West End Raises £83,000 for DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal
West End theatres have raised over £83,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Philippines Typhoon Appeal, it was announced today. Typhoon Haiyan wreaked devastation across the Philippines last November, affecting 14 million people and leaving 5 million homeless. Through a combination of audience collections, donations and a special gala performance, West End theatres have raised the funds for vital emergency aid and recovery work.
DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: "West End theatres and their audiences have a long history of supporting the Disasters Emergency Committee, and the Philippines Typhoon Appeal has been no exception; we have seen extraordinary generosity from across the West End. DEC member agencies are already putting the funds raised to good use, helping the Filipino people to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives."
Bucket collections took place at many West End theatres, through which audiences at shows including The Lion King and Matilda the Musical gave over £16,000 to the appeal. Donations, including exclusive prizes offered via a special DEC eBay auction and contributions from Dewynters and The Mackintosh Foundation, added to this total; as did a special one-off gala performance, You'll Never Walk Alone -- The West End Unites for the Philippines. Instigated by the UK based Filipino theatre community, the show -- which was held at the Queen's Theatre - was hosted by Gok Wan and featured performances from stars including Hollywood actor Luke Evans, and theatrical favourites such as Michael Xavier, Danielle Hope, Cynthia Erivo, Hugh Maynard and Joanna Riding.
You'll Never Walk Alone producer Paul Spicer said: "This fantastic total raised by all of the West End Theatres combined shows what a huge impact this industry can have and how generous theatre-going audiences are. When we announced we were producing You'll Never Walk Alone in support of the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal we received fantastic support from the length and breadth of the West End; from leading performers, technical suppliers, production staff, marketing and press. There was a real desire to help and that desire collectively enabled us to raise £15,000 that evening."
The DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal has raised £95 million and the 13 leading UK aid agencies which are the DEC's members have so far used our funds to deliver aid to over 900,000 people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Working with local partners, they are providing food, shelter, medical care and clean, safe water. They are also providing kits to help people rebuild their homes, as well as teaching them how to build stronger structures that will withstand extreme weather; temporary schools have been set up; farmers have been given seeds and tools; and many people who have lost their income are being helped to retrain, learning new skills so that they can earn a living once again.