Photo Flash: West Ham Football Stars Come to Stratford Circus Arts Centre

First team players from West Ham United paid a visit to excited families at Stratford Circus Arts Centre today in support of the Full Hearts Full Tummies scheme,which raises money to make Christmas a magical one for families in Newham who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford a seasonal treat. The day was made even more wonderful for participating families by the visit from big-hearted players Winston Reid, Declan Rice, Sam Byram and Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) who joined the team from Stratford Circus to help serve a hot meal to local families.

Check out photos below!

Now in its third year, Stratford Circus Arts Centre's Full Hearts, Full Tummies means families can share a festive lunch after watching a special performance of circus adventure The Ramshackle House, Stratford Circus Arts Centre's Christmas show. Last year, over 385 disadvantaged children and their parents benefited from the scheme, some of whom had no access to cooking facilities to provide hot meals. This year the arts centre is hoping to exceed this number.The arts centre collaborates with children's centres, food banks and local charities to ensure they reach those most in need. For many children taking part, it will be their first experience of live performance, ensuring creative inspiration for their learning development as well as some magic Christmas memories.

Speaking about Full Hearts Full Tummies, Stratford Circus Arts Centre's Director Tania Wilmer said "We'd like to thank West Ham United for making this an extra special day for these families. Stratford Circus's Full Hearts Full Tummies programme is about making fantastic artistic experiences accessible. On a cold day like today it's important to have a hot meal, but we want to feed imaginations too. A warm meal and a beautiful family show for £1 gives local children from hard pressed background a great Christmas experience at a time that can be challenging for many families. Stratford Circus Arts Centre believes that access to great art brings joy, empowers people and brings them closer together.

Mexico's all time record goalscorer and West Ham United striker Chicharito said: "We are really looking forward to visiting Full Hearts Full Tummies, at Stratford Circus Arts Centre, and supporting what is an incredible annual initiative in the shadow of our London Stadium home. The scheme deserves huge recognition for the sheer amount of disadvantaged families it helps every year, and we can't wait to meet some of the people it benefits and really play our part this Christmas."

This year, the Arts Centre hopes to raise enough funds to reach 600 children and families and is collecting donations in person or online at

Or by text, donate £10 by texting: 'FHFT17 £10' to 70070

or £5 by texting 'FHFT17 £5' to 70070

Local businesses wishing to offer donations, support in kind, or organise a fundraising event are asked to contact

Stratford Circus Arts Centre is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England and a registered charity. It receives more than 120,000 visits a year and is a key resource for the local community.

Stratford Circus Arts Centre provides world-class, accessible creative experiences and performances on the doorstep of people in Newham and East London with a vision that access to art brings joy, empowers people, and draws them together. A vibrant place to create and experience art through world-class theatre, dance, music and circus and visual exhibitions, it presents work for families, young people and adults.

Its education programme works with local schools and community organisations to introduce local people to artistic experiences through workshops and bespoke creative learning projects. Reaching over 60,000 people per year, more than one in three of our audiences and participants comes from hard-to reach groups.

Newham is a deprived borough where two in fivechildren live in poverty. Stratford Circus Arts Centre know that heavily subsidised tickets and engaging proactively with families who would not normally attend the theatre is a significant step in removing perceived barriers to attending. The charity provide hosts to welcome them when they arrive and provide backstage opportunities such as meeting the artists and jargon-free information in advance to help them to feel comfortable attending an arts venue to encourage them to return.

About The Ramshackle House

Following a critically acclaimed UK tour of their award-winning family show Bedtime Stories, Upswing creates a tale of a family creating, building, inventing and reinventing to achieve their goal of living happily and safely together. Reflecting a world on the cusp of big change, the bright and growing young family use all their skill and ingenuity to keep their rickety house together in show about solving problems and never giving up. Three multi-skilled circus artists will balance, climb, juggle, swing, slide and swoop to tell the story of the family's ups and downs and, with a little bit of pluck and courage, things will turn out right in the end.

A tale without words, The Ramshackle House makes us consider the dynamics of family life and how adults and children help each other negotiate the changes that are within our influence and those that are beyond our control. The show has been created and developed with families across the U.K to tell a story which audiences can relate to, reflecting contemporary society today. A diverse, international cast who are experts in aerial, acrobalance, rope and trapeze have been selected to perform in The Ramshackle House, carefully chosen to represent a multi-talented and multi-cultural Britain.

high res photos

Photo Flash: West Ham Football Stars Come to Stratford Circus Arts Centre
Stratford Circus Staff With Hammers Players

Photo Flash: West Ham Football Stars Come to Stratford Circus Arts Centre
Circus Performers from Upswing with West Ham Players

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