The Big Give Champions for Children Challenge
The Lyric is taking part in the Big Give Champions for Children Challenge, a matched funding campaign where any donations, big or small, made between Midday 23 June – Midday 30 June on the Big Give website will be DOUBLED. Launched by The Childhood Trust, the Champions for Children Challenge supports charities that work with vulnerable children and young people across London whose lives have been impacted by the current pandemic.
Why are we taking part?
Supporting young people in our community is at the heart of the Lyric’s mission. Despite pockets of wealth, West London suffers deep inequalities. Through creative drama programmes, we support some of the most vulnerable young people including those experiencing unemployment, struggling with education, social isolation, are newly arrived, children in care or youth offenders.
On 17 March the Lyric was forced to close due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and as a consequence many of our programmes were suspended. Overnight we lost the majority of our income. This period of lockdown is detrimental to the already vulnerable status of the young people we support and is deepening inequalities.
We are still working despite being closed. Whilst our key workers have been looking after us, we have been supporting their children to have a creative outlet for their challenges and concerns. We have prioritised those in need during this crisis, a vital part of our civic role in our community. We know that the skills we cultivate through the arts, including creativity, communication and mental wellbeing, will be important to young people as they emerge from a period of lockdown that is taking its toll on those most in need. We believe that good society looks after one another, and that by supporting young people, we are supporting a better future for all.
But we need your help now to reopen so that we can do even better work in the future.
We have a large target of £40,000 which will help us ensure that when the lockdown eases, we have the funds to reopen our beautiful theatre to those in need and continue to:
- Support the most vulnerable young people in our community
- Ensure all children have equal access to arts education
- Promote the next generation of talent no matter their background
Click here to make a donation from Midday 23 June – Midday 30 June, or help us to spread the word by sharing our social media updates using the hashtag #LyricHammersmithBigGive. From everyone at the Lyric and it’s community of young people, thank you for your support.
How have we been supporting the children of key workers?
We have been working hard to give vulnerable young people a creative outlet to help cope with the lockdown. Combining our work in education and with emerging artists, last month we launched a new playwriting project for keyworkers children that attend schools in our home borough. Led by award-winning playwright Simon Stephens, teachers across the borough were invited to participate in the free project, designed to unlock the imagination and develop creative writing skills.
Since then, dozens of children have worked together to create characters and monologues, which have been performed and recorded by members of the Lyric Ensemble – a training programme which supports young actors not matter their background, to take their first steps towards a career in performing arts. The project has enabled the children to reduce their feelings of isolation and turn their challenges into high quality art work that they can keep and be proud of.
Watch one of the films created by them here. Written by keyworkers children from Queensmill Primary School and performed by Pascale Kann.
“It’s such a simple but brilliant idea. Once the children see their writing come to life I am sure they will be gobsmacked. What an inspirational vehicle to get children writing.” Teacher feedback