Birmingham Hippodrome has raised over £34,000 as part of its annual festive fundraising campaign, The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2023. The match funding campaign doubled all online donations between Tuesday 28 November and Tuesday 5 December.

An ambitious target of £30,000 was set to provide every Special Educational Needs (SEN) school in Birmingham with access to theatre. The Hippodrome will support all 28 SEN schools by providing tickets for their students to come to a Relaxed Performance. The funds raised will also increase the number of Relaxed Performances offered across the Hippodrome’s stages.

Relaxed Performances encourage an atmosphere where everyone feels safe and able to react to a show as they wish. Attendees are welcome to walk in and out of the auditorium as they please and utilise calm spaces nearby with beanbags and sensory lights. Certain aspects of staging are also adapted to suit the audience, including the reduction of bright lights and loud noises, with the house lights kept on so the auditorium is not completely dark.

Judith Greenburgh, Head of Fundraising and Development at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “A huge thank you to everyone who generously donated towards our fundraising campaign – we would not have been able to reach our ambitious target without you! Your money will give 6,000 people the chance to experience theatre in a welcoming and comfortable environment, making a positive impact on their wellbeing.

“We look forward to supporting Birmingham’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools and facilitating more Relaxed Performances in the future.”