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Project information

Making Fairy Tales Come True

Capital Theatres wants to provide seasonal sparkle for children in care this Christmas with a visit to the Pantomime at the King's Theatre. Our project will make this magical experience possible for these children who are less able to access live theatre, by providing a tailored Panto experience.

October 2018 - March 2019

Charity information: Capital Theatres

Capital Theatres logo
  • Need


    Scotland has higher rates of care experienced young people in comparison to the rest of the UK (Scottish Government figures). Research shows care experienced young people face hardship and disadvantage, and go on to face adverse outcomes in adulthood. They are less likely to have opportunities to engage in live theatre and culture in their everyday lives, and whilst there is lots of good work taking place in the sector, provision is currently limited. Our project seeks to address this problem.


    To make a lasting difference to the lives and life chances of care experienced children we will provide bespoke activities to enrich a visit to the annual King's Theatre pantomime. By participating in a programme of creative activities led by creative practitioners and artists, they will be encouraged to express their ideas and develop their creative potential. We hope this will build their confidence, whet their appetite for the arts and creativity increase their aspirations in the longer term

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Deliver a tailored programme of cultural activity to enrich the pantomime experience for participant


    » Consult with people working in close contact with care experienced young people to understand their needs and interests.
    » Offer behind the scenes theatre tours for care experienced young people and their supporting adults, at a family day following their panto visit.
    » Tailor the content of the theatre tours and the style of delivery to meet the participant’s interests and attention spans according to their age.
    » Provide a dedicated welcome desk, ice-creams, free travel and specialist transport for those who need it to enrich their pantomime experience.

    What success will look like

    Feedback from 300 participants after they have participated in the programme demonstrates they have a better understanding and appreciation of culture and the arts than before.

    Aim 2

    Involve participants in a series of creative workshops to develop their understanding of the arts.


    » Tailor creative activities around our consultation findings to create opportunities which are delivered with (rather than for or to) the participants.
    » Have arts practitioners devise a programme of taster workshops which are flexible and responsive to the participant’s needs and interests.
    » Participants will create new work (e.g exhibition, short film, song) which allows them to express themselves, reflecting and celebrating them
    » Provide free and specialist travel for those that need it, and refreshments for participants attending our family day and workshops.

    What success will look like

    A unique collection of artist work is created which reflects and celebrates the participants, improving confidence and levels of self esteem.

    Aim 3

    Teach new skills and fuel confidence in participants to increase their aspirations.


    » Hire arts practitioners to create workshops which allow participants to experience new creative activities and develop skills linked to their interest
    » Arts practitioners and youth workers will work alongside participants, sharing their expertise and supporting them to develop their own creative work.
    » After the workshops, we will provide the opportunity for an informal sharing of the care experienced young people’s creative work.
    » Working with others in the workshops, participants and their supporting adults will learn to collaborate and build bonds, to strengthen relationships.

    What success will look like

    Questionnaire feedback shows participants developed resilience by trying new creative activities, improved collaboration skills by participating in a group, and have had fun.

    Aim 4

    Foster a deeper, longer term engagement for participants with cultural venues and groups.


    » Provide a supported visit to the King's Panto for participants and their supporting adults to encourage them to access cultural activities again.
    » Engage children in care and the adults in their lives in creative activities in a meaningful way, inspiring them to pursue new creative interests.
    » Equip children in care and their supporting adults with the tools and confidence to encourage them to access cultural activities more broadly.
    » Provide insight into new possibilities for career opportunities in the arts and cuture for participants, broadening their horizons.

    What success will look like

    Questionnaire feedback shows participants feel inspired and empowered to return to Capital Theatres and/or to access other elements of Edinburgh’s cultural offering.

    Aim 5

    Disseminate knowledge of the project to increase provision of similar opportunities in Scotland.


    » Encourage a positive shift towards greater provision of cultural projects for care experienced young people and their supporting adults.
    » Hold a peer learning event with other arts and cultural organisations and provide training about working with care experienced young people.
    » Publish project outcomes on Capital Theatres website and in other appropriate mediums.
    » Disseminate project outcomes through umbrella organisations such as Creative Scotland, Culture Republic and Creative Edinburgh.

    What success will look like

    Increase in the provision of cultural projects for care experienced children and young people 12 months following our project.

  • Impact


    Looked after children and young people will be more aware, and interested to engage with arts and cultural activities. As a result they will be more stimulated, happier and have increased confidence to try new experiences. We will build on this pilot project to create a longer-term project to further engage care experienced children and young people. We will gather feedback from all our activities with participants and gather data from their feedback and evaluate the success of our activities.


    Care experienced young people may not want to engage with the project - we will consult to design activities to meet needs and interests.
    Participants may drop out - activities will be delivered with (rather than for or to) the participants, making them as engaging as possible
    Complexity of issues for some care experienced children may affect their ability to participate - project will be flexible and we will liaise with supporting adults and other stakeholders to support the children.


    Using Capital Theatre’s social media platforms and our website, and also by providing project updates by email. An end of project report will be disseminated to donors with the project outcomes and findings including quotes and case studies from participants.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £22,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £500 Travel Pantomime travel fund
      £300 Materials Pantomime experience welcome materials (design and print)
      £1,500 Refreshments Free ice-cream for every child attending the pantomime
      £1,045 Staffing Staffing costs for pantomime and family day
      £1,200 Refreshments Refreshments for tours of the King’s Theatre
      £2,080 Artists Artists, creative practitioners and tour guide to run activities at the family day
      £875 Materials Print, digital and welcome materials for the family day
      £15,000 Tickets 500 free tickets for the pantomime

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Capital Theatres £15,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our project will be delivered at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. 236 children in Edinburgh are looked after, 3.1 per 1,000 population aged 0-15 (national average rate is 2.9) School attendance is lower for looked after children than all children. In 2014/15 73% of looked after school leavers left school at the earliest point they could compared to 27% of school leavers more generally. Female care leavers are more likely to experience early pregnancy. A 3rd of young offenders have been in care.


    Our project will provide opportunities for up to 300 care experienced young people and their supporting adults and families, from the City of Edinburgh, to be supported in engaging in enjoyable cultural experiences together. Care experienced young people includes children who are either in the care of foster carers; in the care of kinship carers (friends/relatives); or are looked after at home with their parents (where the children are subject to a Compulsory Supervision Order).

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our Learning and Participation Team have extensive experience of working with groups with specific needs. Winners of the Children's and Families Achievement Award from City of Edinburgh Council in 2015, and an award for 'Best Socially Engaged Project' from Creative Edinburgh in 2016. In 2012 we staged Scotland's first ever 'relaxed' performance, a theatregoing experience designed to include and meet the needs of people with autistic spectrum conditions, sensory and communication disorders.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Hannah Griffiths

    Head of Learning and Participation - will manage the delivery of the project, lead partner relations, manage stakeholders.

    Catrin Sheridan

    Learning and Participation Coordinator - will coordinate activities, deliver workshops, recruit and lead artists.


Provides free ice-cream for a child in care to enjoy during their visit to the Pantomime.