New Chichester Festival Theatre youth advisory board will help venue "excite and inspire"

Chichester Festival Theatre has created a new youth advisory board as part of its ongoing diversification of its board of trustees.

Holly Mirams
Holly Mirams

The youth advisory board aims to:

· Identify and champion ways in which CFT can become a more welcoming, inclusive, diverse and innovative organisation for young people

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· Generate fresh, bold ideas in order to help the theatre actively move forwards in ensuring that the spaces and the programming excite, inspire and resonate

· Advocate for the voice of young people in theatre and the creative industries

The youth advisory board will be chaired by Georgina Liley and Holly Mirams (the youngest members of CFT’s board) and is made up of 12 young people aged 16-25. They include members of Chichester Festival Youth Theatre and students from Bishop Luffa, Chichester College, Portsmouth Grammar School, University of Chichester and Worthing College.

Kathy Bourne, executive director of CFT, said: “We are determined to ensure that Chichester Festival Theatre is able to include, listen and respond to the voices in our communities. The younger members of our existing and potential audiences are an essential part of those communities, and the creation of our youth advisory board will be a pioneering asset in that strategy.”

Georgina Liley added: “We believe positive change can be ignited by young people. We endeavour to create an atmosphere where debate and collaboration is celebrated, where young people’s voices are heard and where there is the space and opportunity to think boldly and dynamically about how best to drive CFT towards a diverse, inspiring and exciting future.”

Chichester’s YAB will meet five times a year and engage in a two-way conversation with the board of trustees on how best to make the theatre an inviting and exciting place for young people. The initial YAB appointees will be in place for one year and will meet for the first time this month.

The members of the youth advisory board are Tewo Ajayi, Benedict Blythe, Veronika Buckwell, Tom Chown, Joe Clines, Amy Glenister, Hetty Hodgson, Ollie Howlett, Jessica Martin, Lucy Noble, Ellie Snow and Hugh Summers.

CFT’s board of trustees also welcomes the appointment of Nick Pasricha as a trustee. Nick is a chartered accountant who was a partner at Ernst & Young for 27 years and held leadership roles in the UK, USA and globally. Since 2012 he has worked as an executive mentor helping senior executives of companies, charities and social enterprises.

He is a trustee of Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Lumos Foundation and the social enterprise Challenge Partners. He holds an MA in religion in global politics from SOAS University of London and lives in Chichester.

The Trustees are: Sir William Castell (chairman), Alan Brodie, Judy Fowler, Odile Griffith, Victoria Illingworth, Georgina Liley, Rear Admiral John Lippiett, Mike McCart, Harry Matovu, Holly Mirams, Nick Pasricha, Philip Shepherd, Stephanie Street, Tina Webster and Susan Wells.