On Friday the 22nd of February we opened the doors to the Centrestage Theatre and launched our Kiltwalk campaign for 2019. Hosted by our very own Jonny Griffin, the event provided the platform to update everyone on our Centrestage Bus that we all walked for last year, in addition to hearing from some of our 2019 Kiltwalk Ambassadors from across our Centrestage activities. Our CEO, Fiona McKenzie also took the opportunity to share the incredible news on the official completion of the Asset Transfer of Kilmarnock Academy to Centrestage, a massive milestone in the legacy project.
On Wednesday the 20th of February 2019 all aspects of the Kilmarnock Academy Asset Transfer were concluded, and we’ve now taken full ownership of this iconic site - what will be our new home ‘Centrestage Village’.
We are so grateful to everyone at the Scottish Government, East Ayrshire Council, The Hunter Foundation and to the many others that have worked so hard to advise and support us throughout this entire process.
We are all so excited about the next chapter of this incredible journey together!
Centrestage form part of the research published within the ‘Creating Wellbeing in Communities Report’ by SENSCOT. The Briefing aims to demonstrate the existing contribution of social enterprise in improving health and wellbeing via social and community activities – and to highlight the valuable role social enterprise can provide in working with others to address these complex challenges.
This paper is part of a series of SENSCOT Briefings which aim to showcase the approach that social enterprise is taking to address complex social issues across Scotland. This Briefing focuses on the role of social enterprise in improving health and wellbeing via a wide range of social and community activity.
The Kiltwalk is the biggest fundraising event in the Centrestage calendar and our #oneteam, communities and partners look forward to it every year.
Back in 2016, just 29 folks walked with us but last year over 358 folks spent Sunday 29th April walking across all three routes, with a hardy team also walking the Mighty Stride and Big Stroll in Edinburgh, all helping fundraise for the Centrestage Bus, which will allow us to bring isolated folks together from across Ayrshire to enjoy everything #funfoodfolk.
Thanks to your generosity and support with Kiltwalk 2018, donations were received amounting £18,058 and, with the incredible 40% top up received from The Hunter Foundation, our overall total was £25,281.
We’re delighted to announce our forthcoming performance in collaboration with the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra this Spring at the Grand Hall, Kilmarnock.
The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra’s aim is to encourage and develop Scots Fiddle Music among local young musicians and this unique partnership will showcase a varied and popular selection of music across the evening including performances by Centrestage’ s very own ‘Gospel & Soul Choir’ and the ever popular ‘Unlikely Lads’.
Fiona McKenzie CEO at Centrestage said, “It’s going to be such a special gathering in such a special place in Kilmarnock and we are all very much looking forward to performing with the young talented musicians on the night.”
Scotland’s No.1 magazine celebrates everything that Scottish women stand for and their ‘Amazing Woman Awards’ return for a second year on the 7th of March 2019, held in the Old Fruitmarket Glasgow, the day before International Women’s Day.
‘Amazing Community Contribution’ recognises individuals who go above and beyond to deliver positive outcomes across their communities and we are delighted to see Fiona recognised in this category.
Creative Learning is at the heart of everything we do at Centrestage and our 2019 programme has something for everyone. Open to all ages and abilities, beginners to advanced…. toddlers to grannies (and grandads!) Our extensive program includes classes in Musical Theatre, Dance Theatre, Acting, Vocal, Additional Support Needs and Pre-School, with classes delivered across the week to help fit in with busy lives.
No audition is required, and you can join a class at any time throughout the year. Our various Creative Learning classes all have associated production outcomes that are presented in our very own Centrestage Theatre.
A week to remember as fifty of our Eat & Train candidates graduate in style with a delicious three-course festive themed dinner, prepared by themselves and enjoyed with invited family and friends. Our Award Winning, Eat & Train, a twelve-week cooking programme is delivered across Ayrshire by qualified chefs from our ‘On the Road’ team to a maximum of eight people. Launching earlier in the year, Eat & Train teaches the basics of food hygiene and cooking from chopping vegetables to preparing a three-course meal on the final week. Candidates work towards receiving the level two food hygiene certificate and the basic cooking certificate which is given on the final week.
We’ve launched our 2018 Christmas campaign and this year the theme is centred around being ‘Together this Christmas’. At Centrestage our vision of ‘building energetic and inclusive communities with the arts at the heart is realised by bringing people together through our #funfoodfolk methodology; using food and the arts to first bring people of all ages and experiences together, providing the conduit to those furthest outside community to access the support they need; then providing the sense of belonging and purpose that allows people to come together, promoting positive health and wellbeing, connecting the isolated and providing positive, aspirational activities that are accessible to everyone, regardless of background.
Back in early November on a crisp Autumnal afternoon, our Centrestage #oneteam and various project participants arrived at our new home, Kilmarnock Academy to take part in the filming of our first ever Centrestage Christmas ad. It’s now time to let you all see it...https://youtu.be/ARxyJ10alRE
Enjoy! We look forward to seeing you all this Christmas.
On Monday 26th of November 2018 Jim Todd, Provost of East Ayrshire invited winners and finalists from this year’s West FM Cream of Ayrshire Awards to celebrate and recognise their achievements at East Ayrshire Council Headquarters on London Road.
The annual Cream of Ayrshire Awards recognise heroes and celebrates success across Ayrshire communities with West Sound & West FM listeners nominating people and organisations across various categories.
Introduction from Fiona McKenzie, Centrestage, CEO, “This year-end, more than any other in our 12 year history, marks new beginnings for Centrestage. In 2006 our mission statement for Centrestage was very clear: 'that anyone - regardless of age, ability, background or experience - can gain life changing social benefits through active participation in the arts, particularly music, drama and dance.'
Over a decade later, the 'What Works Scotland' report described our work as: “Radical inclusiveness, entailing a non-judgmental attitude and ongoing efforts to reach out to excluded groups and individuals. We interpret this as manifestation of “unconditional positive regard" for others which creates a foundation for relationship-building and reciprocity.”
As we move forward, we will continue to promote the power of unconditional positive regard, or love, for making a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable across our community. And we will not just talk about it. We must do it, with intention, across every aspect of our organisation.
Our Centrestage team picked up six awards at the Scottish Mentoring Network Awards on Tuesday 6th November at the ceremony held in Edinburgh. The annual awards are designed to acknowledge mentoring projects and individuals that have made a significant impact over the past year across Scotland. Our Catalyst, Eat & Train projects and team were awarded the following:
Highly Commended Employee: Melanie McLean
Commended Mentor: Mich Brooks
Commended Employee: Craig Ferrell
Highly Commended Mentor: Jim Davis
Commended Project: Eat & Train
Highly Commended Project: Catalyst
On Thursday 4th October at the Park Hotel, Kilmarnock our CEO, Fiona McKenzie was recognised at ‘The Cream of Ayrshire Awards’ winning the ‘Unsung Hero’ category, sponsored by North, East and South Ayrshire Councils.
The annual awards recognise heroes and celebrates success across Ayrshire communities with West Sound & West FM listeners nominating people and organisations across various categories. We all know that Fiona champions opportunities for everyone and over the past twelve years has built an incredible Charity that now welcomes over 2500 participants per week. On receiving the award Fiona said, “sincere thanks to everyone who was part of making this happen, I’m so grateful to have such an incredible #oneteam at Centrestage and to be part of such a wonderful Ayrshire Community.”
Well done to the finalist and winners on the night and thanks to everyone who voted. For all winners and full picture gallery from celebratory bash, follow the link…