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Project information


The Unicorn is the national home of transformative theatre for young people. Our key aim is to ensure that no child is barred from theatre through poverty, disability or social exclusion. This project will focus on working with hard to reach children, young people and their families.

The project is ongoing.

Charity information: Unicorn Theatre

Unicorn Theatre logo
  • Need


    Whilst the Unicorn aims to lead the way in providing inclusive theatre for the disabled, we want to be able to offer more support to children and young people with SEN (Special Educational Needs), EAL (English as a Second Language) and those who find it difficult to access everyday classroom learning. In addition, we hope to engage with parents and carers who may feel prevented from bringing their families to the theatre because of their own disabilities or personal circumstances.


    The Unicorn has a dedicated Inclusion Manager responsible for our access programme, including our pioneering integrated sign-interpreted and autism friendly performances. This year we are introducing several new initiatives to extend our inclusion provision. Engagement with the arts has been shown to be particularly beneficial for pupils with English as an additional language and young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Engaging and including children might otherwise find accessing the work at the Unicorn impossible.


    » Preparatory and Participatory Workshops for SEN (Special Educational Needs) and EAL (English as a Second Language) Schools.
    » A whole school experience around a Unicorn production, focusing particularly on the needs of those with EAL (English as a Second Language).
    » Teacher training sessions.

    What success will look like

    We shall be collecting feedback from disabled participants, teachers and community groups to demonstrate the impact of the programme.

    Aim 2

    To offer a regular bespoke work experience placement for young adults with disabilities.


    » SEN (Special Educational Needs) Unicorn Work Experience Placements supported by Unicorn staff, offering training in all departments.

    What success will look like

    We shall be monitoring the progress of our work placement participants and asking for comprehensive feedback to ensure best practice.

    Aim 3

    To make disabled audiences feel welcome and supported when they visit the Unicorn.


    » Unicorn staff training in visual and deaf awareness.

    What success will look like

    We shall be observing the changes in our provision for disabled audiences, feedback and tracking return visits to demonstrate the value of our inclusion policy.

  • Impact


    Creating strong links with local children, encouraging community cohesion and aiding learning within local boroughs.
    Developing and strengthening Unicorn links with the disabled community.
    Building bridges into the workplace for participants on our work placement scheme.
    Leaving a legacy in schools through teacher training.


    There is a risk we may not raise enough funds to cover the costs of all planned projects, so we're also exploring other funding options. We've already identified and are talking to a number of potential partners who specialise in these areas about working together to deliver these new initiatives.


    Our donors will be sent a regular UNICORN INCLUSIVE e-bulletin with information on our progress, projects to date and including photos and feedback. A full evaluation of the programme will be produced at the end of the first year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,000 SEN Audience Development To welcome 33 SEN school groups (33 London boroughs) who have never been to the theatre before
      £3,335 EAL School Project A whole school experience around a Unicorn production
      £5,685 Subsidised Tickets Offering tickets at a reduced rate to 1127 participants
      £4,500 SEN Workshops To provide a Unicorn experience for three SEN schools per year
      £7,300 Administration Administrative and evaluation costs
      £2,680 Specialist Training For up to 25 staff
      £10,000 Inclusion Manager Fee for project managing all the above projects
      £3,500 Work Placements 3 specialist fully-supported work placements
  • Background


    The Unicorn is based in More London, an exciting and developing area of commerce and culture, yet Southwark is one of the most deprived boroughs in London and the seventh most deprived in the UK. Over half the resident children live in poverty. In addition to our work with disabled children, we work with schools where eligibility for free school meals is well above average, as is the proportion of students whose first language is not English.


    1000 children a year (SEN audience development)
    600 children a year (SEN: Special Educational Needs workshops)
    476 children (EAL: English as a Second Language project)
    25 Unicorn staff (staff training)
    3 SEN (Special Educational Needs) young adults on work placements

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Unicorn Theatre leads the way in creating access to high-quality theatre for young people with disabilities. We are one of very few UK companies to integrate British Sign Language interpreters into the performance and to programme performances specifically created for children with autism or complex disabilities. In addition we are experienced in working with hard to reach children through our learning and participation programme which work with disadvantaged schools across London.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Kirsty Hoyle

    Unicorn’s Inclusion Manager. Instrumental in designing and implementing this pioneering programme of work to engage hard to reach young people.

    Carolyn Forsyth

    Unicorn’s Theatre Manager. Responsible with Kirsty for training Unicorn staff and ensuring that all visitors to the Unicorn are welcomed and supported

    Dorcas Morgan

    Unicorn’s Acting Development Director, overseeing the raising of funds to support the programme and cultivating potential funders.

All about the Unicorn


Supports UNICORN INCLUSIVE for one year

Many thanks for making the experience truly inclusive for children that have additional needs. I think your theatre and all the staff are fantastic!

Kelly (parent of two children with visual impairment)