The Witham are delighted to be part of this year's Co-op Local Community Fund which helps to support local projects that Co-op members care about. Since its launch in 2017, Co-op members have raised £39 million pounds for over 12,000 local causes.
With your help, The Witham will now be able to access this funding opportunity.
Our goal is to subsidise tickets for live theatre, dance and music for young people (aged 12-20) in Barnard Castle, Teesdale and Weardale. We will reach out to community groups, schools, The Hub and the YMCA to encourage young people to access performances. The workshops and masterclasses will help to form new social networks for young people. We will recruit young people to be ambassadors for the project and young volunteers to steward events and run the Box Office. Q and A sessions will provide a space to discuss issues.
How the fund works
Every time members shop at the Co-op, you can choose to give 1% of what you spend on Co-op branded products and services helps fund community projects. Members can shop at any Co-op Group stores across the UK to raise money for our cause.
Members can choose which causes to support by signing into their membership account or by calling the membership helpline on 0800 023 4708. The Witham will be available for members to select until November 2019.
The Witham Board of Trustees announce that the Investing in The Witham arts, culture and community centre in Barnard Castle has raised in excess of £42,121 in 30 days , thanks to a huge effort by trustees, staff, volunteers, supporters and visitors.
The Investing in The Witham campaign has seen supporters investing to build a financial future for The Witham. The campaign has included a wide variety of events and activities to help achieve the target including:
- a volunteer-led Morrison’s Bag Pack which generated over £570 on Saturday 1st September;
- the donation of goods for sale in the shop including artworks, scarves and jewellery that have the dual benefit of increasing donations but also, increasing the range of goods for sale;
- individual campaigners contributed with sponsored challenges including Café Manager Suzanne Wallace 15km sponsored run, Marketing Manager Sarah Gent’s Creative Chalk Challenge and former Audience Development Officer, Maddy Sutton undertaking a sponsored Peak trek.
On 9 September a variety evening, Sunday Night at The Witham which raised more than £2000 through ticket and programme sales, the raffle and the auction of a watercolour painting kindly donated by artist Chris Mouncey. The evening was hosted by TV Antiques expert David Harper and featured performances from Star of Britain’s Got Talent ‘Mimic Men’ Cal Halbert, international dramatic coloratura soprano Penelope Randell-Davis, singer singwriter Toni Sidgwick, The Castle Players, musicians’ Jane Ford and Nicky Tulloch, virtuoso ventriliquist Eileen Thompson and young harpist Joshua Greenwell.
As the campaign demonstrates, The Witham has built a strong reputation, providing a rich and varied programme of quality performances and visual arts, as well as offering activities for all age groups – from toddlers through to elderly people, from families through to people who live alone. All of this costs money and public funding is tight. There is an on-going programme of fundraising activities to ensure the Investing in The Witham is an enduring campaign. The focus is also on corporate sponsorship and grant funding in order to ensure The Witham has a sustainable future on Barnard Castle high street.
As Shelagh Avery, Interim Director of The Witham arts centre, says, “Our heartfelt thanks to all who have supported this campaign – from the board of trustees, the staff, volunteers and visitors, everyone has pulled together to achieve this remarkable result. It has been truly inspirational to be a part of this team of people working to ensure that Barnard Castle has an arts, culture and community centre long into the future.
The Investing in The Witham campaign continues.
Jill Cole is Director of Northern Heartlands, the Durham Great Place Scheme, where she manages a small team delivering a programme of arts, heritage and cultural activity across south and west Durham. Prior to this role, she had a freelance career in the arts, managing her own arts management business as well as delivering community arts activities. She was the Artistic Director of a very successful youth theatre based in the Witham before its re-development, and most recently worked for Arts Council England as a Relationship Manager for Theatre. Originally from the southeast, Jill made her home in Teesdale in 1990 and brought up her 2 children here. She has a long history with the Witham as a user, a committee member (prior to re-development), a tenant (she has twice rented office space in the building) and as an audience member.
The Trustees and staff are inviting you to invest in The Witham and help secure its long-term future.
The purpose of the Investing in the Witham appeal is to create a secure financial basis that will allow us to draw in new people whilst retaining the patronage of our current audience. The overall target of the appeal is to secure line of sight to £150,000 before the end of this year, with an initial target of £30,000 to be reached in 30 days starting on 7th August 2018. Please support this campaign by clicking BT MyDonate and donating there (which doesn't charge us a penny to gather the donations). For the latest information, please read our news update about the campaign here.
You can also complete the Investing in The Witham form and return this to our Finance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or hand this into The Witham. This gives you the option of both making a one-off donation but also completing a standing order through which you can support on a monthly basis.
Make your donation go even further! Gift Aid allows UK charities to claim back the basic rate tax already paid on donations by the donor. This means we can claim back from the government on your behalf 25p for every £1 donated, boosting the value of your donation by a quarter.
The Witham has always had a remit to benefit its users, having originally been set up as a dispensary to help local people who couldn’t afford to pay doctors’ bills and to enable people to access education. When The Witham opened its doors to the public in April 1846 it was paid for by donations from over 2000 people who were mostly local.
The most recent refurbishment was completed in 2013 and since then, The Witham has built an increasingly strong reputation, providing a rich and varied programme of quality performances and visual arts, as well as offering activities for all age groups – from toddlers through to elderly people, from families through to people who live alone. All of this costs money and public funding is tight.
With your support The Witham will:
• be a venue where everyone is welcomed
• provide entertainment of a quality that is normally only available in large urban centres
• expand what is offered to include a wider range of music whilst continuing with programming that people already value
• be a local venue for friendship and community involvement
• listen and respond to local people about what they want.
We welcome any support you can offer, and we will of course keep you fully informed of progress.
You can also get involved by becoming a volunteer.
We're looking to build upon our team of enthusiastic volunteers to help us engage with members of the public and help the keep the cogs at The Witham well oiled. We'd like to hear from you if you: are looking to learn new skills, share existing skills, enjoy working in a team, enjoy working in public facing roles, if you're looking to get back into work, or if you simply want to put something back into your local community. We’re looking for volunteers who can spare a minimum of eight hours per month in order to help out at The Witham.
Roles that we’re currently recruiting for include: Gallery Assistants, Box Office and Visitor Information Assistants and Stewards.
Email email@example.com or call 01833 631107 to have a chat about volunteering and request a Volunteer Inquiry Form.
Following the publication of The Witham's Autumn 2017 programme, it has come to our attention that there is an error in the Rotary Club of Barnard Castle's email address in their advert, due to an error.
Whole-hearted apologies to the Rotary Club of Barnard Castle for this mistake. We appreciate the support of all our advertisers and this does not reflect our usual high standards of service. The Rotary Club of Barnard Castle has been a loyal and generous supporter of The Witham over the years.
Please note that the correct email address for correspondence with the Rotary Club of Barnard Castle is as follows:
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Support your arts centre and give the gift of the arts as well!
The Witham have gift vouchers available to purchase from our Box Office which can be redeemed for tickets to music gigs, performances, films, children's theatre, dance events, gifts and food.
Please pop into the Box Office where a volunteer and member of staff will be able to help and show off all the possibilities that The Witham gift vouchers have to offer!
Vouchers can be bought in any sum you require, and you can also buy a special Witham gift card to go with it.
Support Barnard Castle's vibrant arts centre and give an amazing gift at the same time!