Thank you! Joy at £345K grant boost from Paul Hamlyn Foundation


We’re thrilled to announce we’ve received £345,000 from Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Arts Access and Participation Fund.

PHF was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. He died in 2001 and left most of his estate to the foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. PHF use their resources to support social change, working towards a just and equitable society in which everyone, especially young people, can realise their full potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives.

The £345,000 will be received over three years. It will be used to continue our work with children and young people at The Garage in Norwich’s Chapel Field North and our sister venue The Workshop in King’s Lynn Vancouver Quarter.

It will also allow us to sustain our Norwich-based youth arts worker roles and recruit a new youth arts worker for The Workshop. These roles play a crucial role in working with children and young people, supporting them to engage in positive arts-based activities to help them overcome the challenges they are facing.

Over the coming three years, our community producers in Norwich and King’s Lynn will work on creative projects that are co-designed with both areas to address local needs, with opportunities for participation, training, celebration and progression.

Carrie Mansfield, our Executive Producer, said: “People have had a tough few years. Now more than ever we want to ensure we’re doing our best to use our team, our strengths and our experience to change people’s lives through art and that our work is reaching, supporting and positively impacting the people in our communities.

“This funding will allow the Trust to build meaningful relationships with them and work together to identify needs and use creative projects to help address these needs, bringing about positive social change.”

She added the funding would also allow the us to continue our work to create a more diverse creative sector and new entry points for people from a wide range of backgrounds and walks of life.

Carrie said: “We’re aware that routes into creative participation learning, training, education and careers is not fully accessible to all, especially those who face challenges or who feel marginalised. Creativity is a powerful tool that can bring about positive changes in the lives of individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.”

There was good news too for sensory theatre specialists Frozen Light who are based at The Garage. They were given £125,000 over two years from the same fund.

Lucy Garland, Frozen Light‘s Co-Artistic Director, said: “We’re so grateful to receive this grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation which will support the development of our practice. It will enable us to expand our mission so that Frozen Light can truly represent our audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and ensure their voice is included in our work.”

They will use the money to work closely with a small group of local people with PMLD and their companions, exploring how they can be co-creators in their work. Frozen Light, an associate company of The New Wolsey in Ipswich, will also make a beautiful multi-sensory space where audiences can explore new ideas.


Amber Onat Gregory, Co-Artistic Director, added: “The Sensory Tent is a unique space for this co-creation to take place. We want to push boundaries for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) working as artists and to have the time and space to learn how to do this with the highest ethical standards.”

Frozen Light tour their shows for adult and young adult audiences to theatres and arts centres across the UK. Founded in 2013, they have created six shows which have visited more than 70 different venues across the UK. In 2016 they were the first company to take a show specifically for audiences with PMLD to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They returned in 2017 as part of the British Council Showcase.

In 2019 Frozen Light were invited to New Zealand to work with Touch Compass Dance to support the development of the country’s first show specifically for audiences with PMLD, which became Masina Returning Home. Forever adapting with the times, in June 2020 Frozen Light launched The Frozen Light Podcast and in 2021 created their first digital production 2065: The Multi-Sensory Movie.

Their latest production 2065 sees rebels fight an oppressive regime made up of all-powerful corporations. It will premiere at The Garage from 14-18 September before touring the UK.

Tara LaComber, Grants Manager, at Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said: “We believe in the power of the arts as a force for change, and one that enriches people’s lives. These programmes aim to ensure that communities are at the heart of arts and performance creation in Norwich and King’s Lynn and are empowered to collaborate and co-create work in a meaningful way.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, this sense of connection and partnership is all the more vital. We look forward to following the development of Frozen Light and The Garage‘s work and supporting them to share knowledge with each other and more widely.”

Booking for our autumn term is now open. Find out more about our classes and accredited courses. For the latest news on what we’re up to, follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook or sign up to our monthly newsletter.

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