Ealing’s leading grant giver supporting children and young people has revealed that 22% of all 16-24 year olds would never had seen a Christmas show or pantomime if it were not through their school.
With many schools in Ealing facing budget cuts, the opportunity to go on school trips and outings including going to the theatre has been reduced over recent years. John Lyon’s Charity is stepping in and says it wants to help ensure children are given the opportunity to enjoy theatre.
Earlier this year, The Sutton Trust revealed that 50% of schools from the most disadvantaged communities were being forced to cut back on trips and outings, compared to 21% last year.
John Lyon’s is encouraging schools across Ealing to apply for funding so that even more children can benefit from a visit to the theatre.
Through its Cultural Capital Fund, John Lyon’s Charity funds theatre trips and other cultural opportunities for state schools in North and West London including Ealing.
Wayne Bate, assistant headteacher at Gifford Primary School in Northolt said of the support it received: “Funding from John Lyon’s Charity’s Cultural Capital Fund enabled our Year 6 pupils to attend the theatre production of Wicked. The impact of this experience on our students, particularly those from deprived areas, was truly remarkable.”
Mr Bate added: “I conducted an assembly and asked the pupils to raise their hands if they had previously attended a West End musical and was astounded to find that less than 10 pupils out of 123 raised their hands. Gifford Primary School is immensely grateful for this funding as external
theatre trips and outings are becoming more and more difficult due to drastic budget cuts.”
Dr Lynne Guyton, CEO of John Lyon’s Charity said: “With ongoing budget cuts coupled with the Cost of Living crisis, it is no surprise that schools are feeling the financial squeeze and having to cut experiential activities like trips and theatre visits. We created the Cultural Capital Fund because we believe that everyone is entitled to experience the beauty of theatre.”
Dr Guyton added: “Starting a theatre-going habit for children will ensure diverse audiences for the future and not just the privileged few. The Cultural Capital Fund is, and always will be, about equity in cultural capital for all children and young people. We want to remind schools that through our Cultural Capital Fund, we can help give students an opportunity to experience.”
To find out more about funding John Lyon’s Charity can offer to schools, click here.