Project information

Chickenshed. It's a big gift.

When children and young people come to Chickenshed, many are lacking confidence, struggling with insecurity or communication difficulties, or find it hard to form positive relationships. Chickenshed breaks down these barriers through participation in empowering, inclusive performing arts projects.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Chickenshed

Chickenshed logo
  • Need


    There is a high, unmet demand for our membership groups. We currently have a waiting list of 900+, particularly for our younger age groups. Due to our inclusive ethos and reputation, those waiting for places are predominantly children with disabilities and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, there are children in the community experiencing extreme disadvantage, who would greatly benefit from an opportunity to engage with Chickenshed, but whose families are unaware of this provision.


    We have established activities available to all, and require funding to support disadvantaged children and young people and ensure there are no financial barriers to accessing these activities. For children experiencing disadvantage and disability, taking part helps them to develop valuable life skills, alongside performance skills, and so confidence grows, self-belief blossoms, empathy emerges, children find new ways to express themselves, and everyone finds a place they can truly belong.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Deliver open access inclusive theatre activities for children


    » Provide free places for disadvantaged children on 'Holiday Sheds', week-long inclusive arts projects culminating in a sharing to friends and family.
    » Provide free places for disadvantaged children to attend 'Saturday Shed' weekly inclusive theatre workshops for a term.
    » Run 'Play in a Day' activities at Chickenshed and targeting disadvantaged communities.

    What success will look like

    We are seeking to provide free places for 36 children on Holiday Sheds, 63 children on Saturday Sheds and 48 children on Play in a Day workshops.

    Aim 2

    Deliver activities to offer young people an opportunity to experience inclusive theatre.


    » Deliver 'Weekend Itch' Youth Theatre taster days.
    » Deliver the 'Summer Scratch' project.

    What success will look like

    We are seeking to provide subsidised places for 90 young people to attend a Weekend Itch taster day and 30 young people to take part in the Summer Scratch.

  • Impact


    Children and young people, who have never experienced inclusive theatre before, are able to enjoy creative opportunities in a safe and supportive environment. They gain valuable skills and personal development through our projects.

    We will demonstrate success by observing and measuring the progress made by participants. Success will be over 75% demonstrating increased confidence, communication and performance skills. Participants will self-evaluate and parents will also provide feedback.


    Workshops involve physical activities, such as movement and dance activities. All of our workshops are risk-assessed to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
    For the projects to be successful, we would need to have at least 60% capacity for workshops to have a large enough group. We will therefore ensure the projects are promoted effectively.


    An impact report, detailing how the project progressed, and how we achieved against our planned aims, will be shared with donors. This will include feedback from participants and parents, and observations of staff leading the workshops. It will also include quantitative data on participants.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £18,955

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,680 Holiday Sheds 12 free places for children on 3 Holiday Sheds
      £3,024 Saturday Sheds 21 free places for children on weekly Saturday Sheds, 8 sessions per term
      £1,536 Play in a Day Free places for children at Play in a Day workshops
      £1,550 Administrator Liaising with partners to allocate places
      £8,165 Weekend Itch & Summer Scratch Cost of delivering programmes

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Anticipated participation fees - Weekend Itch & Summer Scratch £5,210 Conditional
  • Background


    All workshops will take place at Chickenshed (with the exception of some Play in a Day workshops which will be delivered in the community, reaching disadvantaged children). If a space is unavailable in our theatre, we may hire external spaces to deliver workshops in our local area.


    All participants offered free places on Saturday and Holiday Sheds and Play in a Day workshops will be disadvantaged. Primarily we will target children experiencing socio-economic disadvantage, and we will also have places available for Young Carers and Looked After Children.

    Participants in the Weekend Itch and Summer Scratch will be from a range of backgrounds, including those with disabilities and additional needs.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Chickenshed have been delivering participatory performing arts activities for over four decades, using our unique inclusive model that ensures all activities are accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or need. We achieve this through high staffing ratios, and peer support. Within every workshop, we always have a group of older peers who take part in the workshop alongside participants, and provide support and guidance for anyone who needs extra help to be included.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Matthew Lyons

    Matt is Head of Membership, and has 20 years experience of delivering inclusive theatre workshops with children and young people at Chickenshed.

    Robin Shillinglaw

    Robin is Youth Theatre Programme Manager and is an inspiring Director working with young people to help them have their voices heard through theatre.

    Charlotte Bull

    Charlotte is the Children's Theatre Programme Manager and is an expert in using inclusion and theatre to help children's development.

The support my son received from Chickenshed has had a profound effect on his social development and communication skills. His behaviour could be challenging. Chickenshed has given him the opportunity to express himself and learn to work with others in an extremely supportive and loving environment.

Parent of Chickenshed participant