Half Moon Young People’s Theatre is a theatre venue and touring company offering young people the opportunity to engage with performing arts, both as a participant and audience member.
A Charity Bank loan supported the purchase and development of its dedicated building in east London. Administrative Director Jackie Eley discusses the importance of ethical banking and how it helped the charity to continue extending its reach.
“Half Moon’s original incarnation was a radical, fringe theatre set up in 1972 to tell the stories of working class people from the area. Over the years it began to do more and more work with young people. By the 90s, the original theatre company itself had sadly folded but funding from a variety of sources enabled the youth work to continue and Half Moon Young People’s Theatre became an official charity.
“Today, we are the UK’s leading venue and touring company for young people. We host a season of professional plays aimed at young people, which we also tour around the UK. We run seven youth theatres, one of which specifically caters for those aged 13-25 with complex disabilities and care needs. Alongside this, we help to nurture and support emerging artists and young theatre companies.
“When an unexpected increase in our building’s rent threatened our operations, we were offered the opportunity to buy. To do this we took out a loan with Charity Bank. Receiving this loan and being able to purchase our building was key to our development. Once we had the security of tenure we were able to raise an additional £1 million in funds to complete essential regeneration works, reconfiguring the interior spaces and updating the exterior. This has made the building more fit for our current purpose and has greatly increased the public appeal of the venue.
“Some of Charity Bank’s investors and savers came to visit us a few years ago. We gave them a tour of the venue and told them all about what we do. It was fantastic meeting the people whose ethical banking choices had enabled us to develop and grow our reach.
“As a charity with an ethical policy, having the option to borrow from an ethical lender is really important. It not only stays within our ethos but also sends out a positive message. Being given money by Charity Bank is a seal of approval for the work you do. It helps smaller investors and donors to be confident that any money they give to you will be put to good use.”