Weston theatre bids for thousands of pounds for SEN project

PUBLISHED: 11:31 02 February 2019

Blakehay Theatre, Weston-s-Mare. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Blakehay Theatre, Weston-s-Mare. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A Weston theatre is bidding for tens of thousands of pounds to set up a provision for people with special educational needs (SEN).

Sally Heath, Blakehay Theatre manager. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONSally Heath, Blakehay Theatre manager. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Blakehay Theatre, in Wadham Street, is hoping to bid for £58,000 to launch an 18-month project which will run from October 2019 to March 2021.

The theatre team invited people to comment and complete a survey for the application which will be submitted this week to the Paul Hammond Foundation.

Theatre manager Sally Heath said: “We are looking to bring regular events to the theatre for people with special educational needs or additional needs.

“It is not standard to have regular shows. We are working with quite a few different theatre companies to create sensory shows. There will be more relaxed performances more regularly for people in our community.

Sally Heath, Blakehay Theatre manager. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONSally Heath, Blakehay Theatre manager. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

“We are teaming up with the national autistic charity Ups & Downs South West.”

The Blakehay has also looked at teaming up with SEN and mainstream schools in North Somerset and wider Somerset to reach out to more youths.

Ms Heath added: “We will be looking at setting up a sensory area within the theatre which we will open up to the schools and to parents and people in the community with additional needs.

“We will also be exploring holding workshops in that area.”

Sally Heath, Blakehay Theatre manager. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONSally Heath, Blakehay Theatre manager. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The team now have a long wait ahead of them to see if they will be lucky enough to receive the funding which will benefit the town and wider county.

Ms Heath said: “We’re trying to get lots of different members of the community into the theatre.

“We have put out surveys to the community and held consultation events and we think from the feedback we have had, we believe around 5,000 people will access it and benefit from it.

“For them it is great to have something close which has regular events taking place.

Blakehay Theatre, Weston-s-Mare. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONBlakehay Theatre, Weston-s-Mare. Theatre has bid for cash, for its SEN project. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

“For us it is great because we are continuing to serve the community.”

The Blakehay Theatre hosts a number of different shows throughout the year in two seasons.

It is in its winter season with performances from the Apollo Theatre Company’s Hancock’s Half Hour and Chelis Theatre Company’s production of The Wizard Of Oz.

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