Wychwood Saplings is a drama group for children and young adults based in rural West Oxfordshire.
The aim of the group is to support interest in every aspect of theatre production, regardless of experience or ability.
The group presents public, amateur musical performances within the community but there is no requirement to perform. Instead, if they choose, members may learn about lighting, sound, production, set building and all aspects of the theatre.
One of the key aspects of the group is it's inclusivity. The membership costs are kept low to make it accessible to families that may find commercial drama groups' costs prohibitive.
Any child is welcome, regardless of ability and experience. All productions are carefully planned to ensure everyone has an opportunity to shine in whichever way they feel most comfortable. Many parents, like myself, have become involved as volunteers after finding our children enjoying Saplings so much. However, most of the energy, enthusiasm and sheer hard work, comes from Mandyrae Large and her daughter, Lizzie, founders of Wychwood Saplings.
They have also used their strong connections in the community to bring the Saplings together with others such as at the village fete and giving performances at The Paddocks, our local residential home for the elderly.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
The group uses fundraising rather than membership fees to purchase items for performances. The equipment we have built and purchased, such as backdrops and stage flats, can no longer be stored in our lead volunteer's (Mandyrae's) house. We therefore wish to purchase a large shed. The group has been given permission to erect the shed at the rear of Milton-under-Wychwood village hall.
By having sufficient space to store equipment, we can save costs as we will be able to keep and subsequently re-use items rather than taking them apart or disposing of them after shows.
In addition to saving money, having more storage space will allow the group to hold larger, more professional equipment.
"My daughter who has Aspergers, started at Wychwood Saplings with absolutely no confidence and with a huge issue with separation anxiety. A month ago, I watched her stand on stage having just had two teeth surgically removed the day before, and with absolute, total confidence sing a solo. A child who hates crowds and noise.
I can't thank the Saplings enough. What my daughter has achieved through them has been incredible.
Vicky Badger, parent of a Wychwood Sapling"
For more information visit: