We're thrilled to announce we have hit our fundraising target and raised over £8,700 for our Panto Pay It Forwards appeal.
This winter marked the first year of our appeal which helps raise funds so that those most in need in the community can enjoy our fabulous pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk. We have worked with local partners including schools, social prescribers and third sector organisations to identify those who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience the magic of panto.
With generous donations from the local community, the Gordon Palmer Memorial Trust and Berkshire Freemasonry, we have been able to offer places for 530 people who have either never been or would not otherwise been able to attend the pantomime, including applications from eight schools to support 317 children on Pupil Premium. We received nominations supporting a further 213 tickets for individuals, groups and families from the following community organisations; Berkshire Vision, Diamond Quality Care, 8 Bells for Mental Health, Two Saints, Home Start, Cost of Living Support Hub, Citizen’s Advice, Thatcham Family Support Hub, Educafe, Young Carers and Berkshire Sensory Consortium. We have also been able to give tickets to members of the Ukrainian community, with nominations from friends and host families.
Hannah Elder, Engagement Manager at Corn Exchange Newbury, commented, 'Thanks to the generosity of local people, the Gordon Palmer Memorial Trust and Berkshire Freemasonry, we have been able to support over 500 children, families and community groups across the region to join us for the pantomime this Christmas, who would not otherwise have been able to attend. Working in partnership with local schools and charities, it’s been wonderful to offer places to groups such as Berkshire Vision, Home Start and Two Saints among many more. To share the excitement of live performance at Christmas is something that everyone should be able to enjoy and Pay it Forwards has made this possible.'
A staff member from one of the participating primary schools also commented, 'It meant that children who would not normally have had access to an experience like going to the theatre were able to come and join us. We could celebrate as a community and no child felt that they had been left out or that it was an experience that they couldn’t quite afford.'
Jack and the Beanstalk is written and directed by Plested, Brown and Wilsher Pantomime, comprising of Clare Plested, Adam Brown and Amanda Wilsher. They have had Newbury audiences in stitches for the past three years with their fresh takes on the traditional pantomime stories Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and Cinderella. Jack and the Beanstalk runs until 31 December 2022.