Hi everyone. Abi here. A quick pre-event blog from me, because the First Draft team would like to ask you a big favour.
Those of you who’ve been supporters of First Draft for a long time may remember that we’ve been lucky enough, on a couple of occasions, to work in partnership with Preston based charity Deafway, of which my dad, David Hynes, is the Chief Executive. They’ve brought Deaf performers and audience members along to some of our events, along with British Sign Language interpreters, and these have been a real highlight in the history of First Draft.
As well doing all kinds of work in the UK, Deafway runs a lot of projects supporting Deaf people overseas. For the past 15 years (since I was 11, and my dad started working abroad significantly for the first time), they’ve been raising money and running projects with Deaf children and adults in Nepal.
You’ve probably worked out the next bit of the story.
In the recent earthquakes in Nepal, thousands of Deaf children and adults have been put at risk, including many of those involved in Deafway’s own projects. Deafway’s schools for Deaf children have been damaged (leaving children and staff sleeping outside), parents and family members have been killed or seriously injured, and homes have been destroyed.
Since the earthquakes, Deafway have been raising money to repair the damaged buildings and make sure that the people affected get the practical and emotional support they need. It’s especially important that this support can be provided by Nepalese Deaf and hearing people who are fluent in Nepali Sign Language.
So we’re asking for your help.
Almost all of our First Draft events over the last few years have been free, and we intend to keep it that way. It’s possible because, usually, we don’t get paid, and neither do any of our brilliant performers – and our wonderful regular venue The Castle Hotel are kind enough to offer us the space for free. This means that everyone, regardless of available funds, can show up to our cabaret nights. I also believe that keeping our events free creates the right low-pressure, supportive, ‘anything can happen’ atmosphere for First Draft to thrive in.
However. Just this once, we’d like to ask those of you who can afford it to give what you can at our birthday event, Third Time Lucky, on Monday night, to support Deafway in doing this incredibly vital work. As always, we won’t ask for any money on the door, but there’ll be a collection bucket (or hat. Or whatever sort of vessel I can find, really) in the room for anyone who wishes to contribute.
Alternatively, if you can’t make it on Monday but would still like to donate, you can do so online or by text here.
Thanks everyone. I can’t wait to have a bloody good birthday bash with the lot of you on Monday.
Don’t forget to join us for our birthday party event, Third Time Lucky, at the Castle Hotel on Monday night!