Shortlisted at last year’s Allianz Arts and Business Awards, Burke Shipping Group and our partner c21 Theatre Company took a major leap forward in 2014 to create a production based on youth binge drinking. The resulting project has won them the Corporate Responsibility Award 2015, but more importantly has had an impact on the lives of young people.
Burke Shipping agreed to part-produce an educational drama, while an investment from Arts and Business NI enabled workshops and discussion to take place alongside it. Meanwhile c21 engaged the PSNI and ASCERT (Action on Substances through Community Education) to help make the drama happen.
Burke Shipping gave its staff an opportunity to get involved in the project, inviting them to contribute to rehearsals and attend the shows. “Having Burke’s staff involved was a key part of that. They weighed into rehearsals and seeing it going from the page to the stage was an education for them,” says Stephen Kelly, actor, producer and co-founder of c21. “We like to get our staff involved as much as we can,” says Burke Shipping’s managing director (Belfast) Sean McCready. “It’s important for them to see it’s not just about a nine to five job, Monday to Friday; it’s about more than that. It’s important to have an impact on the young people, and to bring your business out into the community.”