Working with Diverse Communities Event

There is no cost to the event. We ask that in the first instance there are no more than 4 delegates from any one organisation.


Working with Diverse Communities Event

Monday 10 June 10am - 4pm



Cast would like to invite anyone working within the arts or who have an interest in community engagement to attend the ‘Working with Communities Event’ to showcase the work of Cast’s flagship Social Seats project, and the theatres approach to access and inclusion.


Suitable for:

  • Anyone working in theatre/ arts setting who has an interest in community outreach and engagement work
  • Community leaders / project workers who have an interest in supporting their groups to attend the arts
  • Anyone with an interest in how the arts can benefit vulnerable groups
  • Anyone who wishes to know more about the barriers, which impact on vulnerable groups accessing the arts
  • Anyone wanting to know more about how Cast works within communities


The aims of the day:

  • To provide an overview of the Social Seats project, exploring how Cast has supported vulnerable groups to access the theatre and to get involved.
  • Workshops will raise awareness and explore – supporting people seeking asylum and refugees / supporting LGBTQ young people / Cast’s sensory area and supporting children with SEN
  • Access and inclusion at Cast – BSL pantomime, live streaming events to hospitals and care homes, carer tickets, outreach work, relaxed performances, Cast Communities
  • Case studies – Participants will share their experience of attending theatre and taking part
  • Marketplace – A chance for local charities/ projects to highlight their work




Session and Speakers

9:30- 10am

Registration & Refreshments

10am -10:15

Breaking down barriers – Jamie Rosser

10:15 -10:25

Welcome / overview of Cast  – Deborah Rees Artistic Director

10:25 – 11:40

Overview of the social seats project / video / learning– Nicola Doyle Audience Engagement Officer

Access and inclusion – Sian Booth Head of Marketing

Community partners and participants stories

-       Speakers to be announced


11:40: 12:30


Break out workshops


Second space –  Supporting Asylum seekers and refugees – Paul Fitzpatrick & Ahmad Hussain

Dance Space –LGBTQ  awareness / Supporting LGBTQ young people – Nicola Paterson

Meeting Space/ Cast Sensory space – Sensory processing issues Eve Baines


12:30 – 1:30pm

Lunch / marketplace (local Doncaster charity / projects

1:30 – 1:40

Participation overview including dementia friendly programming / young people’s outreach work in communities  – Sarah Clough Head of Participation


1:40– 2:30pm


Break out workshops


Second space –  Supporting Asylum seekers and refugees

Dance Space – LGBTQ awareness / Supporting LGBTQ young people

Meeting Space/ Cast Sensory space – Sensory processing issues


2:30pm – 3:20pm


Break out workshops


Second space –  Supporting Asylum seekers and refugees

Dance Space – Supporting LGBTQ young people

Meeting Space/ Cast Sensory space – Sensory processing issues

3:20 – 4pm

Summary of learning from Social Seats / Q&A / Close






About the Social Seats project…

Cast’s Social Seats project launched in September 2017 with the generous funding of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, with the aim of learning about the barriers which affect individuals from accessing the theatre and to provide supported opportunities to attend a variety of shows.

Cast worked in partnership with five groups/projects, which included:

  • Doncaster Conversation Club– who support people seeking asylum and refugees
  • Creative Directions– A group for adults that uses art workshops to help people experiencing mental health difficulties get back on track.
  • Changing Lives– Changing Lives is a national, registered charity, which provides specialist support for thousands of vulnerable people and their families.
  • Stronger Families– using a whole family approach to support families with complex needs and lives
  • Short Breaks Panel– Enabling children and young people with a disability or complex health need, to access services and activities that will enhance their life experiences


The aims of the project at the outset: 

To engage and work with targeted groups to promote equality of access

To support people facing disadvantage, inequality of access, personal or social barriers to participation e.g. disability

To improve access to the arts: promoting enjoyment and participation with outcomes such as personal and social development, well-being, education and employability, community cohesion

To research and evaluate barriers for access and use this learning to improve our offer

100 people from 5 groups will attend 2 supported visits to see live performances

Since the project began there have been over 900* (* Feb 19) attendances by the groups at a range of diverse performances and workshops which are often hosted with food and supported by Cast staff. Cast have developed models of good practice for supporting the journey of vulnerable groups, which will be shared at the event.

Using social seats funding Cast recognised the importance of equipping staff with the knowledge, skills and understanding to best support the communities we serve. Staff have trained in Makaton, Autism Awareness, Cultural Competency, LGBTQ awareness and Sensory processing alongside upskilling in mental health awareness. Training staff has been a valuable part of the project and the event will provide delegates with the opportunity to take part in three specialist workshops led by local professionals working with vulnerable groups.

Using some of the knowledge gained from the project Cast secured funding for a sensory area within the theatre, including a live stream of the show for relaxed performances. Delegates will be able to visit the sensory area, and learn about its usage.

Cast Communities has developed from Social Seats working with a wide range of local groups and projects who support individuals who may have barriers for accessing Cast offering discounted tickets and activities, with over 1400 discounted tickets sold, and over 300 free tickets accessed. The lunchtime marketplace will give delegates the opportunity to chat to and learn about these groups.

Cast continues to use the learning from Social Seats to improve access to the theatre and to reach out to local communities to break down any perceived barriers. Cast will share learning around barriers and challenges for the future.

Cast would like to share the learning with other theatres, community leaders, groups about working with ‘hard to reach’ communities to engage in the theatre.



Second Space


10 June
10-4pm FREE (lunch included)


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