Celebrity support for schools theatre campaign

Hugh Dennis supports Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s Big Give Christmas Challenge appeal.

Shakespeare Schools Foundation is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, from 3rd-10th December, with a campaign fronted by comedian and actor Hugh Dennis, apPatron of the charity. All donations made during this week will help SSF empower more children from disadvantaged backgrounds with the confidence they need to succeed.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is a match-fundraising appeal, meaning that any donations made to the charity during this time will be doubled.

SSF will then be able to give more children from disadvantaged areas the thrilling experience of performing on a professional stage in front of an audience, as part of the charity’s flagship project – Shakespeare Schools Festival.

Hugh Dennis says, “Shakespeare Schools Foundation helps children right across the UK to find their own voice and gain the confidence they need for life. Their work makes children more resilient, better problem solvers and better team players, all while having an experience they’ll remember forever.”

A video fronted by Hugh Dennis explaining SSF’s work is available to watch on the charity’s website

SSF has set an ambitious target of raising £60,000 through the Big Give Christmas Challenge to support its work in 2020, when the charity celebrates its 20th anniversary year of helping young people gain the confidence and resilience they need to tackle whatever challenges life holds.

Donations to the charity will transform young lives in places like inner-city Birmingham, an area of the UK with one of the highest levels of disadvantage.

Kabeera, 14, took part in Shakespeare Schools Festival 2019. She said, “We decided to set Othello where we live in Birmingham. We wanted to present the story in a way that is relevant to us. It’s helped us face up to the reality of gang violence, and it shows the world what is happening to us. I think drama is so important. It enables everyone to be themselves and not hide.”

Shakespeare Schools Foundation works with every type of school, including primary, secondary, special schools and Pupil Referral Units, in every nation and region of the UK. In 2019, over a third of the schools the charity worked with were in the top 30% of most deprived areas of the UK.

With match funding, a donation of £30 becomes £60, which could give one young person from a disadvantaged area the opportunity to take part in the 2020 Festival. A donation of £120 becomes £240, which could help a school in one of the UK’s most disadvantaged areas take part in the 2020 Festival. A donation of £600 becomes £1,200 – supporting a whole night of performances during the 2020 Festival.

Last year, the charity won first place in the Big Give Christmas Challenge Awards following a successful appeal. This year, SSF aims to build on that success enabling many more lives to be transformed.

Ruth Brock, Chief Executive of Shakespeare Schools Foundation said: “As a charity, we are dedicated to providing a unique cultural experience to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity. With schools facing acute financial pressures, your support will enable us to ensure more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to the arts and their life changing impact.”

To find out how you can make a donation, visit here.