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Norwich-based trust wants to support more Norfolk young people

PUBLISHED: 09:34 02 February 2011

Lois Southern, 9, as Susanna, and James Jia, 9, as Figaro, left, during rehearsals for the Avenue Road Junior School's mini opera, The Marriage of Figaro, which they will be performing at the Theatre Royal with two other schools.
Photo: Denise Bradley
Copy: Kate Scotter
For: EDP/EN
©Archant Photographic 2010
01603 772434

Lois Southern, 9, as Susanna, and James Jia, 9, as Figaro, left, during rehearsals for the Avenue Road Junior School's mini opera, The Marriage of Figaro, which they will be performing at the Theatre Royal with two other schools. Photo: Denise Bradley Copy: Kate Scotter For: EDP/EN ©Archant Photographic 2010 01603 772434

©Archant Photographic 2010

The founder of a trust set up in her late husband's memory to help Norfolk youngsters access the arts wants more people to take advantage of the support on offer.

Caroline Chivers would like the county’s children to have a live and interactive experience of opera, theatre, music and visual arts.

As chairman of the Chivers Trust, she and three other trustees are responsible for awarding grants from an endowment fund each year which can help youngsters work with top professionals.

The initiative was inspired by her late husband Roy, who died from a brain tumour in 2007 at the age of 73.

As a schoolboy in London, he had access to the capital’s wealth of performances and, with help from a friend on the box office at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, developed a love for the arts at an early age. He moved to Norwich later in life.

Mrs Chivers, who lives in the city centre, said: “We don’t have that opportunity so much in Norfolk, but it is something that can be brought to Norfolk – the kind of opportunity that otherwise only exists in London or big cities.”

Since 2007, the Chivers Trust has helped bring the Philharmonia Orchestra to work with children at Hellesdon High School, been involved in the Campaign for Drawing at Norwich Castle Museum, and contributed funding to a number of the Theatre Royal’s Schools Projects.

In April last year, one of its grants helped stage a playwriting project at the Garage on Chapel Field North in Norwich.

And more recently, it supported the Shakespeare Schools Festival in November, when young people performed 30-minute adaptions of plays by the Bard at Norwich Playhouse.

But Mrs Chivers said the trust was still not well-known enough and feared schools and organisations would give up on similar projects because they were not aware of the support it could offer.

She said: “A lot of people might have a dream of doing something like this but think the money isn’t there.

“But it is possible. That’s what I want people to see – if you have got a project and you need some help, it can happen.”

The trust aims to support projects that give youngsters the chance to be actively involved with professional writers, actors, singers and musicians.

To find out more about the Chivers Trust visit
www.chiverstrust.org.uk or email info@chiverstrust.org.uk.

Are you doing something to help young people in Norwich? Contact the Evening News on 01603 772443 or email eveningnews@archant.co.uk.

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