Project information

My Ticket, Your Ticket

At Arts at the Old Fire Station (AOFS) we believe that art should be for everyone. One of the ways we achieve this is by offering free tickets to our shows to people who are homeless. Please help us reach our goal of providing free tickets and travel bursaries to vulnerable adults.

December 2017 - March 2019

Charity information: Arts At The Old Fire Station

Arts At The Old Fire Station logo
  • Need


    Homeless people are routinely excluded from many aspects of life through the regulation of their use of public spaces 
and institutions. We run our arts centre in partnership with the homelessness charity, Crisis. Many of the people who come to the OFS are facing tough times and are not helped by being defined by their problems. By working together to develop a cultural space with inclusion at its heart, we aim to raise aspirations and change attitudes and lives.


    The OFS was set up to be a creative public space that is not about homelessness but that is thoroughly welcoming to and inclusive of homeless people. Through working in our office, shop and as ushers on our Arts Training Scheme, homeless people learn transferable skills. Projects, including gallery exhibitions and theatre shows, provide opportunities to create and show work with professional artists.
    This free ticket scheme means homeless people can enjoy our shows as members of the public.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    People who are homeless feel included, participate and have fun.


    » Free tickets and travel bursaries to shows for people who facing tough times so they can benefit from new cultural experiences and networks.

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by the people who’ve benefited from the tickets reporting that they’ve enjoyed and learned from the experience.

    Aim 2

    People attending our arts centre become open to new ideas and different people.


    » We will offer professional high quality entertaining art to the public which includes disadvantaged people as audience, artists and support staff.

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by our audiences, and artists reporting that they’ve learned from being involved with us.

  • Impact


    We believe that our values and the mix of people and activities in our arts centre enable all involved to become better artists, more resilient individuals and part of stronger, more inclusive communities. It’s a bold vision and we’re proud of it. We’re measuring progress towards it by using an evaluation methodology that involves those we benefit telling us stories about how we’ve most impacted their lives. These stories are then collectively analysed to reveal wider findings.


    We may get lower take-up of the offer than we want. We will use our relationship with Crisis and other support agencies as well as peer-to-peer marketing to promote the offer. We can also widen the offer to increase access to other activities such as craft workshops, art classes and creative writing classes.


    We will produce a regular newsletter about our activities. This will include information detailing the impact of the free ticket scheme on those who have taken part, and will also include key findings about our progress towards our overall goals.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,500 Tickets 350 tickets at £10 per ticket for Crisis members.
      £500 Travel 100 travel bursaries to incentivize first time users of the scheme
  • Background


    Our building is situated in the centre of Oxford. It includes a theatre, studios, gallery, shop, cafe and training areas for homeless people. Our spaces are intimate, inspiring, professional and accessible to all. The public comes to drink coffee, buy art, attend classes and watch shows. Homeless people come to learn, gain skills and get support. Artists come to rehearse, create and showcase. They all come through the same door and find themselves sharing space and interests.


    People become homeless for many different reasons – poverty, unemployment, unaffordable housing, relationship breakdowns, domestic violence, and leaving care, prison, or the army - are just a few. All homeless people face tough times. The deepening housing crisis and cuts in local services means that homelessness is rising in Oxford and that homeless people are also becoming more desperate. Our work will benefit people burdened by negative labels to re-think themselves as valued citizens.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We think our arts centre is unique. The validity of our approach is backed up by research on the significance of public space in creating kinder, more inclusive communities. And our own research shows that Crisis clients value the qualities of welcome, respect, safety, conviviality, belonging and beauty that they associate with our building. Our work is cited as good practice by the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jeremy Spafford

    Director – Jeremy has run Arts at the Old Fire Station since it was established in 2011.

    Rachel Harrison

    Participation Coordinator - Rachel oversees all our work with Crisis clients.

    Justine Malone

    Development Officer - responsible for fundraising administration, and communications with donors and trusts.


£10 buys one ticket for a homeless person to come to a theatre performance.