The people of Bolton have an important role to play in the Octagon this week.

The theatre has been chosen to take part in The Big Give, which means that every public donation to the Octagon will be doubled.

And the theatre is using this platform to raise £5,000 to support its Bridges Company, for young people and adults with additional needs and learning disabilities to take part in drama and performance sessions.

The Octagon is one of a number of charities across the country to have been selected to take part in The Big Give’s 2024 Arts For Impact campaign.

For one week only, from today until Tuesday 26 March every public donation given to the Octagon will be doubled by The Big Give – making a huge difference to the charity and their outreach work with adults with additional needs.

The Bolton News: Octagon Bridges participant. Credit Grant Archer.

Arts for Impact is a specific campaign for the arts sector, which supports arts charities fundraise for projects that work with communities to help with mental health and improve social skills through arts and culture that have a meaningful impact on lives.

The Octagon are hoping to raise £2,500 from public donations for their Bridges Company, with all donations then being doubled by The Big Give.

Donations can be made by visiting:

The Octagon’s award-winning Bridges Company provides a safe, inclusive space for people with additional needs to use creativity and theatre to build confidence and social skills.

This includes opportunities for participants to celebrate their shining talents and create magical memories in performance opportunities, whilst developing life changing connections with other families and participants.

Gaynor Caldwell, parent of a Bridges Company participant, said: “It’s a great opportunity for young adults to come together and work on something really valuable to their lives. It’s not just a social opportunity it’s a learning environment. The group is a community, almost a family, I see individuals grow each time I watch a new performance.”

Head of Creative Engagement at the Octagon, Imogen Woolrich added: “Our Bridges Company is a massive part of our participants lives and for many is a lifeline, providing them opportunity to develop essential skills whilst also being an outlet to explore and share their creativity, and they absolutely flourish when they are performing on stage.

“This group is a vital programme for Bolton and we are extremely thankful to The Big Give for supporting us through their Arts for Impact campaign. Any support that the public can give through donations over the next week, really will make a huge difference to our participants’ lives – and because of the match funding your donation will literally make double the difference.”

Founded in 2007, The Big Give bring together large donors, like philanthropists, foundations and businesses, with the giving public and charities who need them.

They match public funding, meaning every donation gets doubled and has double the difference and double the impact.

Through all its projects and fundraising campaigns, The Big Give has helped to support over 16,000 charity projects and raised over £280million since 2007.

The Big Give’s Arts for Impact campaign runs from Tue 19 – Tue 26 March, and all donations made to the Octagon via the below link will be doubled.