DIY Theatre have been awarded a £109,000 Elevate grant to double their reach in Manchester and launch new disability led projects.

DIY Theatre Company logo
DIY run a small theatre group in Salford running courses for those with learning disabilities.

The Arts Council funded grant will help DIY Theatre expand and develop into new avenues, particularly into disabled leadership.

Sue Caudle, DIY’s artistic director, explained how they want to create events bringing together leaders with learning disabilities to challenge the perception that “disabled people need to be cared for rather than being people who can offer something constructive to society.”

Infographic from the Arts Council shows the importance funding for equality and diversity in the arts.
Arts Council infographic reporting on equality and diversity in the arts.

Alison Clark, director of North and Combined Arts at Arts Council England, said: “We’re very happy to be supporting DIY Theatre with an Elevate award which will help the company develop over the next few years.”

Next year DIY will be announcing a new patron; Jenny Sealey MBE, a Liberty Human Rights Arts Award winner who was listed on the h.Club 100 list of the most influential people in the creative industries.


Their current patron Coronation Street actor Chris Gascoigne, better known as Peter Barlow, is scheduled to be at their Elevate launch event on 7 February.The event will see the start of their 3-year plan to expand into Greater Manchester.

With Salford city council cutting community health and social care budgets, local charities are having to juggle rising demands and funding applications.

Just down the road from DIY Theatre, Start in Salford are a charity who use creativity to help adults with mild to moderate mental health conditions.

Artwork by Start in Salford members
They too understand the importance of grant applications and have won the ‘People’s Postcode Trust’ fund to help support the homeless by offering craft making sessions.

Start’s Charity Development Manager, Michelle Dennett, believes their success is partly due to their ability to dedicate resources to create funding applications.

The King’s Fund, a leading health think tank, indicate that government spending on social care services is now over 10% less than it was in 2009.

Mrs Caudle is delighted with the grant support DIY is receiving, she said: “Not all organisations are able to survive the current climate and that means a lot of vulnerable people are not getting the service they need.”

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