Helen Hotchkiss, Head of Development at Belgrade Theatre, kindly spoke to Coventry BID about the fantastic fundraising work that happens behind the scenes.

Can you tell us a little bit about what it is you do at the Belgrade Theatre?
I am Head of Development, which means I have responsibility for the fundraising activities of the Theatre. A lot of people I speak with aren’t aware that the Belgrade is a registered charity, and the varied programme of productions on both of our stages is just the tip of what we do. We create and use theatre to enrich communities and fundamentally change people’s lives – through our award-winning community, education and talent development work. Last year, 11,635 children, young people and those aged 50+ participated in workshops, with 15% being from priority Coventry postcodes. In order to continue our amazing work, we are reliant on the support of our audiences, funders, members, corporate partners and donors.     

How did you come to be involved with the sports afternoon in Broadgate?
We work quite closely with Coventry BID Director, Trish Willetts and so when she suggested that to help promote our work we take part in the sports afternoon, we jumped at the chance. It was an added bonus that the companies taking part were asked to donate their entrance fee to the Belgrade.  

If people wanted to support the Belgrade, how can they do this?
There are lots of ways you can Support Usfrom coming to see a show, to having a coffee and bite to eat in our café, to hiring one of our many meeting and conference spaces, to making a donation or becoming a member – such as our corporate membership scheme, Directors’ Club.

 What kind of benefits do local businesses get for joining your Directors’ Club?
For an annual fee of £850+vat (2018), businesses will not only be able to meet some of their CSR objectives, but they will also play a part in supporting and showcasing Coventry’s sparkling cultural venue for 2021 and beyond. As a thank you for their support, businesses also receive: invitations to VIP events; advance notice and priority booking; ticket and hire discounts; and opportunities to promote their business to our audiences – both on and offline.

Do you have any other fundraising events coming up?
We do. The Belgrade turns 60 this year, so we’re hosting a huge Birthday Party – and everyone is invited. Our Diamond Gala Party is on Saturday, 15 September at 8pm. Tickets are £10*and include a welcome drink and a piece of birthday cake. There will be music, a special ‘Break a Keg’ beer and theatrical surprises throughout the evening. Tickets can be booked at our box office, in person or over the phone on 024 7655 3055, or online at http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/diamond-gala-party
*this includes a suggested £4 donation, per person, to support the charitable work of the Belgrade.

How can people contact Development for further information about supporting the Belgrade?
We can be contacted on 024 7684 6750 or at directorsclub@belgrade.co.uk / Developmentadmin@belgrade.co.uk.

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