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Chichester students reach £1k milestone in charity fundraiser

  • Student aiming to fundraise £20,000 for New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth
  • Group intends to hit target through live-performance of My Fair Lady in September
  • Theatre has been badly affected by the Covid pandemic


STUDENTS at the University of Chichester have raised their first £1,000 in a new charity challenge in aid of a nearby theatre.

Undergraduates on the BA (Hons) Charity Development degree are fundraising for the New Theatre Royal, which has been badly affected financially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Having hit their first £1k milestone, through virtual events alone, the group will be hosting a live performance of My Fair Lady this September to reach their £20,000 target.

New Royal Theatre operations director Sheena Hulme said: “The arts have suffered greatly throughout 2020/21 and the New Theatre Royal is no exception, as it’s facing its biggest challenge in its 160-year history, and we are immensely grateful to the students for all their fundraising support."

My Fair Lady will be performed on 16th, 17th, and 18th September at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, and tickets can be purchased at www.newtheatreroyal.com/performances/my-fair-lady.

Five students, Emily Weir, Tamina Bamford, Isabella Oldham, Sophie Reid and Georgia Hewitt, have been working hard this academic year. With nationwide restrictions due to COVID, they have adapted their normal fundraising methods and begin thinking of new and creative ways to raise money.

They kicked off their fundraising by collectively running 40km in fancy dress, bringing smiles to those they jogged past. They ran a live streamed bake off, a Read-a-thon, and an end of lockdown virtual Quiz.

The live performance of My Fair Lady will run from 16, 17, to 18 SeptGeorgina Felisi, who will play Mrs Higgins in the September show, a third-year musical theatre student on the Arts Development course studying at the University’s vatoire.

She said: “The relationship I have with the My Fair Lady musical is very special to me because it was the first show I performed in front of a public audience when I was in primary school. It is the reason I am where I am today, and I am so excited to be performing in such a beautiful theatre. I just know that with the help of public donations and future ticket sales, the theatre is capable of remarkable things.”

The University of Chichester is home to the world’s first degree in fundraising – the BA (Hons) Charity Development. Recognised by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, it offers students a unique opportunity to learn the skills essential to successful fundraising, including marketing, planning, event management and donor care.

Course founder Donna Day Lafferty added: “The intention is to offer students plenty of real-life fundraising opportunities, while giving them a firm foundation of applicable theory. There is a lack of highly trained fundraisers ready to hit the ground running, and an ever-growing need.

“A career in charitable fundraising is often overlooked and many people ‘fall’ into fundraising without qualifications. Virtually everyone’s life is touched by the work of the charitable sector, so we all benefit from knowledgeable fundraisers who raise funds efficiently while showing donors the respect they deserve.”

To find out more about the My Fair Lady live performance in September go to www.newtheatreroyal.com/performances/my-fair-lady.

To keep updated on the students’ fundraising activities follow them on: