The Lowry Christmas Appeal

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THE Lowry Christmas Appeal are looking for your help to support Children in Care and Care Leavers in Salford, through their project that could give our most vulnerable opportunities in the arts.

Every Christmas for over six years, The Lowry Christmas Appeal raises money to work with a targeted group of people the following year in projects to give the most venerable of our communities in Salford a chance to get involved in the arts.

The appeal projects work with 35,000 people from the local community.

This year, the appeal is aiming to raise £20,000 to be able to work and provide projects and activities for children who are in care or recently left the care system.

Gwen Oakden, Director of Development and Fundraising, said: “Work with young people is at the heart of everything we do at the Lowry, our mission is to make art accessible to all, and to try to encourage future generations to feel like the arts is for them.

“We love working with young people, it’s fun, they teach us as much as we teach them”

The projects are integrated across the whole organisation at the Lowry, but it initially led by the learning engagement team.

Departments across the whole organisation do get involved through placements with the projects.

The projects focus quite a lot on visual arts, performing arts and film meaning the young people will spend some time with the Lowry’s marketing teams, fundraising teams, technical teams.

Through this, the young people can be eligible to win The Arts Award –   a nationally recognised award, adding to their educational skills and achievements.

As the young people involved in these projects decide on what they would like to do most during the time at The Lowry, it is still undecided as to what we can expect to see from our young people in the coming months.

One of the most successful outcomes of one the Christmas Appeal projects, was in 2013, the project with young parents made them able to produce and publish a book called The Hedgehog and the Hoglet.

With support from best-selling author Terry Dreary, the books content was created by young parents with their children to raise awareness about what young parents go through.

The book was aimed at pre-school children and was available to buy from Amazon and The Lowry’s gift shop on September, 24th 2013.

Currently, the production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on at the Lowry from the 7th December to 15th January, featuring Jason Manford as Caractacus Potts. Manford is a long-standing supporter of the Lowry and the work they do with young people.

Gwen also said: “The cast and production team behind Chitty have been so supportive of the appeal, when we do collections it helps so much when cast members give on-stage announcements, it really helps raise the awareness.

“The amounts we collect go up a lot when we are able to do that. We are hoping to smash the target to be honest.”

In terms of funding for the project, The Lowry is a registered charity and non-profit organisation, meaning all the funding going in is put back into their work through these projects.

It receives 6% of its overall income from public sources, which is very low, thus they heavily rely on fundraising for the rest of the money to be able to upkeep and run the projects.

They also work with companies, corporate sponsors, trusts and foundations which also donate funds.

This year’s The Lowry Christmas Appeal launched in mid-November and the volunteer force of the project will be collecting outside theatres until the second week in January.

You can also donate online. Here is a link to the website: http://www.thelowry.com/support-us/christmas-appeal/welcome/

Quays News spoke to Gwen Oakden about the Lowry Christmas Appeal:

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