More than a performance… help us match-fundraise for Grow through the Big Give

More than a performance… help us match-fundraise for Grow through the Big Give
By Mark
19th March 2024


Across the UK, budgets have been cut as every organisation, government department and council tighten their belts. Often amongst the first things to be cut is funding for the arts, for environmental responsibility and for early years. Straddling these three vital strands is GROW – a cultural and educational project for children aged 3-7 years, from underprivileged backgrounds in Coventry.


Set in an immersive, inflatable dome, Grow increases understanding and wonder for the natural world. With dance, colourful props crafted from recycled materials and heart-warming storytelling, the interactive performance is highly successful at capturing the attention of our youngest audiences – groups is EYFS & KS1. Grow raises awareness of the plight of the planet, and is a vital educational tool for environmental crisis intervention.


“We’ve got to care for our living things, our plants our trees, we’ve got to look after them.”Audience member, age 4

“We should treat our world nicely.” – Audience member, age 5


Highly Sprung are committed to breaking down barriers to accessing performance, and Grow is part of our strategy. In our first tour, we targeted schools situated in the lowest indices of deprivation in the country, and took the performance to them. Last year, Grow welcomed nearly 700 young audience members into sport and leisure centres across Coventry, breaking down financial and cultural barriers. Many groups walked to the performance, and enjoyed the benefits this brought – with students engaging with the nature around them (even more so their return journeys).


“Very easy to access, a 5 minute walk from our school and other schools in the area… I hope all Coventry schools get the chance to see the show and the share the message. Thank you all!”  – Teacher


Grow is set in a garden maintained by the Gardener, with the help of three friendly Elemos: Blue, Brown, and Green. The Elemos, all representing a different part of nature, take the children on an interactive adventure. They plunge into the vast depths of the oceans, its coral reefs, and discover its magical creatures. They burrow deep into the ground to understand the life that thrives beneath our feet and watch as plants and trees grow, before reaching up into the sky to experience the vital role of cleaning our air.


Teachers and their leadership team were all in agreement about Grow’s importance for both the children’s learning, and its performance quality:


“Engaging, engaging environment, magical, and interactive, Amazing!” – Teacher


“The children really took everything on board and they knew exactly what they could do to help save the planet.”– Teacher


“All of the children enjoyed the performance. They’ve not had the opportunity to see a dance performance before.” Teacher


“The performance was made in a way that all children could access it…The children really engaged with the show and wanted to join in.” – Teacher


“Absolutely beautiful, the children were mesmerised.” Teacher


“Very excited to see an important message passed through by dance and movement. Bright and attractive visual aids. Use of signing was very effective.” – Teacher


What impact have we seen through Grow?

For us at Highly Sprung, it is never about ‘just putting on a show.’ The impact, longevity of our work, and it’s message is vitally important. One month after seeing Grow, 95% of students showed more pleasure in playing outdoors, with a number of them making planters to grow their own flowers and vegetables in at school. The young people have engaged in litter picks and collected rubbish and other recyclable materials to make sculptures and other art works . 74% have engaged more with plants and nature and nearly 60% are asking more questions about the world and the nature around them as a result of seeing Grow.


Feedback from teachers and children alike depict Grow as a very special project, having a profound effect on it’s audiences and in turn their local environment.


What’s next? Fundraising for our next tour through the Big Give 2024 


This week we are fundraising for Grow part of the Big Give’s Art for Impact campaign, which doubles all donations up to our target. With a target of £2500, this could mean £5000 after the donations have been match-funded, which will go towards an October tour.  


Having seen the incredible impact of the performance and its importance for children’s development, we would love to tour again and reach more children and schools through the project. It would be wonderful if you could make a donation, share the campaign, and help us make Grow 2024 a reality!


Donate to Grow on the Big Give campaign page here, between Tue 19th & Tue 26th March 2024.