Praise for team supporting theatre’s return from pandemic
The Shropshire Council leisure team supporting Bishop Castle’s SpArC Theatre as it resets its programme after pandemic restrictions were lifted has won praise from the theatre programme’s operators.
Tim Russell, chair of Enterprise South West Shropshire, has written to the council and service leaders to express his thanks for the support given by the management team in recent months.
“Since the Theatre reopened for a second time in May 2021, we have had more than 1,000 visits to our events, despite working with a reduced capacity to keep our audiences safe. We wanted to say thank you, and to acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the underpinning support of Shropshire Council and the direct support of the Shropshire team that took over management of the SpArC Leisure Centre at the start of the pandemic.
“With your support the SpArC Theatre programme has continued to include an eclectic range of events, from films and workshops, to live music and theatre. We are particularly proud of the music and performance workshops for young people made possible this year by a Shropshire social prescribing grant.
“More than 50 young people have accessed and benefited from the scheme so far, and seeing some of them perform for the first time on stage at our open mic nights with the overwhelming support of their families and friends was a real privilege.”
Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said:-
“The effects of the pandemic have been far-reaching and are well documented.
“Community facilities such as the SpArC Theatre make a huge contribution to our wellbeing and recovery. It is a pleasure to hear that Shropshire Council and the leisure team on the ground at SpArC have been instrumental in helping keep the theatre on track and available to both audiences and performers.
“This demonstrates how strong partnerships can succeed in delivering benefits for our communities.”
Ruth Houghton, local Shropshire Councillor for Bishop’s Castle, added:-
“Having the SpArC Theatre up and running again has been a welcome boost to the local Community after restrictions were eased. The theatre is a highly-valued and well-used local resource. The varied programme includes something for everyone and has been well supported by Bishop’s Castle residents as well as supporters from the wider community in south west Shropshire.
“It’s a big thank you from me, on behalf of the local community, to Liz, the theatre manager, and Ian, the centre manager, for all their hard work in ensuring that is has been able to reopen safely and so quickly.”
The social prescribing scheme started in Shropshire in 2017, and is part of the NHS Long Term Plan. It is a non-medical programme designed to help people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs.
The NHS has committed that at least 900,000 people will benefit from social prescribing by 2024.
To find out more visit: https://shropshire.gov.uk/shropshire-choices/i-need-help/social-prescribing-in-shropshire/