West End Serves joins a strong tradition of community outreach in London

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“Change beyond the stage” has hit the West End!  On May 11, the West End Serves Twitter page went live, signaling the birth of a West End version of Broadway-based service organization, Broadway Serves.

Though a website is still forthcoming, the organization has already announced that they will be partnering with the Albert Kennedy Trust, which helps LGBT teens and young adults who are either homeless or in hostile environments by providing them with support and lodgings while raising awareness and improving societal attitudes towards the LGBT community.

Broadway Serves, which was founded by Dana Marie Ingraham, Dionne Figgins and Kimberly Marable in April 2012, is a service group which raises awareness for social issues while also doing service for the community.  Over the past year, Broadway Serves has participated in NYC AIDS Walk 2012, as well as taken part in service projects such as BookPALS, City Harvest’s Mobile Market distribution events and Homes for the Homeless.

It is very likely that its new sister organization in the West End will reach out to the London community in a similar tradition, and the West End, like Broadway, is no stranger to service organizations and helping out its community.  As a result, West End Serves is joining an already strong tradition of community service, charity and fundraising.  The good news is that this opens up lots of opportunities for partnering up with other organizations in order to be as effective as they can be.

One of the most well-known service partnerships in the West End is TheatreMAD, which is a partnership between West End performers, their audiences and the Make a Difference Trust (MADTrust) in order to raise money and awareness for people living with HIV, AIDS and other long-term chronic illnesses.  This is done largely through events, including the yearly performed A West End Christmas, West End Bares (another West End counterpart to a Broadway event), late night cabaret performances, midnight matinées of popular West End shows and the upcoming West End Eurovision, which will open for one night only on May 23.

The cast of "Sweeney Todd" with the 2012 West End Eurovision trophy.

The cast of “Sweeney Todd” with the 2012 West End Eurovision trophy.

TheatreMAD isn’t the only way that the West End community gives back.  This August 11, the hotly awaited return of the Les Mis vs. Phantom charity football match (that’s soccer for those of us in the states), aptly titled “Les Mis vs. Phantom: The Reprise” will be taking place at Bromley Football Club in a jam-packed event from which all proceeds will be going towards Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSHCC).

With traditions like these already in place, West End Serves should have no problem at all finding its place in the hearts of the London theatre community, and I think that I can speak for everyone when I say that look forward to the announcement of their first project!

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