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Letters of Hope

Funded on Spacehive 2 June 2021 Delivered 10 July 2021

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Letters of Hope

Sarah Dobbs By Sarah Dobbs

Aerial performance and community workshops. Participants enjoy free writing & performance workshops, creating letters of hope to share with the community during and after the performance.

Shiney Row Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 02 Jun 2021!

Exciting outdoor aerial performance and community workshops to enhance community wellbeing. We will bring connection, friendship and hope back to the heart of Shiney Row, Sunderland after such a difficult year. Our outdoor aerial performance will light up Penshaw Monument, a beloved area of Sunderland, described by many as a 'Beacon of Hope.' This outdoor performance will share the beautiful letters of hope generated in our free and welcoming community workshops at Shiney Row's lovely Community Library. We will invite participants to read their letters of hope during the performance and give them the confidence to do this in relaxed performance workshops for any level. Workshop participants and local residents will be first in line for performance tickets, with a maximum of 30 people to ensure safety. We will create a livestream and a film to celebrate our project for all to share. The community's words and letters will live on in the windows of library spaces across the city.

What we'll deliver:

  • 1 outdoor aerial performance at Penshaw Monument
  • 2 x 2 hour workshops on letter writing to generate letters of hope at Shiney Row Community Library
  • 2 x 2 hour workshops on spoken word and performance skills at Shiney Row Community Library
  • Photographs of event
  • Letters displayed in community spaces in Shiney Row after
  • Edited film of the performance for participants

Why it's a great idea:

Workshop participants will gain: - a welcome sense of community involvement - opportunity to reconnect, socialise and make new friends - exciting new skills in creative writing and performance - a thank you film as a memento of the event they participated in - increased positivity by volunteering - long-term sense of value by seeing their words in window spaces after the event the wider community will benefit from: - the opportunity to see a magical aerial performance made with the community for the community - better mental health from seeing the kind words in the letters of hope in community spaces e.g. libraries, galleries, supermarket notice boards, shop windows - increased sense of community after such isolation - sense of value from volunteering to act as community guides during the event

Steps to get it done:

  • May Speak to community organisations / spaces about delivering and displaying letters after performance
  • End of June Undertake all workshops, including risk assessments of buildings and spaces workshops will take place in
  • July Aerialists 2 day R&D - work with material generated in workshops to create responsive performance
  • July Market small-scale free community performance (30 max), participants offered spaces first
  • July Hire videographer, photographer, sound equipment and generator
  • July Set-up live stream for performance and tech test-run
  • July Inspect site and create risk assessment in line with land owner and Covid guidelines, share with all
  • July Rig, artist and public safety checks, rehearsal
  • Mid July (date flexible depending on COVID guidelines) - Get in, performance at Penshaw Monument, Sunderland, take down
  • End of July Edit film and share with participants and community pages
  • Aug Thank you zoom party for all involved
  • Aug Display letters in community spaces
  • Mid / Late Aug Evaluation, potential next steps eg letters publication, additional Letters events in other regions

Project lead will ensure all contractors and participants will adapt to current Covid-19 guidelines and undertake detailed risk assessments of locations to include: Shiney Row Community Library Penshaw Monument Rehearsal spaces to ensure performer safety

Location Shiney Row

About the space

National Trust, Penshaw Monument, Sunderland and Shiney Row Community Library, Sunderland


Sunderland City Council

How will the money be spent?Total £3,896

artist fees (R&D) - £600 (15%)
Rehearsal space - £500 (13%)
Filmmaking and editing - £450 (12%)
artist fees (performance) - £300 (8%)
letter writing workshops - £160 (4%)
performance workshops - £160 (4%)
1 day PA hire inc VAT - £156 (4%)
sound artist to create score for final film - £150 (4%)
Photographer - £150 (4%)
Soundbooth editing for film - £150 (4%)
Other - £1,120 (29%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

artist fees (R&D)
Rehearsal space
Filmmaking and editing
artist fees (performance)
letter writing workshops
performance workshops
1 day PA hire inc VAT
sound artist to create score for final film
Soundbooth editing for film
Other Read More
  • Use of outdoor aerial rig
  • poster generation
  • Spacehive fees
  • 1 day generator hire inc VAT
  • costumes x 3
  • Admin time
  • Room hire at Shiney Row Community Library 8 hours @ £10
  • flyer delivery
  • Professional rigging and safety check
  • Livestream set-up
  • Refreshments for workshops
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees
  • marketing costs
  • silver stage paint
  • hand-made paper for letters (30 sheets)
  • make-up eyes
  • A5 letter paper (50 sheets)


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • increase the quality of the show by spending more on costume and staging (e.g. lights and props)
  • work with a publisher to collate the letters into a book to be placed in libraries

Total £3,896

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.
  • help with social media
  • spreading the word about our letter-writing workshops and performance workshops
  • window / community spaces to display the letters of hope after the performance
  • volunteer community stewards to direct people to the performance location

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