Community & Learning

Community Work

Our community work is at the heart of Red Rose Chain, we strive to keep it free at source to make our community theatre and inclusive youth theatre as accessible as possible.

Red Rose Chain at The Avenue Theatre is a beacon in Ipswich for people needing a place to belong. Our mission is to enrich entire communities through high quality professional theatre. Many of our practitioners and volunteers are those whose lives have been turned around by Red Rose Chain. We believe in change and have created a finely balanced, welcoming and creative environment which nurtures our participants, builds their self-esteem and radically improves their life-outcomes.

“Red Rose Chain’s work is very brilliant, wonderfully unpatronising and rooted in a real vision for artistic excellence and humanitarian compassion.”
– Emma Freud, OBE

Every week at Red Rose Chain we run inclusive, free at source workshops for disadvantaged young people, disabled young people and young people with mental health issues as well as adults with mental health issues, learning
difficulties and struggling with addiction. We partner with mental health charities to run creative workshops and volunteer programmes for service users and for older people with dementia. Parents and families meet here in a safe environment and support each other while celebrating the achievements and progress of their children and siblings.

“Feeling accepted, loved and supported by Red Rose Chain has been instrumental in my ongoing recovery. It feels like a family here.”
– Leo, Project participant

We partner with pupil referral units and local schools to run projects with young people with behavioural problems and those at risk of committing crimes and create sensory theatre productions for disabled young people.

“We work day in, day out with these guys and they are so difficult to reach. And you have reached them today and brought them out of themselves. You gave them light. Words cannot express how grateful we are.”
– Chris Benson, SEN Teacher

Using outreach work and highly discounted tickets offers we have been really successful in welcoming into our theatre, 100’s of people completely new to the arts from the large area of economic deprivation where we are based. Most-importantly, everyone is made to feel welcome.

Avenue Community Theatre

ACT is for vulnerable adults who would like to be a part of a sociable and creative activity. The group aims to improve individual’s well-being through immersive drama workshops.

The group meets weekly and encourages people to regain their sense of self-belief and belonging whilst challenging pre-conceptions through powerful performance.

The group runs every Tuesday afternoon term time. Workshops are held at our studio at Gippeswyk Hall (Ipswich IP2 9AF).

If you would like to get involved or find out more, please get in touch either by phone on 01473 603388 or by emailing info(AT)

Youth theatre

Our inclusive youth theatre is for anyone 11 – 18 years old who is developing a passion for drama – no matter your ability, experience or circumstances. We don’t believe in auditions, we just want to get to know you, so you can see the work that we do! The Avenue Theatre is a welcoming creative space and the sessions are free at source – in an effort to make them as accessible as possible.

The group meets weekly in term time, a larger group on Wednesdays and a smaller low pressure session on Thursdays for young people with more complex disabilities or additional needs.

The youth theatre is led by one of our fantastic theatre practitioners – each workshop helps to build confidence, explore ability and hone skills – best of all you’ll get to perform in The Avenue Theatre!


What teachers have to say about our productions:

“I thought the whole thing was brilliant. Exceptional actors that performed skilfully. My students were speaking about it all week.”
on Sammy’s Room

Stupendously constructed, cleverly & outstandingly performed”
on Shattered

What pupils have to say about our productions:

“It was a really inspiring performance. A truly talented cast”

It was stunning to see the actors perform”

“It was amazing! I really loved the show thank you.”

If you would like to find out more about booking a workshop, schools showing or ordering from our PSHE DVD catalogue, please email

  • Just to add...this gorgeous cake was made by Steph! (Harrison’s mum) x
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