Just before Christmas, we were awarded DCMS funding to help cover overheads, pay salaries and support adult learning. By being #HereForCulture, we aren’t just supporting the people in the industry, we’re also supporting communities across the country. Here’s just a few of our community highlights over the Christmas period.
The FEST Norwood team put together a whole host of activities throughout December, including Christmas crafts with Jennifer Nettles. 50 packs of craft materials were sent out to local families using the Foodbank, where they could follow along with instructional videos created by Jenn and shared on YouTube.
Another highlight over Christmas would have been our Narnia Grotto where we had planned two days of an immersive, magical walk through a winter Wonderland Grotto with Santa and Friends. When we were placed into Tier 4 quite suddenly, we quickly adapted. Ten volunteers wrapped presents which were then bagged up according to age and sent out to named families. Over 40 children under the age of 10 received a bag of wonderful gifts and treats, while the remainder were delivered to the Foodbank. Over 250 presents went out to families in total. We were lucky that Santa decided to make a pit stop in West Norwood, where he recorded some personalised messages that went out to the families via Youtube.
We also managed to squeeze in a community performance of Grimm Tales before London went into lockdown yet again. We welcomed a number of local foster families to a free extra show. For some of the children it was their first visit to the theatre and their response to the performance and whole experience was a delight. We’re glad to have introduced them to the magic of theatre, and we’re grateful to Jo Boniface and her lovely cast for going that extra mile.
Throughout December, we raised a total of £982 for the Norwood & Brixton Foodbank via our Grimm Tales performances and The Masked Singer Christmas Charity Single. Our rehearsed reading of ‘Sheltered’ also helped us raise £707 for Crisis. All donations have now been passed on the to the charities, and we’d like to say a massive THANK YOU for your kindness and generosity towards these very worthy causes