To coincide with Come From Away arriving in the city, Birmingham Hippodrome collaborated with Theatrical Lydia and her Pay it Forward 9/11 campaign, asking audience members to bring along items to be donated to Birmingham Central Foodbank.

The campaign was a huge success with Hippodrome audiences kindly donating over 30 bags and 6 boxes worth of items – enough to fill a six seater and eight seater taxi!

Lydia said:I’m over the moon to see that so many patrons of Birmingham Hippodrome paid kindness forward by opening their hearts and cupboards to those in need during the run of performances of Come From Away. Thank you to everyone who dropped off a food item or toiletry – you ARE an Islander!

Since watching the show for the first time in December 2019, Lydia has been inspired by the kindness shown by the Newfoundlanders and is following the UK tour of Come From Away, ‘paying it forward’ as she travels to each city. Lydia is carrying this campaign out in memory of her friend Laura Townsend, who saw the show over 150 times around the world championing its message and spreading kindness wherever she went. Laura’s wish was to follow the UK tour of Come From Away in 2024, sharing acts of kindness as she travelled but she sadly passed away last year and never got to see the tour come to fruition.

The multi award-winning musical shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers like Kevin from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives with open hearts.

Pay It Forward 9/11 was founded by real life ‘Come From Away’ Kevin Tuerff, who features in the show itself. Inspired by the kindness Kevin experienced in Newfoundland, he set up the initiative to promote kindness through individual ‘pay it forward’ actions, and the ripple effect they cause

Kevin Tuerff, Founder of Pay It Forward 9/11 said:Birmingham Hippodrome theatre patrons clearly have a heart like the people in Gander, Canada, who provided food for me when I was an unexpected refugee there on 9/11. I hope we can keep this ripple effect going strong.”

A huge thank you to everyone to all our audiences members who donated items for this campaign!