The Ragdoll Foundation
Open Grants Scheme

Grants Awarded 2019-20

Please note, due to the restrictions put in place during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, most of these projects changed slightly from their original proposals, for example pausing / postponing face to face delivery, delaying the project start, or moving some delivery online. Information below reflects the applications at the time funding was awarded by the Ragdoll Foundation trustees.

Organisation Cherwell Theatre Company
Grant awarded £15,000 over 5 months to support

Tell Your Story

An opportunity for young people to find their creative voice through working with creative professionals to author and curate a new festival in Banbury.

Date awarded February 2020
Participants Local children and young people 5-18 years old, many of whom will be new to the performing arts
Artform Theatre & festival arts
Project location/s Banbury – various venues
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project The trustees recognised the hard work and commitment that went into preparing this application – it was easy to understand and clearly demonstrated the applicant’s commitment to engaging harder to reach children and young people who have not previously participated in arts activities.
Website https://www.cherwelltheatrecompany.co.uk/
Organisation Entrust Care Partnership
Grant awarded £7,000 over 12 months to support

The Telling of Us

A dance project for children with disabilities to create stories based on their own lives, supported by a dance specialist experienced in accessible movement, promoting inclusion and self-expression.

Date awarded October 2019
Participants Children and young people 8-18 years old who receive support from Entrust Care Partnership
Artform Dance
Project location/s SYDNI centre, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This application was well written, with context, need, and project activities well-articulated. Entrust has previous experience managing high quality arts projects, which gave the trustees confidence in awarding this grant to a non-arts organisation Adequate time was allowed for project planning, and both evaluation and sharing of outcomes were strong. The artist’s statement added weight to the proposal.
Website https://entrustcarepartnership.org.uk/
Organisation Evolve Music
Grant awarded £13,072 over 24 months to support

Explorers Early Intervention Project

Creative, imaginative family music sessions, in partnership with Radstock Children’s Centre, focused on early attachment, musical play that can be replicated at home, and speech and language development.

Date awarded June 2019
Participants Children ages 0-5 and their families / carers
Artform Music
Project location/s Radstock Children’s Centre, Somerset
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This application was well-developed, well-articulated, and demonstrated strong clarity of purpose. Although led by an art therapist, it has an arts and social engagement focus which makes it eligible for RF support. The project has tangible, well-devised outcomes and clear progression routes. Partnership is strong and will support the success of the interventions.
Website https://www.evolvemusic.org.uk/
Organisation Home-Start Knowsley
Grant awarded £7,631 over 24 months to support

Dramarama

Holiday workshops and an after school drama club in partnership with theatre-in-education company Altru Drama to inspire children and develop imaginative thinking.

Date awarded June 2019
Participants Children up to 11 years old and their families who attend the Home-Start centre
Artform Drama
Project location/s Home-Start’s building in Knowsley & at a local school
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This application followed a one-year pilot funded by the Ragdoll Foundation in 2018-19. An additional year of support allows Homestart to continue to deliver this valuable work with children and families, while at the same time seeking continuation funding from other sources.
Website http://homestartknowsley.org.uk/
Organisation Hot Chocolate Trust
Grant awarded £20,000 over 9 months to support

Artefacts

A visual / mixed arts project for young people to explore identity and imagination by investigating, creating and sharing their own stories, local history and creative work.

Date awarded February 2020
Participants Local young people 12-21 years who attend youth sessions at Hot Chocolate Trust
Artform Visual arts, photography, performance, textiles
Project location/s Hot Chocolate Trust, Dundee Contemporary Arts, McManus Gallery
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This application was well-articulated, interesting and solid. The organisation demonstrated a high level of professionalism and understanding of the young people it serves. The project itself is strategic and includes partnerships with high-quality cultural organisations. The trustees have confidence that Hot Chocolate Trust will use grant funding well.
Website https://www.hotchocolate.org.uk/
Organisation Leeds Playhouse
Grant awarded £25,135 over 24 months to support

Growing Hearts and Minds

A new project with young female refugees and asylum seekers in the process of becoming residents of the Leeds City Region. The project provides a creative safe space and aims to grow the confidence and self-esteem of participants to have their voices heard.

Date awarded October 2019
Participants Young people 11-19 years old (female group)
Artform Theatre
Project location/s Main Leeds Playhouse building, “First Floor” Young People’s space, Leeds City Centre
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project As the first Theatre of Sanctuary, Leeds Playhouse is a leader in arts practice with refugees and asylum seekers, and organisational learning from previous projects clearly influenced this application. This project allows adequate time for evaluation, reflection and dissemination of learning, and should influence practice in other theatres and arts organisations.
Website https://leedsplayhouse.org.uk/
Organisation Red Rose Chain
Grant awarded £45,000 over 36 months to support

Once Upon a Time

A 3-year project in partnership with local Children’s Centres and Suffolk Refugee Support to develop and deliver interactive performances based on traditional fairy tales, reaching families who would not otherwise have access to live performance.

Date awarded June 2019
Participants Children 0-5 years old and their families / carers, some who attend sessions at local children’s centres and some who have English as an additional language
Artform Theatre & storytelling
Project location/s The Avenue Theatre Ipswich and local children’s centres
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This was a strong, strategic application for a project that will reach established and new residents in an underserved part of the UK. Evaluation of the pilot project helped to convince the trustees that the new project will achieve its aims. The link to Red Rose Chain’s theatre was a strength, as were the solid partnerships underpinning the project.
Website https://redrosechain.com/
Organisation Stills Centre for Photography
Grant awarded £5,580 over 5 months to support

The Coming of the Fairies 2020

A photography project to explore self-portraiture, image manipulation and authenticity, inspired by the Cottingley fairy photos, a famous hoax of 1920.

Date awarded February 2020
Participants Young people 12-15 years old (female group)
Artform Photography – digital & 35mm
Project location/s Stills Gallery and Writer’s Museum, Edinburgh
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This relatively small project has the potential to help equip vulnerable young people to understand and navigate the world of fake images that surround them daily, through interaction in a high-quality photography project. The expertise of the delivery partners came across, and including the participants’ creative work in the public exhibition was also a strength.
Website https://stills.org/
Organisation Stuff and Nonsense
Grant awarded £7,550 over 10 months to support

Pinocchio – Research & Development

A series of outreach workshops in schools located in areas of low arts engagement, to explore the story of Pinocchio and inform the development of a new play based on the classic tale.

Date awarded October 2019
Participants Children 3-10 years old attending local primary schools
Artform Theatre
Project location/s Schools in Plymouth, Dorset, Salisbury & Hampshire
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This application was well-developed, well-articulated, and demonstrated strong clarity of purpose. The co-design model within the R&D phase is a discrete project, and the young participants will be able to see the fruits of their creative input when the finished production tours in 2021.
Website http://aloadofstuffandnonsense.co.uk/
Organisation The Boathouse Youth
Grant awarded £11,173 over 2 months to support

We Love to Boogie (renamed PABOW by the young people)

An opportunity for children and young people attending sessions at Boathouse Youth to work with local dance and theatre group House of Wings to rewrite a popular tale and produce a hip-hop show incorporating street dance, beatbox, rap, spoken word and theatre.

Date awarded June 2019
Participants Juniors 8-11 years & Seniors 12-15 years attending sessions at Boathouse Youth
Artform Performing arts
Project location/s The Boathouse Youth Centre, The Horsebridge Youth Centre, and The Theatre at Blackpool & The Fylde College
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project The trustees were impressed with Boathouse Youth’s commitment to improving young people’s lives through developing resilience, self-worth, and a strong sense of community. This project will allow BHY to extend their practice to working with professional artists.
Website http://www.thebhy.co.uk/
Organisation The Fruitmarket Gallery
Grant awarded £20,000 over 24 months to support

The Wonder Studio

A new early years and family programme in partnership with Starcatchers, Scotland’s national arts and early years organisation, and Greengables Nursery in Niddrie. The programme tests an approach of artists and children co-designing an environment to provide regular creative opportunities within their community.

Date awarded February 2020
Participants Children 0-5 years and their families / carers
Artform Mixed arts & storytelling
Project location/s Greengables Nursery, Edinburgh
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This was a thoughtful, interesting and strong application. The Fruitmarket gallery have a respected track record and their proposal was comprehensive and well-articulated.
Website https://www.fruitmarket.co.uk/
Organisation The Ideas Hub
Grant awarded £15,000 over 16 months to support

Stand Up and Light Up: Young People at the Chelmsford Light Parade

This project aims to be a model of excellence for digital child-led practice and supports participants to work with technology experts and artists to direct and create work for the annual Light Parade over two years.

Date awarded June 2019
Participants Children 7-11 years old from the Marconi and Melbourne wards of Chelmsford
Artform Combined Digital Arts
Project location/s Chelmsford city centre & local schools
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project A strategic and ambitious application from a relatively new organisation. The dress rehearsal performance within the participants’ own neighbourhoods was a strength, as was the child-led focus and placing the project within estates in areas of need in Chelmsford. The STEAM link was also strong and participants showing a particular interest or ability in STEAM subjects will be given appropriate signposting or support to follow this up.
Website https://www.ideashubchelmsford.org/
Organisation Void Art Centre
Grant awarded £12,000 over 24 months to support

Void Engage: Early Years, Children, and Family Programme

A new visual arts programme for younger audiences inspired by Void’s exhibition programme and including elements tailored to the needs of children with autism (ASD).

Date awarded October 2019
Participants Children 1-11 years old and their families / carers
Artform Visual Arts
Project location/s Void Art Centre, Derry
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project Void Art Centre is doing thoughtful work in challenging circumstances, and this project has the potential to have significant positive impact for local children and families. Achieving the Autism Impact Award shows commitment to working with children with additional needs, and this project will help to develop practice in this area.
Website https://www.derryvoid.com/
Organisation Whippet Up
Grant awarded £14,000 over 12 months to support

Woodland Wonders

Weekly child-led creative sessions linked to a wider arts and heritage programme; development of a new handbook to support family enjoyment of creative activities outdoors.

Date awarded February 2020
Participants Children 1-4 years and their families / carers
Artform Creative Play – including mixed visual and performing arts
Project location/s Saltburn Valley Gardens, Tees Valley
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project The trustees were unanimous in commending Whippet Up’s initial year of Woodland Wonders and in wanting to fund the project for an additional year. The proposal was interesting and convincing, and it is hoped that the second year of Ragdoll Foundation support will give Whippet Up the time it needs to secure and sustain the project.
Website https://whippetup.org.uk/
Organisation Wren Music
Grant awarded £7,500 over 24 months to support

Song, Rhyme and Playtime

Family music workshops that integrate music into children’s play and family time, through weekly sessions in a four week block. Workshops focus on music-making as a group activity, trying out instruments, singing, musical vocabulary, and building confidence in parents and carers to make music at home.

Date awarded October 2019
Participants Children 2-8 years old and their families and carers
Artform Music
Project location/s Ebenezer Hall, Okehampton, Devon
What the Ragdoll Foundation trustees said about this project This application demonstrated an innovative use of folk music to reach both established and new residents within the local community. The project supports people living in an area with a changing demographic to connect to their locality and develop a sense of place. The trustees hope that this grant will also support Wren Music’s organisational transition to a new funding model.
Website https://www.wrenmusic.co.uk/