ArcelorMittal supports Theatre Royal Stratford East’s youth theatre programme

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solholLondon01Announces work with charitable theatre organisation as part of its first London-based Solidarity Holiday

3 August, 2015 – ArcelorMittal today announced that 10 global employees will this week lend their support to Theatre Royal Stratford East as part of the company’s first Solidarity Holiday in London. The company’s annual global Solidarity Holidays programme sees company volunteers spend part of their annual leave working with local communities overseas. 

Volunteers from 10 different countries across ArcelorMittal’s global operations will spend the week working alongside Theatre Royal Stratford East (TRSE) on its “The Streets” programme – a new piece of immersive theatre aimed at transforming the environment in and around TRSE into a live, evolving performance space. ArcelorMittal volunteers will support the mass-participation event by building props, stewarding at performances, and taking part alongside more than 60 local performers.

“We are delighted to be hosting ArcelorMittal’s first London-based Solidarity Holiday this week, and to use this platform to extend our ongoing support for Theatre Royal Stratford East”, said Ian Louden, Head of Brand, Worldwide at ArcelorMittal. He added: “The theatre group’s work with young people is an important component of the huge urban regeneration happening in East London – something that is symbolised by the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park”.

For the past two years, ArcelorMittal has sponsored Theatre Royal Stratford East’s (TRSE) “Young People’s Work”, which provides opportunities for young people in East London, at risk of dis-engaging from education, to get involved with theatre and create opportunities. ArcelorMittal is also lending additional support for ‘The Streets’ as lead sponsor.

Barry Felton, who has worked at ArcelorMittal’s flat operations in Burns Harbor, U.S., for 35 years is one of this week’s volunteers. Speaking about his involvement, he said: “I’m grateful for the chance that ArcelorMittal has given me to travel to London and support the work of Theatre Royal Stratford East. I truly enjoy working with young people, so knowing that I can contribute positively to the community makes this very worthwhile”. He added: “I hope our work here this week will help make ‘The Streets’ a great success. It will definitely be an unforgettable experience for me and the other volunteers”.

Jan Sharkey-Dodds, Head of Young People’s Work at Theatre Royal Stratford East, commented: “ArcelorMittal has given us immensely valuable support for our ‘Young People’s Work’ over the past two years. The continuity of their support has meant that we have been able to give young people the opportunity to take part over a sustained period. We know that this means we can make a lasting impact on their lives. We are now able to support young people into the next chapter of their learning and enable them to see themselves as achievers. Some are destined for college, work, training and some will be professional artists in their own right”.

ArcelorMittal’s Solidarity Holiday programme was launched in 2010 as part of the company’s commitment to supporting the communities in which it operates. The aim of the project is to give ArcelorMittal employees the opportunity to volunteer in a community project in a country other than their own to promote diversity and cultural exchange and offer employees the chance to give their time to a worthy cause.

This year, Solidarity Holidays will run in South Africa, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, China and the United Kingdom. Over 60 employees from 27 different countries will travel thousands of miles from home to volunteer in different community projects.

Speaking about the initiative, Alan Knight, general manager for corporate responsibility, explained: “This project reflects the spirit of our multinational company. Our Solidarity Holidays programme gives employees the chance to volunteer on projects around the world, sharing a unique experience with different communities”.

About ‘The Streets’ event 

Ellie and Sam sit just metres away from each other on the steps at Stratford station every day, never meeting or speaking – until one day when Ellie leaves her notebook behind. Sam embarks on a journey around Stratford to reunite Ellie with her notebook and maybe pluck up the courage to speak to her for the first time. But all is not quite as it seems as we discover that this young couple know more about each other than they realise.

This contemporary love story begins at Stratford Station, before evolving into a promenade piece, taking in the sights and sounds of one of the most culturally rich communities in London.  Passing through iconic sites in and around Theatre Royal Stratford East and the cultural quarter, patrons are met with a diverse range of performers from poets to musicians, actors to dancers, and see the sights and sounds of Stratford come alive.

Social media

We will be posting regular updates about our volunteers’ activities at TRSE on our social media channels. Follow us on Twitter @Arcelormittal and track our updates using the#solhol15 hashtag. You can also get updates via our ArcelorMittal LinkedIn page.