Darlington Hippodrome’s charitable fund, managed by the County Durham Community Foundation, was originally set up to support the refurbishment of the theatre and is now used to support a range of community outreach and education activities. The Hippodrome’s main campaign for 2019 is ‘A Place for Everyone’.
The aim of the new project is to remove the barriers to participation for individuals and families within Darlington who may not have the financial means or support networks to visit the Hippodrome and see a show.
Working in partnership with various bodies and organisations Darlington Hippodrome will identify vulnerable members on the edges of the community such as children in care/at the risk of being taken into care, low-income families, older residents at risk of isolation, and people facing social, physical and mental health challenges who would benefit from participating in a shared cultural experience.
Darlington Hippodrome’s ambition is for the project to act as a gateway for participants into other areas of the theatre and increase involvement in wider social and cultural activities, for example: joining the Hippodrome’s Youth Theatre and Dance programme with the aid of bursaries; attending the ‘silver’ group – Pepi’s People or attending activities in one of Darlington’s other cultural venues.
Current supporters of the new initiative include The Thirteen Group, Creative Darlington, Darlington Borough Council – Commissioning, Performance and Transformation, Darlington For Culture, Bella Italia (food partner), LNER (transport partner).