EdFringe tix for looked-after kids

Aug 20 2015 | By More

Hundred of companies join new scheme

Hundreds of companies with shows on at the fringe have joined a new scheme to help give complimentary tickets to looked-after children in Edinburgh.

The project, Access Fringe – Looked-After Children, is being organised by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society in collaboration with City of Edinburgh Council and with support from Virgin Money.

Edinburgh Fringe ticket promotion: (left to right) Cllr Paul Godzik, convenor or children and families committee, Kath M Mainland, chief executive of Edinburgh Fringe and Andrew Nicholson, head of sponsorship at Virgin Money. 19th August 2015. Picture by JANE BARLOW © Jane Barlow 2015 {all rights reserved} janebarlowphotography@gmail.com m: 07870 152324

Cllr Paul Godzik, Kath Mainland and Andrew Nicholson. Photo Jane Barlow

The initiative comes on the back of a successful pilot last year when, for the first time, tickets to Fringe shows were made available to children whose economic and social circumstances would “not normally allow them to participate in cultural activity”.

Over 1,400 young people and children are in the City of Edinburgh care system. The scheme seeks to provide them with an opportunity to participate in the kind of cultural and entertainment opportunities readily available to many other children and young people.

EdFringe companies can elect to make free tickets available to the scheme. These are then in turn made available to carers through a micro-website, which is funded by Virgin Money.

There are over 3,000 shows in the fringe and although figures for those taking part are not available yet, as companies still have time to sign up, Æ understands that the number of companies already taking part is in the hundreds.

Access and engagement

Kath Mainland, fringe society director, said that the scheme is one of a series being organised by the society over the coming years, “to tackle the physical, economic, social and geographic barriers that stop people from participating”.

Saying that access to, and engagement with, the arts is fundamental for people of all ages, she added: “We want to help provide some of the most disadvantaged children and young people in the City an opportunity to experience the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – an opportunity they would not normally have due to economic and social reasons.”

Cllr. Paul Godzik, Convener of the Children and Families Committee at City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh’s festivals offer so much to our city, and it’s fantastic that the Fringe community have come together to support our looked after children and ensure that some of the most vulnerable people are fully part of the event.”

The fringe society say that support from Virgin Money has been crucial in getting the project off the ground. Paul Lloyd, the company’s Marketing Director said: “We are proud to support this initiative to help children in care in Edinburgh experience the wonder of the Fringe. We always welcome inclusive and community-spirited initiatives and we think that this is a brilliant example.”



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