The Joseph Rowntree Theatre has just announced the appointment of Hannah Wakelam as its first Young Ambassador. Hannah was responsible for setting up and running the online Yorkshire’s Got Talent contest which reached its final last weekend. Through this contest and other online competitions, she raised over £1200 for the theatre’s Raise the Roof appeal and massively boosted the theatre’s youth following.
Hannah approached the theatre very early on in its campaign to suggest ways that she could help it to raise funds for the Raise the Roof appeal. The Yorkshire’s Got Talent online contest quickly attracted a huge number of entrants and followers, and membership of its Facebook group surged to almost 4000 people.
Judges included West End stars and the winner, announced last Sunday, was local performer Edward Atkin. The two acts which were joint runners up were Fladam (Florence Poskitt and Adam Sowter) and Jordan Wright. The winner was decided by a public poll, the judges and six other West End and Broadway industry professionals.
Graham Mitchell, the theatre’s Events and Fundraising Director says, “Hannah’s enthusiasm and support for our cause are infectious. She’s achieved huge things in a short space of time and has brought the theatre’s Raise the Roof appeal to the attention of thousands of local people.”
To recognise Hannah’s achievements, the theatre has decided to name her as its first Young Ambassador. This new role will see Hannah supported by the board of trustees as she continues to raise awareness of the theatre amongst younger theatregoers.
Hannah says, “The support for the Yorkshire’s Got Talent competition and the money it raised blew me away! I absolutely love this theatre, I’ve performed in it so many times and we need it to survive so that it can exist as a training ground for young people, both on and off stage.”
Although Yorkshire’s Got Talent may be over, Hannah continues to work with the theatre’s fundraising and marketing teams, creating online content for Facebook and Instagram. Video tours of the theatre will soon be available to view, seen through Hannah’s eyes and in her words. She is also about to launch a huge raffle for the appeal and is currently looking for donations of prizes.
Recognising the opportunities that the venue offers to young people, only last week York-born actor David Bradley lent his support to the theatre’s appeal. David says, “The Joseph Rowntree Theatre has been a vital part of the city for many years. I know from personal experience that it has provided opportunities for so many young people and I will always be grateful for that. I fully support the Raise the Roof appeal and wish it every success.”