In December, we once again opened our doors for the fifth year in a row to families in the local community facing challenges and invited them to see our Christmas show and enjoy a delicious hot meal here for just £1.
Full Hearts Full Tummies is an annual initiative which we host every Christmas and this year we welcomed a record 473 children and families who came to see We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and enjoyed activities, gifts and games after the show.
Over two weeks, five days, and seven shows we hosted local families from Newham and Tower Hamlets, via referral charities, who cannot afford to take a trip to the theatre and have a family outing over the winter months. Of those who attended 51% spoke English as a second language, 11% were homeless or in temporary accommodation, 10% were asylum seekers, 5% refugees, and 10% from complex home situations. Many of the audience members told us that this was their first time seeing a show.
One facilitator wrote: “All families who attended with us have never experienced a theatre experience. We have received glowing reports about the show. Huge appreciation was also mentioned in regards to the hot meal - thank you to the chef! Great efforts with decor too. Thank you!”
After every meal we asked our guests for feedback which we hung on the Christmas tree. We are pleased to report that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Here is a selection of comments from our guests:
“We had a wonderful time, the food was delicious and our children stayed focussed for the whole show - a miracle!!”
“We loved the show it was perfect, my 2 year old daughter loved it. Thank you so much xxx”
“Thank you so much for having us. It was lovely to be here fantastic and yummy food with lovely and kind people around!”
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who made this yet another successful run! Full Hearts and Full Tummies would not be possible without our referral charities that identify those who are most in need, those who donated, our talented chef Emily, and our wonderful front-of-house staff and volunteers who helped on the day.