Birmingham Hippodrome has launched a festive fundraising campaign today, aiming to raise £20,000 in just one week to bring confidence and creativity back to young people after the impact of COVID-19.
To achieve this ambitious target, the theatre has joined The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge 2020 campaign, which will see all donations doubled for just seven days from midday on Tuesday 1 December.
The donations raised will support the Hippodrome Education Network (HEN), which gives disadvantaged and vulnerable young people aged 5-19 from Birmingham and the West Midlands the chance to experience high quality arts and culture on a weekly basis.
To support post COVID-19 recovery in schools, the HEN team have been working in 28 primary, secondary and SEN schools each week since September. The team have worked with teachers to adapt and deliver a programme focused on wellbeing, building resilience and confidence in young people in the wake of disrupted education.
Zaylie-Dawn Wilson, Head of Learning & Participation at Birmingham Hippodrome commented: “A recent Young Minds report found 81% of young people felt the crisis had led to a deterioration of their mental health and 58% felt unsure about their futures. The pandemic has eroded confidence, taken away schooling, friends, family, safe spaces and access to the arts.
Raising £20,000 will allow us to work with 5,000 young people to deliver wellbeing and confidence workshops, digital masterclasses and careers insights in schools and to build young people back up, enabling them to develop skills and give them a voice to reimagine their future.”
James Christie, a teacher at Greenholm Primary School which is part of the Hippodrome Education Network added: “In ordinary times, our students benefit hugely from working alongside a dedicated Learning Artist from Birmingham Hippodrome, boosting their confidence and self-esteem, learning new skills and giving every child in the school a chance to shine across the year.
In these more unusual times, we have been extremely fortunate to still have their involvement, meaning the children haven’t had to experience a ‘scaled back curriculum’. This has given some sense of normality for them and a chance to escape, if only once a week, the constant reminders of the changes COVID-19 has brought to their lives.”
As an independent charity, Birmingham Hippodrome relies on regular support from charitable donations and sponsorship to deliver the Hippodrome Education Network programme.
Judith Greenburgh, Head of Fundraising and Development at Birmingham Hippodrome concluded: “As a charity, fundraising support is vital to help us to continue our work with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. Just £10 in donations that is matched by The Big Give means two young people can participate in a workshop with our Learning Artists in school. A £50 donation that is matched by The Big Give means a whole class can participate, so every donation truly matters.
With every donation having double the impact, your support will make a difference for at least 5,000 young people from Birmingham and the West Midlands enjoying 10,000 creative opportunities this academic year.”
Donations for the campaign can be made online only from midday on Tuesday 1 December until Tuesday 8 December. You can donate here when the campaign goes live.