Meet the Nominees: Chichester Festival Theatre
- 28 October 2021
In our Meet the Nominees series, we're featuring guest blogs by five organisations that have been shortlisted for the 2021 Fantastic For Families Awards. Find out why they are fantastic for families, what motivates them and which project they've been nominated for...
We're starting off with Chichester Festival Theatre, one of the UK’s flagship theatres, renowned for the exceptionally high standard of its productions as well as its work with the community and young people. Situated in a cathedral city in West Sussex between the South Downs and the sea, the Festival Theatre’s bold thrust stage design makes it one of England’s most striking playhouses, positioned in a beautiful parkland setting.
The Chichester Festival Theatre team shared how they're committed to being fantastic for families, why their work is important to young caregivers and the positive impact it has had during the pandemic: "We pride ourselves on being a family-friendly venue - both on stage and off - and we’re always delighted to welcome our youngest visitors and their grown-ups to the Theatre, whether to watch a show, take part in a workshop, or simply to have a cuppa while using our free Wi-Fi in our family-friendly spaces. We are a proud member of the Family Arts and Age Standards and we are also a Dementia Friendly Theatre, making us a great place for the whole family to visit."
"We are delighted to have been nominated for the Audience Impact and Innovation Award 2021 for our Young Carers Connect project which provided 300 young carers with IT equipment and resources, training and ongoing support to help them become digitally literate and safe during the COVID-19 lockdown.
There are an estimated 6,000 young caregivers in West Sussex under the age of 18 who take on substantial responsibilities, providing vital care and support to their loved ones when they are themselves just children and teenagers. Due to COVID-19, many remain confined to their homes as they continue to care for vulnerable family members; they have been unable to access education or the help and support they rely on, simply because they do not own, or are unable to afford a computer or internet access.
In response, CFT launched Young Carers Connect. In just three months we raised £91,000 to reconnect West Sussex young carers with support, education and the arts. Laptops were distributed to young caregivers throughout the county in partnership with schools and West Sussex Young Carers Service. Alongside the equipment, CFT is delivering a vibrant programme of online arts activities to educate, entertain and inspire – allowing young carers to express their creativity and experience moments of joy, while also enabling them to connect with each other and build friendships in a safe environment." Chichester Festival Theatre's work has been important to so many, and it's brilliant to hear how it's helped families.
‘We cannot thank Chichester Festival Theatre and all of their kind donors enough for this amazing offer. 12 of our families will be able to access online learning at home. They will be able to complete all of their homework. Being part of the Young Carers Connect project will also enable them to take part in virtual creative activities with CFT. Most of all they will connect with other young likeminded people. What an amazing project.' Andrew Strong, Headteacher of Portfield Primary Academy, Chichester
This autumn and winter, Chichester Festival Theatre are offering some really exciting events for families including:
⭐️ Free stay and play pop-up events every week for pre-schoolers and their grown-ups ⭐️ Half term activities for 2-11 year olds and theatrical workshops for ages 8 - 12⭐️ Half price tickets for under 16s for a wide range of family friendly performances like BBC Concert Orchestra’s Family Concert, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World and Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful ⭐️ Christmas shows at CFT include Stick Man, The Nutcracker and 67 children performing in Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s vibrant musical version of Pinocchio ⭐️ Kids eat free in theit restaurants this Christmas (T&Cs apply). ⭐️ Don't forget to check out their At-Home Activities on our website.
2022 will also be a very special year as they celebrate their 60th birthday – look out for more news in early spring on their social channels! They're on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Curious about the other Fantastic for Families Awards 2021 shortlisted organisations? Check out the list, and look out for when we announce the winners on Tuesday 16 November 2021! 🎉 You can also read about Barnsley Museums, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Lakeland Arts and Oily Cart.