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NEWS: Panto Dame and theatre staff take to the skies in fundraising bid

4 April 2024

John Elkington, Nottingham Playhouse’s legendary panto dame, is among 38 staff and supporters taking the plunge with a tandem skydive, in a bid to raise funds for Nottingham Playhouse.

Skydive Langar is a new Corporate Sponsor for Nottingham Playhouse and their sponsorship and the fundraising from the skydives, will support the Shine project, which exists to support the creativity of local young people.

The tandem skydives are due to take place on 24 May, weather permitting, and the 38 brave volunteers include Adam Penford, Artistic Director and Amanda Farr, Chair of the Board, backstage and front of house staff, plus many people who hold Nottingham Playhouse close to their hearts.

Jess Straub, Development and Sponsorship Manager, said:

“With the recent funding cuts from Nottingham City Council, staff were keen to do something practical to help. We’re thrilled that so many have volunteered, and we’ve set our fundraising target at £15,000, which will significantly help support our work in the community through Shine.

 “Nottingham Playhouse is a registered charity and our partnership with local businesses is essential in allowing us to achieve our charitable objectives, so we are delighted to welcome Skydive Langar on board as our latest sponsor.”

Shine offers free weekly theatre sessions across the region with a focus on areas of deprivation and specialist provision for the likes of QMC’s Hospital School, Portland College for young people with disabilities and NEST (educational provision for asylum seeker and refugee young people). These sessions focus on confidence and skills building.

John Elkington, Panto Dame, said:

“It is something that’s on my bucket list, so I’m delighted and terrified at the same time, but being given this opportunity to fulfil an ambition and to support the theatre and Shine, is something I couldn’t pass on.”

Speaking of the partnership, Skydive Langar’s Managing Director Gareth Thomas, said:

“As a centre for skydiving excellence, we are proud to have supported a number of our staff to achieve qualifications and ratings within skydiving without necessarily going through traditional educational channels.

 “We believe that both sports and the arts provide channels for development and can help people to thrive where otherwise they might have struggled to find the opportunity. Nottingham Playhouse is an important part of the city and we are proud to work with their team and help them to raise additional funds so they can continue to do valuable work for the people of Nottinghamshire.”

To donate to the fundraising efforts, visit the JustGiving page.



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