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Circus Trans Formation

Social Circus is one of the most significant developments in the world of circus in the past twenty years. The impact of circus learning and participation on marginalised and at risk young people has been witnessed by circus trainers, youth workers, social workers and young people themselves. Caravan members have been developing a training for trainers programme to be delivered in 8 organisations across the EU. To find out more please go to the link below

Circus Trans Formation Outline


In 2007 Belfast Community Circus School became a founder member of Caravan – a federation for European Youth Circus organisations with a shared commitment to advancing the impact of youth circus in a European context. The aim of the Caravan project is to promote the opportunity to bring together young people and their youth workers from around Europe, to build on a shared interest in developing social inclusion and active participation of young people from across Europe within the context of a cultural project, designed to enhance connections and promote personal development as well as supporting best practice. You can find more details about Caravan on our website Visit

The CARAVAN member schools are:

  • Belfast Community Circus
  • Amsterdam (The Netherlands): Circus Elleboog
  • Brussels (Belgium): Ecole de Cirque de Bruxelles
  • Luxembourg (Luxembourg): Zaltimbanq’
  • Paris/Bagneux (France): Le Plus Petit Cirque du Monde
  • Tampere (Finland): Sorin Sirkus
  • Berlin (Germany): Circus Kabuwazi (former member)
  • Barcelona (Spain): Ateneu Popular Nou Barris (joined 2010)
  • Bucharest (Romania):PARADA Foundation (joined 2010)

BCCS has a twenty three year history of involvement in the international arena of youth circus being developed as a tool for youth work and as a catalyst for bringing together young people from different backgrounds. From the darkest days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, when BCCS used circus to bring together young people from Catholic and Protestant traditions, through to the current situation with growing numbers of ethnic minorities, when BCCS has used circus as a tool for engaging young people from diverse communities, the organisation has always had a commitment to using circus to break down barriers and to explore commonality and difference in a non-threatening environment. The Caravan project has been made possible with funding from Youth in Action, Leonardo and the British Council.

Caravan exchange in Belfast April 2009

Caravan projects that our Youth Circus participants have taken part in

In July 2011 four Youth Circus children and two of our tutors participated in the Caravan Exchange held in Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

In the summer of 2009 Belfast Circus School hosted an international Youth Circus exchange project called Caravan of Creativity, which involved talented young people from Paris, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Tampere and Belfast. 28 young people and eight leading European circus professionals combined forces in a programme supported by the European Union’s Youth In Action programme. This highly motivated group came together in Belfast to learn about each other’s cultures at the same time as perfecting their circus technique and creating a brand new circus show, which appeared in the Summer Sundays programme.

Youth Exchange 2009 in Belfast Circus School from Northern Visions/NvTv on Vimeo

In 2008 five Youth Circus participants were sent to Paris, France to participate in a Caravan Exchange which focused on citizenship and intercultural dialogue.