Stratford’s Theatre Royal gets £5,000 from National Express Foundation

Community groups in east London are getting £10,000 from the charity arm of the Fenchurch Street rail operators.

Half the cash is going to Stratford’s Theatre Royal to run volunteer programmes introducing youngsters aged 13 to 24 to the arts and for workshops for young poets.

The rest is split between the East London Community Sports Association for a youth rugby programme at Memorial Park in West Ham and Newham B’3 Foundation for tackling barriers to education and jobs.

The money comes from the National Express Foundation who this week praised the groups for “helping youngsters in disadvantaged circumstances.”

Its chairman Anthony Vigor said: “These groups have ambitious plans and we hope this support can help make a real difference to their efforts.”

The windfall means the Theatre Royal can be “more connected to the community.”

The theatre’s Jan Sharkey-Dodds said: “This funding help us identify the needs of 41 volunteers and artists we’re working with and how we can support them to be artists and leaders with confidence.”

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The Foundation has also made donations totalling £25,000 to colleges and community groups located close to the Fenchurch Street line for projects promoting understanding.