St Basils works with young people aged 16 – 25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and the Beginning Backstage initiative will offer some of the vulnerable young people St Basils supports an opportunity to gain hands on experience and develop vital skills to boost their future employment prospects. The REP is one of the UK’s leading producing theatres and this new project will enable young people to develop specialist and highly sought-after technical skills in backstage areas at the venue such as lighting, sound and stage management.
In order to raise funds for this scheme to happen, The REP are taking part in the annual Big Give Christmas Challenge – a national fundraising initiative that allows charities to raise vital funds for new projects and provides invaluable match funding by doubling all donations. Last year the challenge raised an incredible £13.3 million for UK charities.
Alex Summers, Director of Learning and Participation at Birmingham Repertory Theatre said:
“Beginning Backstage is a potentially life-changing opportunity that will offer young people the chance to forge lasting friendships, grow in confidence and gain vital skills for the workplace. The REP hopes it will raise participant’s aspirations and lead to other opportunities such as further training or employment. It will only happen though if enough people are generous and donate during the Big Give Christmas Challenge.”
Jean Templeton, St Basils Chief Executive said:
“We are excited about working with The REP on developing ‘Beginning Backstage’ which will engage our young people, allowing them to feel valued, cared for and invested in as well as helping them develop the skills to move forward and into employment. It takes a whole city to bring up a young person so please give to The Big Give Christmas Challenge”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said:
“The Beginning Backstage project is a fantastic example of how we can help young people at risk of homelessness in our city. Please support The REP and St Basils through their Big Give Christmas Challenge and together we can make a difference.”
In order to make this important project happen, The REP and St Basils are asking individuals and local businesses to donate online at bit.ly/REPBigGive19 between 3 – 10 December. During this time all donations will be DOUBLED, meaning one donation has twice the impact.
The total fundraising target for the Beginning Backstage project is £5100, which will be doubled through the Big Give Christmas Challenge to £10,200. Birmingham businesses that have already pledged their support include Pertemps, Hortons Estate, Pinsent Masons and BHSF.