What is the Social Seats Project? 

The Social Seats project is generously funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) which enables Cast to provide support, advice with both individuals and groups, along with subsidised or free tickets to various productions, activities and events. As part of the project we are developing relationships with Doncaster communities to understand the potential barriers that people face, preventing them from accessing the theatre. We are constantly working with young people, parents and professionals to help remove barriers and provide opportunities for vulnerable groups to experience theatre which often is their first time. Since the September, over 500 people have been able to access the arts by attending events.  

We are currently working in partnership with and offering supported visits to: 

  • Changing Lives – At Changing Lives’ Doncaster Women’s Centre and Community Hub we support individuals and families in Doncaster to achieve their full potential and change their lives for the better.
  • Stronger Families – Using a whole family approach to support families in Doncaster
  • Creative Directions – Supporting individuals who have experienced mental ill health through the arts
  • Short Breaks Panel (formally known as Aiming High)- supporting families of children with disabilities
  • Conversation Club – Offering support and friendship to asylum seekers and refugees

Our Audience Engagement Officer works closely with our Social Seats partners in providing support. 

I grew up in Donny and feel we are extremely lucky to have a world class theatre like Cast. I am passionate about the mission of ‘great art for all’ in my community and through working closely with our partners to learn about what we do, and can do better, we aim to make Cast as accessible as possible.

I am always keen to hear from individuals or groups from any age or background and I would love to know your opinions of Cast and how your experience of the theatre could be developed. If you work with a local group, community project, school or charity and would like to be added to the social seats community database, for offers targeted at some of our most vulnerable and hard to reach communities, please get in touch.

[email protected], 01302 303959 ext 236

Our aims

  • Engaging and working with new audiences to promote equality of access for all
  • Engaging people facing disadvantage, inequality of access, personal or local barriers to participation e.g. disability
  • Improving access to the arts: promoting enjoyment and participation with outcomes such as personal and social development, well-being, education and employability, community cohesion

Research with communities

We are committed to being a learning organisation, and have engaged in a process of conversations, surveys, training, outreach, focus groups and shared learning to better support the needs of those with barriers for engagement. Through dialogue with young people and adults with disabilities, and those with special educational needs and their carers and educators, we are using this learning to improve our relaxed performances and developing a safe space area within the theatre. To find out more click HERE


Today’s visit was amazing, the children really enjoyed the Milkshake show. It was age appropriate and very entertaining so the children weren’t bored at all. The added bonus of our own space in the interval is a huge positive. Especially removing the pressure to spend on snacks and the chance for the children to let off some steam in a safe space.

I really do appreciate the support from Cast, attending the theatre is more than just an afternoon out for some of the families, it stays with them. Parents feel “normal” when chatting at the school gates about their trip to the theatre. I am really trying to promote inclusion for the local ethnic minority communities who still on some level fear the theatre as somewhere they don’t belong. A trip to the theatre can have very positive links to the community and I hope to promote this further.

Nicola Doyle is a huge support to myself when attending as some of the families are challenging and she is always there to support me in my role, especially on this last visit where she could see I needed a little extra support, she was very happy to help out.

We had an amazing afternoon, watching the children’s faces when fireman Sam arrived was priceless.

Well done Cast, you got this right!

 Sharon – Changing Lives

Thank you again for making us feel so welcome, it meant a lot to both myself and the families. Gestures such as this are crucial in encouraging resettled families to feel like they are part of the community, and gives them a bit of respite from their everyday worries.

Refugee support worker

Thankyou so much for the social seat tickets given to changing Lives Doncaster. The families whom attended thought the show was amazing and not one of the children would have been able to attend the pantomime without this support from Cast. As senior childcare I really appreciate the use of the room in the interval. This reduces the pressure felt by parents to buy snacks and refreshments they cannot afford. The children are able to run around for a little enabling better concentration throughout act 2. I hope, moving forward I hope the relationship between Cast and Changing Lives Doncaster continues to blossom.

Changing Lives worker

Visit went really well we was met by Nicola in reception and given our tickets we had all been allocated seat including one space for a wheelchair in the interval we was provided with drinks and biscuits. Overall, a fabulous evening and many thanks to Nicola for her support and kindness to our young people especially coming to meet our group in our club. 

J&D Activities