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  • Writer's pictureJenna Cockburn

NEWS: Edinburgh Playhouse To Work With Three New Partner Charities For 2023/2024

The Edinburgh Playhouse are delighted to be partnering with three charities, SAMH, Vintage Vibes, and SiMBA for the next 12 months. This follows a successful fundraising year where the theatre was partnered with Maggies, Ecas and Waverley Care throughout 2022/2023, having raised a combined figure of over £70,000 for these charities. Staff took part in fundraising events including an abseil down the Falkirk Wheel, a 10k run, and the Kiltwalk, as well as working with touring productions to facilitate bucket collections after performances in the theatre and raising awareness about the charities work.

The Edinburgh Playhouse received over 80 applications from charities across Scotland interested in being one of their ‘Charities of the Year’. After considering every wonderful application that was received, creating a shortlist, and sending a final vote out to all Edinburgh Playhouse staff, the charity committee are thrilled to be working with three new charities who offer a breadth of support to the local community.

SAMH, the Scottish Association for Mental Health, has been operating for 100 years and today, runs over 70 services in communities across Scotland, providing mental health social care support, addictions and employment services, and much more. Catriona Wilson, SAMH’s Community & Events Fundraiser says, “All of us at SAMH are delighted to have been chosen by the Edinburgh Playhouse as one of their charity partners for 2023/2024. It’s really encouraging that staff voted to make mental health one of their causes and we’re looking forward to working collaboratively on both improving awareness and also raising vital funds for Scotland’s mental health. This is a fantastic opportunity and we can’t wait to get started. We are stepping up, so that SAMH can reach everyone who needs us and we are delighted to have the Edinburgh Playhouse step up alongside us.”

Vintage Vibes is a city-wide project tackling loneliness and isolation in the over 60s across Edinburgh, which has been named the loneliness city in the UK for older people. The charity helps older people (who they refer to as VIPs) to get back out into the world, meet new people and enjoy life again with a focus on forming lasting friendships and having fun. Gemma Wright, who runs their Communications and Fundraising says, “Vintage Vibes is thrilled to have been selected as one of The Edinburgh Playhouse’s Charities of the Year for 2023/24! As a small charity project tackling loneliness and isolation among people over 60 in Edinburgh, the support of such an iconic local partner will make a massive difference to our work and to the lives and wellbeing of older people in the city.”

Founded in 2005, SiMBA, Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal, supports families whose baby has died at any stage of pregnancy or around the time of birth, through gifting Memory Boxes, refurbishing Family Rooms within hospitals, remembrance activities and events. Vanessa Rhazali, Head of Fundraising and Communications at SiMBA says, “We are so grateful to have been chosen as a charity partner for the much-loved Edinburgh Playhouse for 2023/24.  The funds raised from our partnership over the next year will mean we can continue to provide bereaved families across Edinburgh and the Lothians with the comfort and support they need at one of the most traumatic times of their lives. Your donations will mean bereaved parents will receive one of our precious Memory Boxes, will have the space and time to say goodbye to their little one in one of our Family Rooms within hospitals and also have a special place to reflect, remember and honour their baby at one of our Trees of Tranquillity.”

Claire McCarragher, Assistant Customer Experience Manager and Chair of the Edinburgh Playhouse Charity Committee says, “I am thrilled to announce that the Edinburgh Playhouse partner charities for 2023/24 are SiMBA, SAMH and Vintage Vibes. All three are Scottish-based charities with very different, but equally important, missions. The Charity Committee are dedicated to working alongside our partners to help spread awareness of their individual causes and raise money to support those in the local community”.

Over the coming year, the Edinburgh Playhouse will support these three charities through bucket collections after selected performances, raising awareness about their work, and taking part in various fundraising events and challenges throughout the year. The whole team look forward to continuing to give back and connecting to the local community throughout the next 12 months and beyond.


Edinburgh Playhouse

With over 3000 seats, the Edinburgh Playhouse is the UK’s largest all-seated theatre. Firmly established in the cultural landscape of Edinburgh and Scotland it plays host to some of the biggest names in live music, stand-up comedy, and musical theatre. It also welcomes many shows as part of the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Although designed as a variety theatre, the Playhouse opened in 1929 as Scotland’s second largest cinema. It was hugely successful and remained so until the downturn in cinema attendance in the early 70s. When it closed in November 1973, the building was at risk of demolition, but following several years of public ‘save the Playhouse’ campaigns, it was eventually saved. The building reopened in 1980 as the fully functional theatre it was always intended to be.

In the years since, it has hosted the likes of Elton John, Nick Cave, Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Bridges, Tim Minchin, and international hit musicals such as Wicked, We Will Rock You, Matilda, and Disney’s The Lion King. 

The Edinburgh Playhouse is owned by Ambassador Theatre Group.


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