Up-Stage launched in 2006 and has worked with thousands of young people in that time. Working in regular weekly sessions, After School Clubs, Workshops, Summer Schools and Classrooms, as well as more recently; online via Zoom. COVID has hit us hard, with lockdowns stopping us meeting the young people in person, and cancelled productions and workshops. We have continued in the virtual world, but this is not for everyone.
We have been entitled to ZERO support from the government. Whilst other organisations have been able to claim support, as a Ltd Company, we have received nothing. The Arts Council scheme that has managed to save a lot of companies also excluded us.
We have endeavoured to continue as best we can, with online content. When we were able to return to the rehearsal room, we were so relieved, and it felt as if normality was returning, but the latest lockdown has been a real kick in the teeth. We had planned to launch a new session this month in Barton, and relaunch our Flitwick group, but that will all have to go on hold. Many parents are already feeling the pinch of the economic situation, and we want to help as many as possible to continue to attend Up-Stage. This is why we are launching this campaign. We are looking to raise some funds to keep us going until the new year. In return, we hope our modest rewards will go some way towards a thank you. Some of our previous members have gone on to successful careers in the Theatre and Film Industry...but many have not, and just look back at the life skills we have given them in their development into young adults. Many of our young people have relied on Up-Stage as a mental health "check-in". In fact Keith is currently training in counselling and therapy to expand upon the help we already give. Anything you can give to help us continue will be so gratefully received by all the young people, and help us to continue to offer long term professional teaching and guidance.