions Network, a Member of the Member Cultural Learning Alliance, an Arts Award Adviser and a Resilient Trainer. Celine is committed to enabling children and young people to build their capacity and resilience through creative experiences and processes.

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