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Thousands in the community are getting involved in music and the arts with The Guildhall Trust

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As a registered charity (1153358) since 2013, The Guildhall Trust places its communities at the centre of its organisation, inspiring, entertaining and transforming lives with its Get Involved programme of workshops, groups, activities and courses at the heart of everything they do.

With a range of opportunities for the community, an engaging development programme for schools and colleges and practical support for emerging creatives and artists in the region, the Get Involved programme has developed at pace over the last 6 years and now has over 12,000 instances of engagement each year, increasingly annually, with a number of new initiatives added in the last few months.

In October a Seated Movement to Music class aimed at the over 55s, particularly those with limited mobility, was introduced to the Trust’s community programme which also features ABC Baby Concerts, a Skiffle Orchestra, a Popular Music History and Song Writing group, a Recharge singing workshop for over 55s and the Urban Vocal Group.

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The Seated Movement to Music classes, which take place every Thursday 3-4pm, are gentle and relaxed sessions of playful movement with plenty of fun and laughter to be had and have been very well received to date. Class leader Caroline said, “The sessions are a real boost to people’s emotional and physical wellbeing and it has been great to meet so many people of all abilities, with many combining the session with the Recharge singing group straight after.”

A key part of the Trust’s community strategy is its Tickets for the Community scheme which is designed to give socially and economically disadvantaged groups within the PO postcode area the chance to attend live performance and events. Working through community groups, employers, partners and voluntary organisations, the free ticket scheme this year received a record number of 41 applications, with just over half being successful. With additional support this year from Victorious Festival, a number of tickets are to be made available for disadvantaged local children to attend the Guildhall Studio’s growing programme of Children’s Theatre.

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Also in October, as part of its programme for schools and colleges, The Guildhall Trust launched a brand new dance event, Dance Live! Open to all children in Key Stages 2-5, schools and colleges were invited to register to showcase their dance and performance skills alongside off-stage technical skills and pupil’s creativity through a digital screen in competitive dance heats in February, leading to a final in April next year. In an overwhelming response in the timeframe, 44 schools registered with over half of these opting to receive free workshops on digital skills and choreography, with plans to make this an annual event now confirmed.

The busy month also saw over 540 students, aged 11-16, engaged in the Trust’s annual Creative Careers Roadshow, a free interactive presentation which takes place in schools to give pupils an insight to careers in the creative industries, the range of opportunities and support available and the routes into the sector. A student from Crofton School commented on the impact the session had on them, “I learnt that you can achieve anything but you need to work for it, you can’t expect it to come to you without hard work”.

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Speaking of the Get Involved programme, the Trust’s Learning & Participation Manager, Hayley Reay said, “It has been wonderful to see the programme grow and flourish and the impact it is having on the lives of people in our community. There is such a great range of opportunities on offer, many free or at heavily subsidised rates for people to enjoy. The Guildhall Trust does a fantastic job of running Portsmouth Guildhall as a venue, but many people just don’t realise that we are a charity that is passionate about delivering these inspirational opportunities in our community and we want as many people to Get Involved as possible!”

Full details of the Get Involved programme can be found at www.portsmouthguildhall.org.uk/get-involved or by contacting Hayley Reay on 02393 870 193.

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