A theatre’s project which tackles loneliness and isolation in Coventry and Warwickshire’s older community is expanding following a four-figure donation.
Thanks to a £1,992.60 donation made by accountants firm Harrison Beale & Owen (HB&O) via the Heart of England Community Foundation, the Albany Theatre Trust is extending its initiative to bring the arts to older people who cannot get out and about in the community.
The donation will allow the hosting of taster sessions, staff training and transport for participants.
Claudette Bryanston, artistic director at The Albany Theatre Trust, is thrilled that the work, which is going ahead in partnership with the Belgrade Theatre, can continue to build on its success.
She said: “Everyone at the theatre would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Harrison Beale & Owen for this wonderful donation.
“We have already run some workshops with older people at the Extra Care home behind our theatre and they have been very successful.
“This money will be used to take those workshops out into the community as we have had interest from other local homes.
“We will also organise trips for older people to come to the theatre to see shows that they wouldn’t usually be able to see, putting on transport where necessary.”
The project from the theatre was brought to the attention of HB&O by grant-making charity, the Heart of England Community Foundation.
The Foundation shortlisted applications for grants and presented them to the firm’s charity committee, and they selected the theatre as one of the recipients.
All of the money was raised through a number of fundraising events for HB&O staff to get involved with, including a quiz night, golf day, a go karting event and even contributing their last hour’s pay.
Craig Payne, trainee chartered accountant at HB&O and chairman of its charity committee, said: “When we were looking at where the money would be distributed this year, we as a committee decided we would donate it to projects specifically for older people.
“The Heart of England Community Foundation did a fantastic job in finding us some great local projects to support, one of which was the scheme from The Albany Theatre.
“It is initiatives like the one from the theatre that is helping to change the lives of older people for the better.
“As a firm with an office in the heart of Coventry, HB&O strives to offer help within the local community, so we are extremely pleased that The Albany Theatre is being put to good use to make a difference to lives.”