Friends and family of Dan Hickey make first grants in his memory

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In February this year we gave the go-ahead to a group of voluntary and community organisations, for a number of sports and drama projects with local young people, thanks to the Dan Hickey Fund, which was set up in memory of a young local man who died tragically in a hit and run incident in August 2015.

Kneehigh Theatre Company
Kneehigh Theatre Company

The Fund’s decision-making panel, made up of Dan’s friends and family and supported by us here at Quartet, met in February to review the first ever round of funding applications from nearly thirty groups. Grants were available for youth organisations involved in drama or sport initiatives, helping young people who are 25 years old or younger and live in the local Bristol community. Dan was 25 years old when he died. The panel awarded grants to eight community organisations, totalling more than £19,000 to support inspiring local projects.

The groups receiving the very first grants from the Dan Hickey Fund are:

One of the successful groups, Kneehigh Theatre Company, is planning to use its two grants to open up two of their upcoming Bristol Old Vic shows – The Tin Drum and Tristan & Yseult – to around 120 local young people who don’t normally have the chance to experience theatre, and to have a VIP experience including drama workshops with the actors.

Kneehigh Theatre Company
Kneehigh Theatre Company

“It’s great that the Dan Hickey Fund is supporting this project”, said Kneehigh’s Bethany Lyne. “It’ll ensure that young people from across Bristol, who ordinarily wouldn’t have the chance, can experience live theatre and share in the joy of a Kneehigh show. We’re excited at the prospect of bringing our programme to Bristol and working with the young people and community groups there.”

Another group receiving funding for a half-term project, Unique Voice, says the grant has already made a huge impact.

“The funding granted by the Dan Hickey Fund has made a big difference to the children who took part”, said Cat Sparkes, co-Founder. “Many of the children who come to us don’t get the opportunity to take part in out of school activities and so, having a fun, creative, and safe place to make new friends and play isn’t taken for granted.”

Unique Voice's half-term project
Unique Voice's half-term project
Unique Voice - thank you letter
Unique Voice - thank you letter

Children who have taken part in the latest Unique Voice drama project have written thank you cards and letters to the Dan Hickey Fund. One letter said: “I have made so many new friends […] thank you so much, I hope this could happen again.”

Dan’s sister Lizzie said: “To be able to fundraise has given many of us an important focus during this very upsetting time. Dan’s friends and family have appreciated being able to reward organisations with grants that we feel truly reflect Dan’s passions and philosophy of life. The process of keeping Dan’s memory alive through this fund has been very healing for all involved and this is amplified by knowing the fundraising events we plan are helping others, not just those that knew him.”

Dan’s father, John Hickey, explained the purpose of the memorial fund. “Through the Dan Hickey Fund we hope to support and develop young people through both sport and drama – Dan’s two ‘big loves’ in life. Dan was a fun loving, vibrant individual, but was also very compassionate and inclusive of people who perhaps hadn’t had the same opportunities in life.”

The Dan Hickey Fund has raised almost £40,000 so far, through a series of fundraising events arranged by Dan’s friends and family – including a charity rugby match last summer between his old university team at Leicester University and his own Bristol Saracens team, and a Christmas carolling ‘pub crawl’ along on Bristol’s Gloucester Road.

Dates for your diary!

Two more fun and sociable fundraising events are already planned for this year: a glitzy dinner dance at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel on 17th June, and a ‘Donate for Dan’ rugby day at Bristol Saracens on 29th July.

To get your tickets or to find out more please email danhickeyfund@gmail.com or visit the ‘The Dan Hickey Fund’ page on Facebook.

Useful links

If you’d like to donate to the Dan Hickey Fund you can do so here, or if you’ve been inspired to get involved with local giving, you can find out more about being a fund holder here. We can also support you to get involved with fundraising for Quartet yourself along with your friends and colleagues.