Luton youth organisation appeals for public's help to keep business going during coronavirus pandemic

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Next Generation Youth Theatre CIC (NGYT) is appealing for the public's help to keep the business running.

NGYT, one of Luton's leading arts providers for young people, made the decision to close their doors during the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, events and performances have been cancelled and their outreach work across Luton schools put on hold - NGYT are now in desperate need of funding in order to survive.

NGYT Laced UmbrellasNGYT Laced Umbrellas
NGYT Laced Umbrellas

A Crowdfunder page has been set up to raise money for the community business.

Co-Artistic Director David Lloyd said: “The crowdfunder has been started to help the survival of NGYT as well as support 10 local freelance creatives.”

Despite closing the doors, the founders decided to help their young people and the wider Luton Freelance Arts community.

They have worked with Young Minds UK and are regularly promoting and sharing resources and working with their young people to ensure they feel safe and secure within the #NGYTfamily.

Next Generation Youth TheatreNext Generation Youth Theatre
Next Generation Youth Theatre

David added: "When parents are telling you that NGYT is their child's safety net or that it is the one place they feel they can truly share their feelings you become very aware of your responsibility.

"It is something we take incredibly seriously."

It was essential therefore that they continued to deliver their sessions online and they have taken to various platforms to make sure young people can continue to access weekly groups and companies.

The NGYT creative team have been checking in with their parents and young people, sharing well being resources, setting challenges, recording choreography, writing dialogue and even arranging online drop ins from Karl Queensborough the lead in West End's Hamilton and messages from Lucie Jones who was starring in The Waitress.

Quiz nights, Dance parties and virtual Proms are all more of what NGYT have up their sleeves to keep their young people busy, creative and connected during the weeks ahead.

As well as raising money to keep the business running, the Crowdfunder is to raise money to create 10 local freelance artist bursaries of £250.

Laura Lloyd, Co-Artistic Director, said: "We fully recognise the strain on the creative sector at the current time and want to make sure the individual freelance creatives in Luton are given a much needed lift at this time too."

NGYT are also encouraging artists and creatives online to share their art with the offline world, during the coronavirus lockdown, through the #myneighboursanartist.

David Lloyd said: "Step outside into your garden, stand on your driveway, pop up in your window, stand on your balcony and sing a song, play an instrument, do a dance, exhibit your art, recite a poem and keep your neighbours entertained.

"Film it, share it online too with the #myneighboursanartist and nominate 5 more people to carry on this creative act of kindness at a safe distance too."

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