Project information

Creative Christmas!

Creativity isn't just for Christmas.

Support scholarships for some of Lewisham's most deprived children to participate in our performing arts holiday courses.

Proven to build confidence, foster lasting friendships and give children an outlet for their creativity.

October 2016 - April 2017

Charity information

Montage Theatre Arts

Montage Theatre Arts logo
  • Need


    There are a lack of facilities and creative outlets for Lewisham's poorest children.
    Lewisham is one of the 10% most deprived boroughs in the UK.
    27% of children under 19 years old live in households with no adult in employment.
    Many children find drama a 'release' to the stress at home.
    Opportunities and the resources to participate in them are scarce, with many children ending up on the streets and/or succumbing to peer pressure to get involved in crime and other anti-social behaviour


    Montage has almost 20 years of experience in working with children, including the most disadvantaged and those with Special Educational Needs.

    Children will now have somewhere fun to go in their holidays. They will be stretched creatively and will make new friends and respond to different adults. And, by the end of each course, a sense of achievement in having performed in front of friends and family. Through discovering drama and natural creativity they'll grow in self confidence.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide 6 scholarships at each of our holiday courses between October 2016 and April 2017


    » Running an October Half Term Holiday performing arts week culminating in a performance in costume and make-up for family and friends.
    » Running a Christmas Holiday performing arts week culminating in a performance in costume and make-up for family and friends.
    » Running a February Half Term Holiday performing arts week culminating in a performance in costume and make-up for family and friends.
    » Running an Easter Holiday performing arts week culminating in a performance in costume and make-up for family and friends.

    Uptake from 24 scholars
    Attendance records
    Student/teacher/referee feedback
    Photo/video records (where possible)

    Aim 2

    Funding our National Theatre Connections project involving many of our general scholars.


    » Play-reading workshop day in September where the director and youth theatre company choose a National Theatre approved script for the project.
    » 22 weeks of rehearsals and workshops for our youth theatre company.
    » 3 performances in professional theatres to be supported and assessed by the National Theatre.

    300 minimum audience across 3 venues.
    Student, teacher and parent/carer feedback.
    Feedback from National Theatre assessor.

  • Impact


    24-44 children will have experiences that can change their lives.
    If we exceed our target, we hope to also fund general scholarships for our regular classes - students we feel would benefit most out of our holiday programme will be invited to apply.
    Qualitative and quantitative feedback from students, teachers and referees re ongoing progress after the courses.


    Lack of attendance, behavioural issues, changing circumstances for scholars/NTC participants.
    This will be dealt with by close liaison with referees, as well as careful and experienced assessment by our Holiday Course Manager in the initial interviews and during the course.
    Potential drop-outs prior to the course will be mitigated by having a reserve list of potential scholars that we can offer places to.


    Each non-anonymous donor will receive:
    - A personal thank you for their donation
    - One update after each holiday course with pictures
    - An invitation to attend one of the NTC performances
    - Update after the NTC project ends with photos/video links (except where child-safeguarding issues apply)

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £6,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,740 Scholarships 24 scholarships across 4 Holiday Programmes
      £420 Travel For experienced courses manager for 14 days
      £840 Production Budget For theatre hire, costumes, props, set and flyers for NTC plus petty cash holiday programmes
  • Background


    Lewisham is one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK. With no big business to apply to for sponsorship and council funding being cut, arts provision for children and young people is becoming the province of those who can afford to pay. Montage has been working in the borough for almost 20 years and is a charity rather than a business with a long-standing commitment to offering a wide concession programme.


    Concessions (typically £70 for an 11 week term) are not enough so we are expanding our scholarship provision to allow free access to children and young people in the most need of social networks, confidence building and a creative outlet.

    On average 35% of Montage Theatre Arts attendees are from low-income families.

    Currently approximately 50% of our participants are black or minority-ethnic in a borough where 43% of the population is black or ethnic minorities (BAME).

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Founded by Judy Gordon, Montage has almost 20 years experience of providing dance, drama and singing classes to the community as well as an award-winning youth dance company, youth theatre company and Older People's programme. Performances across the borough and London-wide including Saddlers Wells and the South Bank.Experienced teachers including West End professionals and managers used to dealing with Special Educational Needs issues.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Kate Thornton

    Courses Manager - in charge of managing all our holiday programmes, Kate is hugely experienced, having set up and run two schools in Cambodia aged 18

    Donna Edwards

    SEN Assistant. Specialising in children on the autistic spectrum and volunteering weekly for Montage, she is perfectly placed for this role.

    Bethany Pitts

    NTC Director. She has worked everywhere from Theatre Royal Plymouth to the Old Vic with special emphasis on youth theatre.


Is how much our holiday courses cost per hour

I am very thankful with this school, because they have been working with my daughter with autism for two years now and have gone beyond my expectations....(Montage) charge a consessionary fee for her courses, which is a great help for my family.

Montage Parent