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Friends of Streetwise Donation Scheme

BACKGROUND

Streetwise Community Circus is Ireland’s leading “social circus” organisation using circus skills to have wider social impacts. Since 1995 we have developed from a company that delivered cross community programmes for young people into one that now runs programmes for young people, people living with disabilities, older people including those living with dementia, refugees and asylum seekers as well as piloting schemes for homeless community and youth justice programmes.

Our ethos is to make our programmes free to participants to ensure there is no economic barrier to participation for those who can benefit most from our work. To date we have been able to do this through using annual funding from the Arts Council and Belfast City Council as well as attracting funding from the Lottery and partner organisations to fund the programmes. For the last 26 years our core administration has been funded in part through income generated from commercial sales of performance work and events which has enabled us to focus as much of our grant income on delivering workshops.

HOW WE WORKED THROUGH COVID

Streetwise Community Circus has  made a real success of finding new ways of working despite the global pandemic, which have enabled us to  continue benefiting some of those groups left most isolated by the crisis by using a combination zoom classes, “distanced” workshops and restarting live workshops as soon as it became possible. Despite restrictions, and lockdowns we have been continuing to deliver an average of 50 classes per week across all our programmes since September 2020.

THE LONG TERM NEED FOR SUPPORT

The total loss of commercial income from events during the pandemic, has highlighted that to be sustainable in the long term, we need to look for new areas of funding to avoid us having to cut front line services. We have requested addition funding from all our core funding partners, (Arts Council and Belfast City Council) however to date, these bodies have continued to fund arts organisations based on pre-covid funding levels and have not offered increased funding to any companies in our sector. Therefore, to help us to be able to continue to benefit all the groups and individuals we work with, we are now offering “Friends of Streetwise” the opportunity to make donations to support our work. The aim of this is to increase our sources of income to ensure that the benefits of our circus workshops can continue to be enjoyed by everyone, free to participants.

If you would like to support our work, you can do so by making a standing order or a one off donation via the “Friends of Streetwise” donation link on our website.

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