Artistic Director Iwan Lewis, Relationship Manager Di Cronin, and the whole team at The Barn Theatre in Cirencester, are pleased to announce details of activities and initiatives planned for this summer and beyond, focussing on support for, and engagement with, the local community. 

Initiatives include
free oral health checks on Thursday 6 June during National Smile Month,
open door events during National Loneliness Week 10 – 14 June, a new ‘Nab A Neighbour’ scheme to be launched to help those come to the theatre, encouraging the Barn community to bring a lonely or isolated friend or neighbour to come to the theatre with them for free, and KidsFest – a mini festival of activities during the first week of the summer holidays. The Barn will also be linking with local Community buses to arrange transport for small groups in local villages or groups without access to transport to come and visit the theatre. 

The Barn is working closely with a local charity partners, trusts and businesses to support these initiatives and deliver their overall objectives. 

On Thursday 6 June, as part of National Smile Month, The Barn will be offering free oral health drop-in sessions at the theatre for anyone in the local community, thanks to the generosity of one of their regular patrons, a local dentist. There will be the opportunity to discuss your oral health and daily routine in a free private consultation.  

During National Loneliness Awareness Week 2024 The Barn Theatre will be openings its door from 10am – 2pm, Monday – Saturday, for all to pop in. All ages are welcome and can stay for 10 mins or 2 hours to chat over a cuppa and cake, join in a card game, and get a tour of the theatre.  

The Nab A Neighbour scheme – to be launched 8th July – is designed to help people who might be feeling lonely or isolated, and who feel daunted by going by themselves to a new place. It will encourage the Barn community to bring a friend or neighbour with them for free – and to facilitate their visit in any way needed, including helping with transport.  

The Barn will also be linking with local Community buses to arrange transport for small groups in local villages or groups without access to transport to come and visit the theatre. 

The Barn Theatre are being supported in this venture by The Bingham Trust and Rangeford Villages.   

Di Cronin explains, “Most people love a statistic but sometimes they are truly alarming and can stop you in your tracks.  This is what happened at the Barn Theatre recently when we read that the 2022 census showed that the Cotswolds has the highest proportion of elderly people living alone, a total of 6,408 households – which equates to 15.8% of all households in the area. Across the country, half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all. Two-fifths of all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company. But loneliness effects people of all ages with 16 – 29 years old twice as likely as those over 70 to experience loneliness.   

The Barn Theatre Team decided they wanted to do something to help those who feel lonely, whether theatre lovers or not.  Loneliness is a natural human emotion – we are hard wired to need social connections. “ 

Another upcoming initiative will be KidsFest – a mini festival w/c 29 July which will include storytelling, face-painting, mask-making, films and other activities to help local parents find fun, practical and engaging ways to keep kids entertained during the holidays.  

With School summer holidays fast approaching many parents will be thinking about how to keep the children entertained. 

Di Cronin continues, “whether you work from home, are a stay-at-home parent or taking time off work to be with the children, finding practical and engaging activities for your children is a rapidly looming priority – the Barn are here to help!” 

Artistic Director Iwan Lewis continues, “as a registered charity, The Barn Theatre has always strived to provide a focus, not just for being a theatre but to utilise the benefits and the inspiration of live entertainment to help tackle numerous challenges faced by the rural community as a whole. The Barn is here for you, whether old or young, isolated and lonely, or just wanting to join in and have some fun. Keep an eye on our social media accounts for further information and dates – and we look forward to giving you a warm welcome!”