The Regal Youth Company is a youth arts organisation running activities for children, young people and adults across West Lothian in Scotland. We believe in creating opportunities for participants to engage in collaborative, enjoyable and social workshops, projects and performances.
The Regal Youth Company exists to amplify the voices of children, young people and adults living within our community of West Lothian. We want to create opportunities for them to share stories, express themselves and collaborate with other like-minded people.
We aim to create a non-judgemental and safe space for participants to collaborate, create and perform with each other. Participating in theatre activity is proven to boost confidence, develop skills for life and helps participants widen their social circle. Working towards shared goals such as performances has been proven to help self-esteem, pleasure and has significant physical and mental health benefits.
Due to the COVID19 pandemic, like many other businesses in the arts, we have been hit hard creatively and financially. Projects to launch new groups across West Lothian have had to be put on pause. Performances have been cancelled meaning generating income is harder.
We have run digitally with our Bathgate groups since March 2020 and we’re so glad that lots of participants have been able to join us. This has had such a positive influence on participants during lockdown as Olivia & Georgia (two of our Junior participants) commented: “We really enjoy doing drama with RYC and we are missing going to our normal classes, but digital classes have been fun. We look forward to our class every week and it means we don’t miss out!” Facilitating opportunities for children and young people to connect digitally on a safe platform has been the main aim from March 2020.
As the prospect of face to face workshops begins to become a bit clearer, we want to make sure as many children and young people can reach our workshops as possible. However, we know that this pandemic will hit many families financially hard in West Lothian making coming to groups like ours trickier. We will not let financial barriers stand in the way of children and young people participating in our workshops.
In January 2021, we will be introducing a bursary scheme for parents of children and young people to apply to. This scheme will either fully or partially fund spaces across all of our workshop groups. The bursary will aim to help people who have been impacted financially by the pandemic and includes those on Working Tax Credits, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefits, Personal Independence Payment Plans, Universal Credits and Free School Meals (P4+). This will ensure all children and young people have equal access to our activities.
Your donations will help with funding the bursary scheme meaning we can pay room hire and our team of freelance staff. By donating it would mean you would be taking the burden of payment off of West Lothian families and enabling children and young people to access our activities without any financial pressure. We want to create opportunities for every child and young person. We recognise that it’s not enough for us to say that, but we want to act on it. We hope you can help.
Where will your money go? 20% of the money will go towards a public transport fund where participants who travel by bus, taxi or train can apply to have their tickets paid. 80% will go towards partially or fully funding spaces in our workshop groups.
A Wee Bit More About RYC...
What is the Regal Youth Company? We are a youth arts organisation based in West Lothian. We have been running a successful workshop and performance programme for five years. Our company aims to reach all sections of our community from Primary School pupils to Secondary School students right up to adults. We enable participants to access fun, creative and social weekly activity.
Who runs the Regal Youth Company? We are run by a group of freelance directors, writers, performers and youth theatre practitioners. Our artistic director is Matthew Swan. Matthew says: "the top priority of the team at RYC is to make sure that every participant leaves workshops feeling more confident, happier and that they develop skills for life." The team at RYC love what they do and want to as many children, young people and adults to access activities as possible.
Why was the Regal Youth Company set up? The Regal Youth Company was set up to provide an accessible space for children and young people to develop confidence, passion for the arts and to create a social space for new friendships to form. We were also set up to provide networking opportunities for artists in our Senior and Adult Groups - we hope to create opportunities for collaboration.
What do the participants say? "The Regal Youth Company to me, is a place where I bonded with some beautiful souls and really learned a lot about myself." "Being a part of the RYC helped me to determine the kind of route in life that I wanted to go down. It encouraged me to pursue creative activities in my free time and helped open me up to a fantastic world of opportunities!" - Heather, Alumni
"For me, RYC was the place where I first got to explore new aspects of music and theatre and find out what kind of things I was passionate about. It was also a great support system for me as a young artist." - EmilieJane, Alumni
"I honestly can't thank RYC enough for everything I've had the chance to experience, not only did my love for theatre grow but I did as well. Thanks to the company I've met a lot of amazing people. Whenever I come back to volunteer I feel at home and it inspires me to continue down a creative path. I'll never forget my time at RYC, as it was some of the best years of my life." - Nikita, Alumni
"I love the Zoom sessions because they are great fun and I get a chance to see everyone." - Current Participant
Why should I donate? The arts sector has been hit hard by the pandemic and the industry as a whole is struggling. Likewise, many families will be financially hit because of the pandemic. We don't want children and young people to miss out on opportunities to enjoy and benefit from our activities. We also need to pay for room hire and our excellent team of freelance staff. You can help us do this by donating. A donation to the RYC would go a long way.