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We are The Lawnmowers
The Lawnmowers is a producing theatre-arts company. Operating in Gateshead and the surrounding regions, The Lawnmowers is a unique company and is run by and for people with learning difficulties.
The Lawnmowers original actors, who formed in 1986, were a community group who later set up and developed the Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company to try to achieve community cohesion. The Company was registered in May 2000, with operations commencing in January 2001.
We're knowledgeable about empowering the lives of people with learning difficulties through the arts
Changing the Culture
What we do
Lawnmowers is a Gateshead-based charitable company which provides rich and varied cultural training for people with learning difficulties. Our programmes provide opportunities for people with learning difficulties to co-produce and deliver high quality artistic activities at various venues regionally, nationally and occasionally internationally and also address social and educational issues, accessibility, sustainability, participation, enjoyment and building futures. Since incorporation in 2001 The Lawnmowers has worked directly with core member artists with learning difficulties daily, brought our message of integration to over 147,000 beneficiaries, audiences and external participants and worked in partnership or given assistance to over hundreds of oganisations and related bodies.
The Company has expanded and added projects and new volunteer opportunities for people with learning difficulties to its portfolio. We have hosted many international groups at our current and former premises and have toured our work regionally and nationally. Internationally we have toured our work to Poland, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Southern Ireland, Brazil, France and Chile.
The Lawnmowers is a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO), a status awarded by Arts Council England which has described its NPO’s as taking a civic leadership role in the community. We became one of only five organisations in Great Britain to win an international collaboration award from the London Olympic Committee under its Unlimited Programme. We were the only learning disabled project to be selected to work with the international Points of Contact and the youth Cultural Warriors programmes.
Our ambitious programme caters for a range of ages, abilities, needs, aspirations, and experience. We have a deep understanding of the barriers to artistic development that people with learning difficulties face. Low socio-economic status, lack of educational opportunities and lack of cultural understanding are some of the factors that prohibit people with learning difficulties from flourishing in the community.
Lawnmowers Members are called upon by learning disabled individuals, organisations (statutory and voluntary), bodies such as NHS Trusts, University students, lecturers & departments, teaching colleges, schools and adult learning providers to provide drama, performances, outreach and creative workshops to help them with issues relevant to LD.
A Whole of Life Approach – Arts for Social Impact
Through piloting potential new projects during previous phases, our Connect Our Revolution plans have evolved significantly to include a new whole of life approach to Lawnmowers work, introducing new permanent activities for younger and older people with learning difficulties through arts-based participatory programmes and interactive research.
Health and Wellbeing – Engaging with People with Learning Difficulties
Lawnmowers members worked with our Local Authority to deliver mental health training in the workplace. We continue to support our artists in holistic wellbeing methods and offer yoga, meditation, gardening and eco gardening and cooking training at the centre. We attended and were panel members at the national Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance conference this year and attend the local Health Watch conferences.
Experience is Key!
We offer a range of specially designed workshops for practitioners, social workers and students.
24th January – Star & Shadow
14th February – Star & Shadow
27th March – Sage Gateshead
24th April – Star & Shadow
22nd May – Sage Gateshead
26th June – Star & Shadow
24th July – Star & Shadow
25th September – Star & Shadow
30th October – Sage Gateshead
27th November – Star & Shawdow
18th December – Sage Gateshead
Please note that Lawnmowers will close for Christmas for two weeks as below.
There will be no groups running, including evenings and Youth Theatres.
Closed – Week commencing 23 December 2019
Closed – Week commencing 30 December 2019
All groups will be back to normal from Monday 6 January 2020
Changing the Culture
Registered in England & Wales Charity No: 1084229 Company No: 3995521