Rah Rah Theatre Company, based in Merton, London, has been awarded £8,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to run a series of shows by the Jingle Bell Singers. The festive trio will aim to reduce loneliness and social isolation and to bring a sense of togetherness to people while they have had to remain apart.
The Jingle Bell Singers, made up of the company’s talented performers, are singing a collection of feel good Christmas songs outdoors in care home car parks, sheltered housing courtyards, as well as the doorsteps of vulnerable people in local communities.
After 20 years of performances to community groups across the South East, this year, the company had to rethink its yearly pantomime tour, due to coronavirus restrictions. Instead, the Jingle Bell Singers will be on a mission to visit over 100 outdoor locations throughout December, in London, Surrey, Berkshire, Kent, Essex and Sussex.
Jude Spooner, Director of the Jingle Bell Singers, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we can continue the vital work we do in the community this Christmas. Due to COVID we have had to rethink our yearly Pantomime tour, offering instead our new project called the Jingle Bell Singers, a fun, cheeky group of talented performers singing a collection of feel good Christmas songs outdoors. We look forward to bringing some much-needed joy and fun to both isolated residents and the staff who have worked tirelessly to adapt and cope with the current crisis.”
With performances in full swing over the past week, the singers are already hearing of the impact their performances are having, with one audience member saying: “My Dad, due to his dementia, has barely said a word since lockdown started. I watched with tears in my eyes as he sang along to the songs the fabulous group were singing. I will never forget this very special moment!”
The performances in care home car parks are bringing some much-needed joy to the season, with care staff singing the group’s praises: “Residents really enjoyed it, thank you so much for giving them some enjoyment in these difficult times. Yesterday was a triumph! For many residents, the visits were the first time in three months that these elders had a face-to-face conversation outside their families.”
Rah Rah Theatre is just one of the 1,500 organisations in London receiving National Lottery funding to help them adapt to the crisis this year. New figures released today reveal that over £170 million has gone to communities across London throughout 2020*, thanks to National Lottery players. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 this year, vital National Lottery funding has enabled inspiring local good causes to carry on their amazing work and bring glimmers of hope to their communities.
London isn’t alone in benefiting from vital National Lottery funding. Today it was announced that over £650 million has been distributed to more than 13,000 community organisations across the UK throughout 2020*.
Whether small grants to local projects or long-term investments into systemic change, National Lottery funding has made it possible for groups to find innovative ways of keeping their communities connected and to reach those who need the most help.
Helen Bushell, Head of Funding for the Southern Region at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “I am incredibly proud that we have distributed £170 million across the capital in what has been an extremely difficult year, helping to boost community spirit when it has been needed most. Our communities are more important than ever and we’re delighted that so many groups, volunteers and community workers, such as Rah Rah Theatre Company, stepping up and going that extra mile to provide vital support. We should all feel inspired and reassured by the strength we have seen in communities throughout this turbulent year.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for the UK’s good causes, and £41 billion has been distributed to 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994.
Last year, we awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK. Over eight in ten (83%) of our grants are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are doing great things to support their communities through these challenging times.