The Co-op Juniors have launched an appeal fund which aims to raise £50,000 by the end of the year.
Inspiring and training students in dance, music and drama has been our mission for over 75 years. We have alumni working in major ballet and entertainment companies across the world. With all stage productions paused, we have to continue our creative work with almost 400 students.
The new Appeal Fund will secure the future of the Co-op Juniors Theatre Company and Academy, and its important role for Suﬀolk’s young people and the arts.
Stephen Skrypec from our management committee explains, “As a charitable co-operative run by volunteers, we’re determined that students can continue to develop their performance skills. The disruption to their school work has been dramatic, and many extra-curricular activities have stopped completely.
“The Co-op Juniors have always been innovative and resilient, but we now face an uncertain future with no income from shows or hiring costumes and props. We recognise there are many demands on people’s income, but supporting young people and giving them a creative outlet and training is still important.”
Now, with productions postponed until 2021, we have developed our new Creative Warehouse Project. In the Ipswich warehouse provided by East of England Co-op, major changes have been made by the Juniors to provide a safe studio environment in which students can explore, innovate, train and develop with creative professionals while they are unable to perform in front of audiences.
Alan Ayres, the group’s technical director, said “We’re asking people to donate so that we can continue to provide a high level of training for our students. We’ve been entertaining Suﬀolk for almost eight decades, so we hope that people will agree that the Juniors are worth supporting. The whole team is energised by what lies ahead.”