Press Release – November 2022


21 November 2022

Lewisham Youth Theatre wins £422k from National Lottery

Fast-growing London youth theatre to create a Creative Hub empowering 800+ young people from ages of 7-25 in South of Lewisham borough.

Lewisham Youth Theatre (LYT) has received a £422,678 5-year grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to create a youth-led Creative Hub in Lewisham, placing young people’s creativity at the centre of a broad programme of activities that will see them take on roles as writers, directors, performers, designers and technicians.

Currently based in Lewisham Shopping Centre, the Creative Hub will particularly benefit young people from the South of Lewisham borough – an area of high deprivation with historically low investment in high-quality creative activities.

The charity’s patron, award-winning Gangs of London and His Dark Materials star Lucian Msamati says, “The good folk at Lewisham Youth Theatre know how to have serious fun, and they’re taking some big steps to build young people’s creativity and to make a serious difference in Lewisham. Bringing people together to share stories, to commune, to understand each other – that’s serious fun.”

Executive Director, Victoria Shaskan, says: “We are thrilled to receive the National Lottery’s support, which will create a step-change in how we build young people’s creative leadership in Lewisham. Our participants come from diverse communities across Lewisham borough, and they face a multitude of barriers to developing their creativity and progressing in the creative industries. The Creative Hub will make sure local young people can tell their own stories through high quality creative projects.”

2022 awards

News of the funding award comes in a month of achievements for the established youth arts charity. On 9th November, Lewisham Youth Theatre won Best in Creative Sector in the Mayor of Lewisham Business Awards, beating out several other local theatres in this publicly nominated and chosen award. On 18th November, two LYT participants appeared on BBC Children in Need appeal night with Graham Norton.

This month has also seen emerging local creatives aged 16-25 gain access to masterclasses with award-winning creatives including actors Lucian Msamati (Gangs of London; His Dark Materials) and Patrice Naiambana (National Theatre, Young Vic, RSC), director Mojisola Elefowoju and writer Oladipo Agboluaje (recent National Theatre Writer-in-Residence).

LYT will announce the National Lottery award and receive formal congratulations from Lewisham Council at their full Council meeting on Wednesday 23rd November, 7.30pm (Civic Suite, Catford, SE6 4RU)

About Lewisham Youth Theatre:LYT is so much more than a youth theatre” – former participant. For over 35 years, Lewisham Youth Theatre has provided FREE drama, performance and technical activities with Lewisham young people aged 3-25, helping to improve their long-term well-being and life chances. Over ¾ of LYT participants face significant disadvantage, including poverty, learning difficulty, mental health needs, family disruption and other marginalisation.

Reflecting the demographics of Lewisham young people, the majority of LYT participants come Global Majority communities. LYT’s programmes help participants succeed in broad future career environments, both within and outside the arts.

For more information, contact:

Victoria Shaskan, Executive Director – 020 8318 2508 /

Website:    Twitter/Instagram: @lewyoutheatre

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