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Gloucestershire Business News

Funding for after-school drama clubs

Everyman Theatre principal partner and sponsor, Investec, is funding a range of education and community projects, which will enable the Cheltenham theatre to expand and develop its outreach work.

Projects include live streaming of the Studio Christmas shows into local hospitals; the annual production of a new play (aimed at primary school children), which will tour local libraries throughout the summer holidays to encourage literacy and reading; and free after-school drama clubs for schools highlighted in the Cheltenham Borough Council No Child Left Behind report.

The report highlights the issue of children growing up in poverty in Cheltenham and the inequality between them and their more affluent peers. It is hoped the after-school drama clubs, which will be completely funded by Investec and free to pupils, will help develop a range of core skills, boosting confidence and encouraging the children to participate more fully in school life. The clubs are running this term, culminating in a performance in assembly at each school and a filming session, which will be shared between all the schools taking part.

The schools signed up to the project so far are Gloucester Road Primary, Rowanfield Junior, Springbank Primary Academy and Swindon Village Primary.

Mark Goucher, Everyman chief executive, said: "We are thrilled that our principal partner, Investec, is committed to supporting our education and community work. In such uncertain times, it is fantastic to know that these projects are secure.

"Our corporate supporters play a vital role in all we do here and are very much part of the fabric of the Everyman. Their generosity allows us to expand and develop our outreach work in the local community and contributes to the quality of our productions on stage. We enjoy working with Investec and look forward to seeing our partnership develop and grow."

Investec, which has had an office in Cheltenham for over 40 years, has a strong corporate social responsibility ethos and aims to make a positive impact by focusing on initiatives that support local communities.

Peter Horton, head of the Investec Cheltenham office, said: "We are delighted to be entering the second year of our three-year programme to support this key part of Everyman's educational work as a registered charity, involving local schools. Investec shares many of the same core values with the Everyman and we are happy to be working together to help them to make a real difference to the lives of some of the children in our town."

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