A Theatre Trip for Every Child, Lewisham is a pioneering pay-it-forward scheme for individuals and local businesses. The campaign is simple – every £10 raised means that a Year 1 student from a local student can come to our theatre for free. Since its launch in 2017, Every Child has provided over 5,000 free theatre tickets to 5 and 6 year olds in Lewisham. This is a testament to our working relationships with local schools, and to the support and generosity of our local community.
When we launched the campaign we were supported by an Explore and Test grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and worked in partnership with our sister arts centre Arc in Stockton, who ran a parallel campaign. We were overwhelmed with the support we received from local people and Lewisham-based businesses, connections that we are proud to continue into the future.
The campaign inspired staff members to set themselves huge fundraising challenges, and, most recently, four brilliant friends of the Albany raised £1,000 by running the Vitality Big Half Marathon. In lockdown, Every Child went online, with 1,916 children and families taking a trip to the freezing arctic to stream our Christmas show.
‘Every Child’ enables businesses and individuals to give a local child the chance to experience the magic of theatre. The campaign centres on the belief that every child should have the opportunity to benefit from early access to the arts, and that this access contributes significantly to childhood development. The need to provide this access for free will only intensify in the coming years, with budgets squeezed and arts provision cut from schools.
If you would like to talk to us more about Every Child and how you can help, email Hayley Murphy, Head of Development at the Albany.
‘I am a passionate supporter of the arts and I am supporting A Theatre Trip For Every Child because we need to ensure all young people in Lewisham – no matter what their background – achieve their full potential and thrive. Access to the arts at a young age increases confidence and helps children develop creative and social skills, giving them a solid foundation for the brightest possible future.’ Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham
The campaign is supported by our brilliant patrons – Noma Dumezweni and Jude Law.
Top images shows children from Tidemill Academy in the Albany theatre, helping us make a film about the Every Child campaign.