Dozens of disadvantaged children enjoy pantomime at Royal & Derngate after fund-raising

Royal & Derngate in Northampton
Royal & Derngate in Northampton

More than 250 disadvantaged children were able to go to the Royal & Derngate in Northampton thanks to the generosity of theatregoers.

The Unforgettable Gift campaign was run by the theatre over the the Christmas period, in conjunction with Northamptonshire Communuty Foundation and Lamport Hall's Sir Gyles Isham's Young People in Theatre Award.

It aims to give youngsters, either at risk or living in poverty, the chance to experience theatre for the first time.

One of the groups that benefited from the scheme this year was the Springs Family Centre who brought a group of children to see the pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.

After the performance, Clive Ireson, development manager of the Springs Family Centre, said: “The kids had a great time! A lot of them have never been to the theatre before or ever seen a pantomime, so it’s given them something really special to remember this Christmas.”

Other community groups that enjoyed outings to see either Jack in the Beanstalk or Peter and the Starcatcher include Belling Youth Group, Delapre Dragons, Eve Domestic Abuse and Violence Help, Little Springers Nursery, Northamptonshire Deaf Children, Northamptonshire Flower, Restore, the Sikh Community Centre and Youth Group, Spencer Bridge Food Bank, the Victoria Centre and Zim Women.

Royal & Derngate chief executive, Martin Sutherland said: “We want to give our heartfelt thanks to our audience members who have been so generous in response to this appeal. By doing so, they have made Christmas extra special for so many Northamptonshire children who might not normally be able to attend the theatre.”