Regenda Homes and Oldham Coliseum Theatre put creative spotlight on finance

9 Jun 2016

Regenda Homes are working with Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s Learning and Engagement Department to put the spotlight on monetary worries with bespoke theatre projects to help raise awareness around financial issues affecting people in Oldham.

Brand new verbatim theatre show, Benefits Who?, explores Universal Credit; a single monthly payment for people in or out of work, that merges some benefits and tax credits together. Universal Credit has brought about significant changes for individuals and housing providers and the verbatim piece, which will be directed by the Coliseum’s Associate Director, Chris Lawson, uses real-life stories to explore the issue.

“Helping people understand these issues is really important. We’re delighted to be working with the Coliseum and partners from Oldham Housing Investment Partnership on the project, which has already produced some really tangible benefits” Chris Standish, Regeneration Manger, Regenda Homes.

Benefits Who? is a part of the Creative Credit project, a partnership project led by Regenda Homes with Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Oldham Council, Oldham Credit Union, Oldham Housing Investment Partnership (OHIP), First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) and Great Places.

The project, which started in September 2015, has already engaged over 300 children and adults in the dangers of illegal money lending with its first theatre piece Don’t Let The Shark Bite, which explored the dangerous world of loan sharks. Written by the Coliseum’s Head of Learning and Engagement, Carly Henderson, Don’t Let The Shark Bite was workshopped or performed with a range of schools and community groups including Watersheddings Primary School, Limehurst Primary School, Greenacres Primary School, Waterhead Academy, Oasis Academy, Oldham College and The Crossley Centre between November 2015 and March 2016.

Ms Robertson from Limehurst Primary School commented: “The workshop was a fun way to educate the children about loan sharks and the importance of saving money instead of borrowing money irresponsibly. After completing the workshop, we have had more detailed discussions as a class about this issue”.

Benefits Who? will tour to centres across Oldham, including Limehurst Tenants Hall, the Primrose Centre and the Crossley Centre, on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 June with a performance in the Oldham Coliseum Theatre Studio on Thursday 9 June at 3.30pm.