Firstly our two main fundraising events this year will be:
* A BLACK TIE BALL on the 17th June 2017 (poster HERE)
* DONATE FOR DAN RUGBY DAY on the 29th July 2017.
See below for more details!

Friends and family of Dan Hickey award their first charity grants in his memory:

A group of voluntary and community organisations have been given the go-ahead for a number of sports and drama projects with local young people, thanks to the Dan Hickey Fund, set up in memory of a young local man who died tragically in a hit and run incident in August 2015.

The Fund's decision-making panel, made up of Dan's friends and family, met in February to review the first ever round of funding applications from nearly thirty groups. The criteria for applying was for youth organisations involved in drama or sport initiatives, helping young people who are 25 years old or younger and live in the local Bristol community. Dan was 25 years old when he died. The panel awarded grants to eight community organisations, totalling more than £19,000 to support inspiring local projects benefitting young people.

The groups receiving the very first grants from the Dan Hickey Fund are:

  • Creative Youth Network: £2,500 to support disadvantaged young people, who struggle to meet their potential, to develop a 2017 Christmas theatre production. The organisation provides social and emotional support in the form of art based activities in a safe and creative environment. ·
  • Four Acres Academy: £2,779 to help fund the school's participation in the Shakespeare schools festival, which includes a drama workshop for pupils to put on a performance at the Tobacco Factory. The students who attend the academy come from Withywood, one of the most deprived wards in the UK. ·
  • Henbury School: £2,500 to support pupils on low incomes to take part in a week-long residential performing arts summer camp. The camp culminates in the pupils preparing a performance for the public in which they showcase what they have learnt in drama, dance and music. ·
  • Kneehigh Theatre Company: £4,900 will be funding the Kneehigh Rambles Community Tickets at the Bristol Old Vic. It gives community groups and individuals who are ordinarily not able to attend the theatre a chance to experience one of Kneehigh's award winning shows as a VIP, to include a pre-show workshop with the Kneehigh actors. Kneehigh was Dan's favourite theatre company and he took great delight in attending their productions with his family and friends.
  • · Oasis Academy Brislington: £1,500 towards sports kit and specialist equipment for students to use in the development of their sporting performance whilst part of their netball and rugby academies. The aim of the programme is to engage students and give them a group to be part of, helping them at school and improving their attendance and behaviour. ·
  • Off The Record – Bristol: £1,500 towards drama therapy sessions for children facing mental health difficulties; by immersing themselves in drama young people are supported to confront and express their emotions. ·
  • Tobacco Factory Arts Trust: £1,660 for six bursary places at their Young Theatre Makers' holiday sessions, for young people who do not have the means to otherwise participate in drama activities. The bursaries named the ‘Dan Hickey Bursaries,' will focus on developing confidence, self-motivation, teamwork and creativity whilst also working on theatre-related skills. ·
  • Unique Voice £2,267 to support their week-long holiday drama activities for young people in Withywood. The focus will be "New Beginnings".
One of the successful groups, Kneehigh Theatre Company, is planning to use its two grants to open up two of their upcoming Bristol Old Vic shows - The Tin Drum and Tristan and Yseult – to around 120 local young people who don't normally have the chance to experience theatre, to inspire them about the arts and to support conversations about the work and how they feel about it.

"It's great that the Dan Hickey Fund is supporting this project", said Kneehigh's Bethany Lyne. "It'll ensure that young people from across Bristol, who ordinarily wouldn't have the chance, can experience live theatre and share in the joy of a Kneehigh show. We're excited at the prospect of bringing our programme to Bristol and working with the young people and community groups there."

Another group receiving funding for a half-term project, Unique Voice, says the grant has already made a huge impact.

"The funding granted by the Dan Hickey Fund has made a big difference to the children who participated", said Cat Sparkes, co-Founder. "Many of the children who are referred to us don't get the opportunity to take part in out of school activities and so, having a fun, creative, and safe place to make new friends and play is not taken for granted."

Children who have taken part in the latest Unique Voice project have written thank you cards and letters to the Dan Hickey Fund. One letter said: "I have made so many new friends […] thank you so much, I hope this could happen again."

Dan's sister Lizzie said: "To be able to fundraise at a variety of events with different groups of Dan's friends has given many of us an important focus during this very upsetting time. The events are always highly anticipated and very much enjoyed despite the poignant reason for coming together. Dan's friends and family have appreciated being able to reward organisations with grants that we feel truly reflect Dan's passions and philosophy of life. The process of keeping Dan's memory alive through this fund has been very healing for all involved and this is amplified by knowing the fundraising events we plan are helping others, not just those that knew him. We are all very excited for, and hard at work planning the next fundraising events."

Dan's father, John Hickey, explained the purpose of the memorial fund. "Through the Dan Hickey Fund we hope to support and develop young people through both sport and drama – Dan's two big loves in life. Dan was a fun-loving, vibrant individual, but was also very compassionate and inclusive of people who perhaps hadn't had the same opportunities in life."

The Dan Hickey Fund has raised almost £40,000 so far, through a series of fundraising events arranged by Dan's friends and family – including a charity rugby match last summer between his old university team at Leicester University and his own Bristol Saracens team, and a Christmas carolling pub crawl along on Bristol's Gloucester Road.

Two more fun and sociable fundraising events are already planned for this year:

Dazzle for Dan, Dinner and Dance (see poster HERE).

  • When: Saturday June 17th 2017, 7:00pm.
  • Where: Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel.

Donate for Dan Rugby Day

  • When: Saturday July 29th 2017
  • Where: Bristol Saracens RFC.
To get your tickets or to find out more please email danhickeyfund@gmail.com or visit The Dan Hickey Fund page on Facebook (facebook.com/groups/551698148326715/).

If you'd like to donate to the Dan Hickey Fund, or if you've been inspired to get involved with local giving, visit the Quartet Community Foundation website at www.quartetcf.org.uk.

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