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Project information

A dramatic future for young people in East London

Half Moon runs affordable Youth Theatre groups for young people aged 5 to 18 (or 25 for disabled young people). The waiting lists for our groups were so long that in September 2014 we introduced a sixth group and from September 2015 there is a seventh. Our groups are inclusive and accessible to all.

September 2015 - July 2018

Charity information: Half Moon Young People's Theatre

Half Moon Young People's Theatre logo
  • Need


    Each year our Youth Theatre groups provide over 160 children and young people, many with a spectrum of abilities, access to an inclusive drama programme, built around nurturing the confidence and skills of its participants. Attending Youth Theatres gives local young people the opportunity to attend positive activities and work alongside theatre professionals. The young people can learn about the many and varied opportunities available within the arts, as well as learning a range of soft skills.


    Our Youth Theatres help change the lives of young people in Tower Hamlets by enabling them to better express themselves, build their confidence and develop soft skills, such as communication, presentation, decision-making, taking responsibility and making a commitment. In addition, participants learn drama techniques, have the chance to interact with a wide range of other young people and have a lot of fun.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Give young people in Tower Hamlets positive creative activities out of school hours.


    » Provide seven Youth Theatre groups for ages 5 to 18 (or 25 for disabled young people). Accept referrals from social services, schools, etc.

    What success will look like

    Success will be having full registers for the groups.

  • Impact


    The young people will learn creative skills and increase in confidence. At the end of each term they will share what they have learnt with their families and friends through a performance in the theatre using the technical facilities of a professional theatre venue.


    Safeguarding the young people is the key risk and Half Moon mitigates this through having robust child protection measures in place. All staff and volunteers undertake the enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks, sessions operate under strict guidelines and safeguarding is put above all else.


    Donors are invited to attend end of term productions and/or can receive regular written reports.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £48,120

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      Amount Heading Description
      £13,590 Lead drama tutor fees Planning, evaluation and delivery of 30 sessions per group
      £8,910 Support drama tutor fees Planning, evaluation and delivery of 30 sessions per group
      £19,500 Access workers fees 11 access workers/week for disabled participants
      £6,120 Transport and materials Transport for disabled participants, set/costume/props/resources

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    BBC Children in Need £22,330 Guaranteed
    Members fees £8,000 Guaranteed
    Tower Hamlets Arts Grant £5,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Half Moon is based in Limehouse East London in an area with pockets of high deprivation. Over recent years the schools have become fairly segregated, with 'postcode wars' being a big issue for teenagers in particular. Young people attending our groups come from across the borough and one of our strengths is that students mix with students from other schools, thus contributing to community cohesion.


    A report in 2013 from the End Child Poverty Campaign listed Tower Hamlets as having the highest rate of children living in poverty in London, at 42%. To tackle this we charge low fees to ensure the groups are accessible to all (currently £5 or £2.50 concession per session) and take a flexible approach to payment plans, with 51% of our current members paying the concessions and a few unable to pay at all.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    As a well-respected local organisation with a long history locally and a good understanding of the changing needs of the community, children are often referred to our groups by word of mouth. We also have referrals from Social Workers, teachers, Connexions Key Workers, other local authority teams, or the third sector, such as the National Autistic Society or Barnardos.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Chris Elwell

    Chris is the Director of the company and oversees the work of the creative teams, ensuring the young participants have the best possible experience.

    Beccy Allen

    Beccy is the Creative Learning Producer and she coordinates all the activities, ensuring good communication and safeguarding practices in particular.