We are entering our third year of delivery in Tameside and have made some incredible partnerships with Tameside Council, Jigsaw Homes, Global Grooves, Age UK, Tameside Women’s Centre and Holy Trinity Community Centre.
Our Tameside Ambassadors have been working with us for a year now and have been developed some incredible projects – from making their own work, commissioning plays for THE DEN to digging out allotments and creating workshops locally.
In August 2019, Tameside hosted the first ever version of THE DEN in Stalybridge Civic Hall which was a huge success. Read all about the incredible two weeks here. There’s been much more than this going on in Tameside, with projects happening across the borough.
Following our 2018 Christmas Message we continued to work with residents of Dukinfield to clean up the allotment and make a piece of theatre about the area which was performed at the Den. We are beginning to work with Jigsaw Homes to plan what happens next in this neighbourhood during 2020.
Local poet Hafsah Bashir worked with residents of Cavendish Mill to write a poem about the area. This was projected onto the wall over winter with a Christmas party to bring everyone together over a hot chocolate and a baked potato!
10 women accessing the Tameside Women’s Centre worked with staff from the theatre to develop front of house and customer service skills. This was an accredited programme which saw the women go on to operate the front of house for the Den and two gain employment at the theatre in paid front of house roles.
15 women from Holy Trinity Community Centre are working with members of the theatre's Wardrobe department to learn costume making skills and put them in to practice on items for the main stage production of Wuthering Heights in February 2020.
Jigsaw Homes Group continue to work in partnership with the Royal Exchange Theatre in the Tameside area. This innovative project provides fantastic opportunities for Tameside residents to improve their wellbeing and mental health, employment prospects and learn new skills working alongside professional artists within the industry. The projects delivered so far have had a positive impact on people’s lives, removing the barriers to isolation, improving people’s confidence and increased self-esteem. Pathways are in place for individuals and groups to gain greater understanding and appreciation of arts and culture and to see first-hand how this can take place in Tameside with a key focus on resident involvement using an asset-based community development approach.
Find out more about the Royal Exchange Theatre partnership with New Charter Group and New Charter Academy by downloading a copy of the partnership evaluation report 'Growing From Seed'.
We began working with Age UK in February 2019. Since we have initiated and led a satellite Elders Company who went on to perform in the Den in Stalybridge, we have also led Dementia Café Storybox sessions with two dementia support groups hosted by Age UK. Staff, volunteers and service users have been offered tickets for our productions. In February we will also work with two other Dementia Support groups in Denton and Dukinfield.
In 2018-19, we worked with schools in Tameside on a variety of projects. Many schools took part in workshops we delivered in their school on devising, performing and writing. We also worked closely with Mossley Hollins High School in a project called Exchange 360. During Exchange 360, students took part in technical theatre, performing and marketing workshops to then perform on the main stage at the Royal Exchange.