A Sustainable Future For NAYT

Thursday 10 January 2013

NAYT are very proud to announce a new operating model for 2013/14 onwards which will enable the organisation to continue to operate for the foreseeable future. As of April 2013, NAYT will become a voluntary led organisation with a paid administration financed via membership and earned income from events.


The organisation launched its new membership scheme in May 2012 shortly after their funding by Arts Council England ended. The organisation are now able to generate sufficient income to support a core administration which maintains and co-ordinates member services. In a very short space of time, NAYT, under the leadership of Chief Executive Jill Adamson, have made sufficient organisational changes to save the charity and the valuable support it offers to over 1,300 youth theatres nationally.


"By developing our website we have been able to drive our membership to use online resources and services, therefore removing the need for labour intensive administration. We also have strong partnerships with regional theatre venues which enable us to balance on line support with regular accessible training and sharing events." said Chief Executive Jill Adamson. She added "Finding a sustainable model has been a steep learning curve for the organisation and as it soon became evident that there was no available funding to fill the gap left by previous ACE support, we are very proud to be continuing into the next financial year with a more self sufficient model."


Of course, the new model relies upon youth theatres paying for services they once received free of charge, and this culture change is challenging in a climate where the youth theatre sector have also been hard hit by funding cuts. But NAYT provide a valuable service which has not only kept the youth theatre sector buoyant for the last thirty years, but also steered its development both artistically and organisationally.

"We still need more members and we need to ensure that current members renew their subscriptions, so we now need to work harder than ever before to give this new model a fair chance." said Adamson, "We're also continuing to explore new partnerships and collaborations and there are some exciting possibilities in development.".


NAYT's current services will not be affected by these changes, they will continue to provide online resources, forums and databases as well as producing regular national and regional events. The next regional youth theatre festival will take place at The Castle in the East Midlands area 23rd and 24th February and the next national event, Raising The Game will take place at the Point in Eastleigh from 26th to 28th April.


Sadly the new model means that NAYT will no longer have a paid leadership post and the organisation will part company with their Chief Executive of six years at the end of March. Jill Adamson has been involved with NAYT as a board member, Chair and latterly Chief Executive for 17 years. 


Owen Calvert Lyons, vice chair of the board of trustees said "Under the leadership of Jill Adamson, NAYT has achieved some great successes of which we are really proud.  Amongst these, the Excellence and Inclusion scheme and the launch of the Associate Venue partnerships have been successes which will continue to have an impact upon the youth theatre sector for many years to come. The board are confident that Jill's work for NAYT has changed the lives of children and young people involved in youth theatre across England."

 Over the next three months the organisation plans to refresh its Board of Trustees and recruit working parties, both of which will contribute to the voluntary leadership model. The organisation is also looking to recruit a new Chair and anyone interested should email [email protected]