The Albany Arts Centre in Deptford earlier this year received a grant of £4,500 in support of their “A Theatre Trip for Every Child” initiative. The centre exists to inspire, develop and support creativity for the benefit of the community. They have won numerous awards for their work and are a registered charity and social enterprise earning 60% of their own income which is reinvested in their programmes. They are core funded by Arts Council England and Lewisham Council.
Unfortunately, due to social distancing regulations, the Centre has had to temporarily curtail most of its activities. However, Hayley Murphy, Head of Development, explains that such a grant “allows local Lewisham primary schools to bring their year 1 classes to the theatre for free, many for the first time in their lives. We are responding to the sad reality that the theatre trips most of us remember as a regular feature of primary school are now far from guaranteed. Your grant has so far enabled 300 children to see The Little Prince, a new production of the classic story written by poet and playwright Inua Ellams. I’d love to say a huge thank you to London Freemasons Charity”
The London Freemasons Charity is solely funded by the generous contributions from London Masons and their families.
The Albany is a performing arts centre with a history stretching back to the 19th century. It has a 500-seat theatre and studio space that allows the local community to develop and perform new theatre, poetry, dance and music. There is a year-round programme for family audiences with children of all ages. The current building was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1982. There is also a café that acts as a community hub allowing locals to drop in for a chat or participate in activities such as the gardening club.
Gavin Barlow Chief Executive told us “Access to incredible artistic experiences at a young age contribute significantly to a child’s development, sparking their curiosity and giving them new perspectives on the world. For many children the Theatre Trip for Every Child scheme is the first time they will see a professional production and it’s so important that we continue to minimise barriers to participation and access in this way so all young people can benefit.”
Tony Shields, of London Freemasons: “This is a hugely important project, bring access to theatres for young children in our community. I’m proud that London Masons are able to give help during this difficult time.”
“I congratulate everyone involved in this magnificent local project and trust that this grant will provide some stability and longevity to your operation during these difficult times. This grant follows on from a recent £2.5 Million to fund two ultra-high aerial platforms and earlier generous donations of £3 million to Bart’s hospital for the purchase of a Cyberknife and £2 million towards the second London Air Ambulance, all of which contribute to saving lives right across this great capital city.”