Raising funds to establish a young people’s theatre company

Upfront Arts is the registered charity that supports the work of Upfront Puppet Theatre.

We are raising funds to establish a young people’s theatre company that will have a focus on puppets, mask work and mime. The plan is to develop puppeteers and technical staff that might go on to work with us in the future, although the idea is far more ambitious in its aims than that, and these other outcomes can be found on The Big Xmas Give website.

As a charity we have designed and constructed the only purpose built theatre and arts venue in Eden, opened five years ago.

The entire Upfront Arts Venue operates with no grant aid and has been open for 20 years this autumn.

The focus of our fundraising plan is outlined in detail at:-


We have secured £3,000 of £100 pledges from supporters and £1,500 of champion funds from The Reed Foundation.

Thank you to the pledgers to date, they cannot now add to the rest of the fundraising. Some people wanted to pledge at the time, but we raised the £3,000 so quickly that they were unable to act!  Here is a second chance.

All donations given at this second stage are effectively doubled by funds from the first stage. 

We now need to match £4,500 to secure the £1,500 champion funds. This can only be done by on-line card donations between midday 28th November and midday Tuesday 3rd December. If we succeed in this we will have raised £9,000 towards our project. We set out to raise £12,000. It would be great to smash through £9,000 to a higher amount and this would make us eligible for a possible financial prize from The Big Give as a reward for working hard on fundraising for the project.

I will continue to work for the charity as an unpaid volunteer as I have for the last twelve years; however I am looking for the finance to involve other experts in our work, money to tour the young people’s company to other venues and also the production costs of the work we intend to produce. Most of this is outlined in the link given for The Big Give above. We did have a potential match fund in place to cover a large amount of the next money needed, but this has fallen through. So with typical Upfront tenacity — we are carrying on any way! Eventually a charge will be made to participants in the youth theatre project, but for the first year we want to launch it as an inclusive project with a request for a session donation that will go back into the charity funds, to fund the future of the project.

 If you can contribute during the open window for donations (28th November – 3rd December) please let us know and possibly even what you will donate, so that we can build a picture of the potential success of our campaign. We need an idea of how much help might be out there when the donation period is open?

Please promote this plea to anyone aware of the work of Upfront, as donations of any size will be welcome for our cause.

There is a link to The Big Give on the front page of www.up-front.com from Monday 20th November.

Thank you for reading this.

Best wishes,

John Parkinson