Play to the Crowd’s Survival Fundraising Appeal hits milestone!

August 12, 2020

The Survival Fundraising Appeal of Play to the Crowd – the arts and education charity which runs Theatre Royal Winchester, Hat Fair and Playmakers – has hit a key milestone this week, reaching £150,000. The charity needs to raise a total of £225,000 by September in order to survive beyond the Covid crisis.

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive, comments ‘We’ve been overwhelmed with our community’s generosity and support so far. To have raised two thirds of the total we need in just over 5 weeks is truly extraordinary. We’ve still got a long way to go and the small team currently working, together with our Board of Trustees, are working flat out to secure the last £75,000.

This is an incredibly difficult time for us as a charity. Last week, following a period of consultation, we have regrettably made 25% of our core team redundant. This has been a heart-breaking process, however it is a very sad reality that we need to downsize our operations and remodel our staff structure for us to be able to continue to operate. All remaining staff have also mutually agreed to a pay cut to further reduce our costs going forward. These measures, along with a successful Survival Appeal, should enable us to trade sustainably beyond October when the furlough scheme ends.

Details have now been released as to how to apply for the DCMS Cultural Recovery Fund – the £1.57 billion support package announced by the government. Arts Council England will be administrating this fund and have been given £500 million to distribute for the arts. We will be making an application to manage ongoing risks and uncertainties around Covid 19 and any further impact for theatres and the arts, however, these funds need to stretch across a vast number of organisations and there is no guarantee that we will be successful in our application. The timeline does not help us in our Survival Appeal (applicants will be informed by 5 October) so we are full steam ahead in trying to achieve that ourselves.

We’ve reached the milestone of £150,000 – with online and offline donations- and just need to raise the final £75,000. We know it’s tough out there but if you are able to make a donation – whatever the size – we will be extremely grateful.

We are absolutely determined to survive this. Live performance and creative participation are absolutely vital to so many people’s well-being and positive mental health and beyond this crisis as a society we will need these activities more than ever.’

Donations to Play to the Crowd’s Survival Appeal can be made via its Crowdfunder page, via cheque (made payable to Play to the Crowd) and sent to Theatre Royal Winchester, Jewry Street, SO23 8SB or call Theatre Royal Winchester’s Box Office on 01962 840 440. For further information contact Becca Moore, Fundraising Manager on [email protected]

In order to help raise funds the theatre’s Cafe Bar has reopened, opening Monday to Saturday 10am – 3pm. An outdoor seating area has been created on Tower Street and Covid secure measures have been put in place. The Cafe Bar is also taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – Monday to Wednesdays in August.