Sheffield Theatres Trust


Launchpad brings together adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to develop skills in performance and theatre production. Working with industry professionals, participants will create a new piece of theatre to perform in the Studio Theatre – showcasing their skills, talent and creativity.

Donations open 12:00 PM, 3 December 2019 to 12:00 PM, 10 December 2019


Registered Charity in England and Wales (257318)

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Amount raised




Championed by The Reed Foundation - Arts & Culture

  • Even meeting people is a struggle for me because of my mobility so this has enabled me to meet new people. It’s a big thing even coming to Sheffield on my own. It has given me memory skills as well.

    — 2019 Launchpad Participant

  • When I came here it was the first time in 2 and a half years that I’d had a meaningful conversation with someone that I didn’t already know. For people with disabilities you often don’t have the opportunity to have a voice. Here you can say what you want to say in a comfortable space in your words.

    — 2019 Launchpad Participant

  • I loved being part of the group for 'Seven Wonders of Sheffield'. I loved making friends with new people there. The staff were very helpful.

    — 2018 Launchpad Participant


Existing barriers can prevent people from accessing live performances or opportunities to build their skills and confidence, or to socialise. Some participants may have experienced social isolation or loneliness. Adults with learning disabilities and / or autism are under-represented in the arts, including in both on and off-stage roles and in theatre audiences. Creatively, the arts miss out on innovative ideas and creative talent if we do not hear from diverse voices.


Launchpad offers a supportive environment where participants are treated as professionals. It comprises skills sessions, technical rehearsals and 2 performances. Participants learn new skills and gain confidence in performance and production, as well as in attending new places and meeting new people. Participants work as a team throughout the devising process; they are challenged and have ownership of their performance. Past participants have been tremendously proud of what they have achieved.