Case study

Derby Theatre delivers care packages to support children in care and their families

Staff at Derby Theatre have been providing support to young people and care leavers during the coronavirus lockdown. 

The team at Derby Theatre, which is owned by the University of Derby, has been delivering weekly food parcels and essentials to care leavers with whom they are working with through the Plus One programme. 

Plus One, which was launched in 2014 by Derby Theatre and other major arts organisations in the city and care services across the county, aims to inspire young people and spark an ongoing interest in the arts and the cultural scene in Derby. For some young people, this will be the first time they will experience opportunities of this kind with their foster family or carers. 

As well as food parcels, staff have been conducting phone check-ins with the young people and have also launched an online book club. 

Sarah Brigham, Chief Executive and Artistic Director at Derby Theatre, said: "Our Plus One team works throughout the year with young people in care and care leavers, creatively helping them to build confidence, self-esteem and key life skills.

“Since the lockdown has taken place these young people are even more isolated than usual and so we thought it important we reached out to them.

“We have been delivering food parcels as well as practical support, phone check-ins and even an online book club. Derby Theatre puts its community at the heart of everything it does and it’s important that in times like this we can be there for our community in whatever way is needed.”

Since launching, the Theatre and cultural partners have provided over 3,000 arts experiences and inspiring visits to the theatre and cinema and numerous opportunities to participate in exciting and insightful workshops relating to dance and other art forms to children in care, their families and care leavers. 

The Theatre invites the public to donate to the scheme, which then enables young people in care and care leavers the chance to experience, for free, live performance, film and cultural workshops and longer term projects in the city. 

The scheme is also supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which provides additional funding to develop employability skills, including communication and confidence to care leavers through creative projects, and 121 mentoring with artists. These sessions are continuing to take place online while staff are not able to meet.

During the lockdown, Derby Theatre commits to keeping creatively connected with audiences through digital content on their website and shared through their social media channels. Find out more about DT@Home here: www.derbytheatre.co.uk/dt-at-home

For more information about Plus One, visit: www.derbytheatre.co.uk/get-involved/plus-one

Derby Theatre staff deliver food parcels
Staff at Derby Theatre deliver care packages to support children in care and their families