Can you help The Roses recover and thrive?
Over the last 45 years The Roses has been the centre of culture in Tewkesbury. We are the largest cultural organisation - and only theatre – in the borough, and one of the largest employers on the high street. Run by 17 staff and over 100 volunteers, in normal times we welcome over 80,000 visitors per year and are a much-loved community centre that provides a space for people to find joy and creativity. Without us, thousands of people will be deprived of access to live theatre, live dance, live music, film and denied participation in projects for their cultural enrichment and wellbeing.
Our staff have been working tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the pandemic: over the last 12 months we’ve financially supported local artists and creative practitioners; we launched our Feel Good Festival, with over 300 people taking part in a series of free creative and wellbeing workshops that built new skills and connected the community during lockdown; and commissioned and staged a wonderful two-man Christmas show that we are hoping to turn into our first ever self-produced touring show. None of this would have happened without your generous support, and we are hugely grateful to all our donors.
Why we matter
As well as the eclectic mix of theatre, music, dance, talks and a nationally renowned independent film programme you see on our stage, we are nationally recognised for our participatory work with our local community and young people with a focus on creative skills and wellbeing. We host weekly and monthly creative groups including a writers group and a choir; plus knitting and painters groups, all providing vital social and creative activities every month to over 200 older people. We've also worked with many other organisations over the years, specialising in projects that reach marginalised communities.
This year we will launch a new participatory department and a new group for 8 – 25 year olds that will provide a range of opportunities to learn performance, theatre-making, film making, gaming and backstage skills, and provide Arts Awards. We also been selected by the British Film Institute as a member of the Young Audience Generator Scheme, and have been awarded a grant to work with 16-30 year olds to improve our programme, branding and venue to be more accessible and usable for young people.
Why we need your help
Due to impact of Covid-19 and the unprecedented events of the last year, our future is uncertain. The Government’s recently published roadmap, outlining steps to emerge from lockdown, means that we will be able to reopen on 17 May. In addition, the roadmap sets out that social distancing measures will be in place until at least 21 June. However, the impact on these timings on theatre means that we have a limited programme in place until at least September.
This means that, while we can hopefully reopen safely in mid-May, we will continue to operate with a reduced capacity and income for at least 4 months. Managing and maintaining our building throughout another 4 months of closure will further decimate our income, and will severely threaten our ability to launch our community programme, our work with young people and stage our fabulous panto.
How you can help
In order to regrow, The Roses needs to raise an extra £60,000. By donating you will directly contribute to restarting our community and participatory work, like re-establishing our weekly sessions for older people crucial to preventing social isolation or helping young people, who have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, to build new creative skills. It will also help us stage our renowned Pantomime that we were devastated to have to postpone from 2020.
Whatever you can give, every penny will have a big impact and our beloved theatre thrive. You can also help by sharing our campaign on social media with #RegrowTheRoses.