Theatre Royal Plymouth is thrilled to announce it has successfully secured a further four years of funding for its flagship community project, Our Space, from The National Lottery Community Fund, totaling £363,375.
Our Space is a creative programme, that will be celebrating 14 years next month, working with adults with lived experience of homelessness, mental health issues, substance misuse, reoffending, or those who feel socially isolated.
The programme provides individuals with regular and meaningful activity, giving their week a focus and purpose, which contributes to their recovery and rehabilitation. TRP uses drama as a tool to play, offering people opportunities to escape their reality, to re-imagine themselves and to connect with others. This enables people to develop a sense of self, to feel confident in their own skin, building resilience, teamwork and communication skills which can then be transferred into everyday life.
An Our Space participant said: “As 12-week programmes come and go, Our Space has always been there, to pick me back up and remind me that I have a life worth living.”
This funding will see further expansion and development of the programme, including community residencies in partnership with services and organisations, weekly workshops in the community and in HMP Channings Wood, annual theatre productions and further national networking and training.
In addition to this, Our Space will also be launching a new Armed Forces strand to the programme, taking the Our Space methodology and approach to work with service personnel, veterans’, and long-term wounded, injured and sick. This 10-month pilot project is funded by the Veterans’ Foundation (£20,000) and will launch in November 2023 with a show in The Drum called Battle Cry – a solo play by Matt Fox, based on the true story of a former soldier, Adam, struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The National Lottery Community Fund awards grants to strengthen society and improve lives across the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players, it will distribute at least £4 billion by 2030, supporting activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable.
Sara Rhodes, Associate Director at TRP, said: “We are thrilled to have secured such a significant amount of funding to expand the Our Space programme over the next four years. The longevity of this programme has enabled life-changing transformations in our community, recognising that recovery and rehabilitation are ongoing. Our Space has been that consistency for people over the years as a complimentary, creative outlet and we are excited to be able to provide more creative opportunities in the years ahead.”
More information about Our Space can be found at theatreroyal.com/take-part/adults-and-communities/#our-space