Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch receives further funding for digital workshops from Clarion Futures

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is delighted to announce that it has received further funding from Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, to reinstate its offering of two strands of free digital classes for the next six weeks. In addition, Clarion Futures is funding six weeks of weekly telephone based workshops. The classes are aimed at connecting our shared community from their own homes while in lock-down, streaming live from the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch Facebook page each week and via conference calls. Clarion Futures funded six weeks of workshops last summer and these proved to be hugely beneficial in bringing focus and positive engagement to people of all ages, racking up 27,000 views from 1,700 individual households. Participants stated that ‘Everyone needs dance right now for their mental and health wellbeing - thank you’ and ‘We’ve been safe at home for 17 weeks now and this means so much to [my husband] and I.’ Thanks to the funding received from Clarion Futures, the digital sessions will run for six weeks beginning Tuesday 6 April. Previous sessions are also available to catch-up via the Theatre’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Dance workouts will be hosted by Choreographer and Movement Director Sundeep Saini from her living room every Tuesday at 11am, with a brand new routine to try each week. These sessions will be delivered seated to support access and mobility needs, subtitled, and audio described in delivery. Each session goes live on the Theatre’s Facebook and YouTube pages at 11am on a Tuesday. Musical theatre sing-a-long’s return with local musician and Musical Director Andrew Linham every Thursday at 11am, (additionally supported by Ardleigh Green Learning Federation). Andrew will lead a warm up session followed by the chance to learn a classic musical theatre number each week. In addition, non-digital telephone based workshops are being introduced on Wednesdays at 11am. Tiny Telephone Plays is an extension of a hugely successful initiative the Theatre ran online last summer and reimagined this January for people without access to the internet. Sessions will offer a playful introduction to storytelling and playmaking activities designed to help unleash creativity led by established Theatre Director Jules Tipton and will be exclusively for residents of Orchard Village and Passive Close in Rainham, Essex. Clarion Futures has previously funded the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s participation work though regular dance and drama workshops at the Orchard Village estate. Clarion Futures is also a member of the Havering Changing consortium, a partnership of 8 local organisations that will seek radical new ideas to engage local communities in arts and culture, support local decision makers and share learnings, led by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. The digital classes and telephone based workshops have been made possible thanks to a grant from Clarion Futures’ Emergency Support Fund which has been created to offer direct financial support to some of its longstanding partners during the coronavirus outbreak. James Watson, Head of Learning and Participation at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, said ‘We are so excited to be back, live in your living room and hoping to spread a little joy during this difficult and isolated period. We regularly hear from participants how important this digital and non-digital content has been in supporting positive wellbeing and social connection and remain incredibly grateful for the funding partnership with Clarion Futures that is enabling such valuable activity to continue.’ Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures, said: ‘Initiatives like this one run by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch are so important in terms of keeping communities connected at the moment. We’re delighted to be building on our partnership and funding these new sessions which we hope will help improve the mental and physical wellbeing of local people.’

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