New Vic Theatre auditorium. Credit Andrew Billington

DONATIONS TO MUCH-LOVED THEATRE CHARITY WILL BE DOUBLED BY A NEW FUND FOR ONE WEEK ONLY

Newcastle-under-Lyme’s New Vic Theatre is taking part in The Big Give this month, from 19 – 26 March, and donations made to the theatre during the week will be matched pound for pound thanks to an organisation aiming to increase arts activity for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.  

The theatre is aiming to raise £20,000 for its transformative theatre and mental health project, Next Chapter. Supporters are encouraged to donate to support the innovative community initiative online through The Big Give’s website, where any donations made during the week will be doubled thanks to support from Arts Council England, through StokeCreates.

The Big Give is the UK’s leading match funding charity, helping to double the difference that donations make for organisations. This year, they are supporting the New Vic to help make a positive difference to people whose lives have been affected by mental health issues.

During The Big Give the New Vic will be raising money for the Next Chapter Project, led by New Vic Borderlines. Supporting people who are dealing with adult mental health issues, including the challenges of addiction and homelessness, participants of the Next Chapter project will engage in arts-based activities designed to raise their confidence and aspirations and use the power of theatre to find their voice – both to portray their experiences in a safe environment and to tackle mental health challenges head on.

Around 17% of people in our communities are living with a mental illness. This can often lead to high levels of economic inactivity and high mortality rates from premature death due to addiction and suicide. New Vic BorderlinesNext Chapter project is a vital initiative that supports people in need, aiming to have a huge positive impact on the participants, the people around them and their wider communities.

Existing Next Chapter participant, Colin, whose mental health was affected badly by the Covid-19 pandemic, said: “The Next Chapter project has been lifesaving. It’s become my safe place; somewhere I can be myself and take the mask off that I normally wear around others so they can’t see how much mental health affects me… There’s no judgement.”

Every donation made during the week of 19 – 26 March will be doubled by The Big Give, meaning every £1 committed in support of the scheme will have twice the impact.

For more information, and to make a donation, visit The Big Give’s website at www.bit.ly/NewVicDonate between 19 – 26 March.

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