Current Programmes

We are dedicated to delivering high quality community outreach programmes with and for people from the Calderdale area.

For older people we run a monthly Afternoon Tea Dance, including ballroom, sequence and modern dances.  The dances are fun and sociable, led by a professional dance tutor and the price includes refreshments.

For young people, we run Orange Box Rock School on Monday evenings at Orange Box young people’s centre.  This fun music project is for young people aged 11-16yrs, aiming to increase opportunities for young people to gain skills, collaborate, increase confidence and meet like-minded people.   As part of this project, we also deliver an annual music festival called Routes, in the summer at Orange Box – this family-friendly event provides a platform for young musicians to perform on two stages (acoustic and bands).  In addition, we deliver Rock School Outreach Sessions at local youth centres, in partnership with Calderdale Youth Service.  All of this work is supported with a grant from the Youth Music Foundation from February 2018 to January 2020.

For children we have two Youth Theatre groups who meet at Square Chapel on Saturday mornings: 5-7yrs at 10am and 8-12yrs at 11am.  These sessions are focussed around building confidence and social interaction, with an emphasis on fun, whilst also learning drama and performance skills.

For schools  we run the Open Door Schools Outreach Programme delivering a heavily subsidised programme of theatre performances, workshops and bespoke projects, aiming to increase skills, knowledge and life experiences for children in Calderdale.  Please visit the Schools section of the website for more information.  Open Door is supported with a grant from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation from February 2018 to January 2021.

Our most recent three-year programme: Creative Communities (Stronger Together)

From 2015 – 2018 we worked in partnership with Verd De Gris Arts and Orange Box Young People’s Centre on a project called Creative Communities, using the arts as a tool to bring about improvements in people’s lives. This project worked with schools, children, young and older people to reduce social isolation, improve community cohesion and increase skills, knowledge and quality of life for people in Calderdale. It was supported with funding from the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

We delivered a range of inclusive activities for older and young people, including arts and crafts workshops, a creative writing group, afternoon tea dances and drama classes.  We also delivered activities for young people in partnership with Orange Box, including a streetdance crew, arts activities, a rock school, festivals and events.

Project partner, Verd De Gris, delivered innovative, creative, intergenerational programmes, working with older people and schools, to improve community cohesion.

Click on the video below to find out what was achieved over the 3 year project.






Past projects

In 2017, Verd De Gris Arts delivered their most ambitious and prolific programme of work, as part of the partnership project, Creative Communities.

Projects included:

Dreams, which brought together school children and older people living with dementia, to explore their lives and their hopes and dreams for the future.

What Remains, a project exploring the impact suicide has on families and those left behind.

BAABUL a one-woman show by Halifax-born artist, Sameena Hussain – a tribute to the powerful and loving relationship with her father.

‘Women Together’ Retreat, a two-day residential for women from different backgrounds and communities at Whitestone Arts, using creative approaches to explore and share stories of different life experiences.

5000 Miles, a project that shared the story of Adaam and Murat, who fled their homes in Afghanistan, walking 5000 miles across Europe to seek asylum in the UK.  The boys delivered workshops in schools and colleges, created a soundscape and book of their story, reaching audiences of thousands.

Into the Blue – worked with local refugee families and students from Calderdale College to produce a performance at Square Chapel that shared their stories with a packed audience.

All of these projects brought different groups of people together, using creative approaches to support people to share their stories, explore sameness and difference in a positive way.  The work had a powerful impact both on the participants and the audiences that saw the work in the exhibition, public performances, radio interviews and books produced.

Verd de Gris 5000 miles book launch and performance 29th November 2017


Directors of Verd De Gris are Sharon Marsden and Jeff Turner. Follow them on Facebook for regular updates about their work or click here to visit their website

In 2016 Square Chapel delivered a programme of outreach sessions in partnership with Calderdale Youth Service at Field Lane in Rastrick and Luddenden Youth Centre.  Young people at Luddenden enjoyed taking part in music workshops to develop their skills and try something new and young people living on the Field Lane estate in Rastrick took part in Parkour sessions – we made a film with them to document their progress – you can view the Parkour Film here

Routes is an annual one-day music festival delivered by and for young people, at Orange Box young people’s centre.  This year it included an acoustic stage, band stage and DJ stage, with a total of 75 young people performing and 14 young people working as technical and support volunteers.  The festival attracted an audience of almost 300 people and was busy throughout the day, providing a unique public platform for young unsigned bands and musicians to perform and meet other musicians and music fans.  A team of young volunteers interviewed some of the performers and produced a short film – you can watch it here

Open Door offers schools a diverse programme with heavily subsidised tickets to shows. Workshops, projects and resource packs are also available.

Open Door works with nurseries, infant, primary and secondary schools and colleges; it can also support schools who are doing Arts Award.  The programme aims to increase access to the arts and improve skills, knowledge and life opportunities for children in Calderdale.

If your school is interested in taking part, or you would like more information about what we offer, please contact Michaela O’Sullivan, Head of Audiences, on 01422 353073 or email michaela@squarechapel.co.uk.  Information about our current schools programme is available by visiting the Schools tab on our website.


If you are a theatre company with a production suitable for children or young people, and you are able to bring it to our venue, we would also like to hear from you!


Square Chapel’s outreach programme began in 2001 supported with a 5-year grant from the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB6) through Action Halifax. As it developed and changed it received additional support from Urban II, Arts Council, Big Lottery Fund, Esmee Fairbairn and a variety of smaller Trusts and Foundations. From 2011 – 2014 it was supported with a grant from the National Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme.  In 2015 Square Chapel was awarded continuation funding from Reaching Communities to launch Creative Communities in partnership with Verd De Gris Arts and Orangebox.  In 2018, funding was secured from the Andrew LLoyd Webber Foundation to support the Open Door Schools programme until 2021 and from the Youth Music Foundation to fund a Rock School, music festival and outreach sessions until 2020.


For more information about Square Chapel’s outreach work, please look at our Current Projects or contact:

Michaela O’Sullivan: Head of Audiences: michaela@squarechapel.co.uk
Kane Rattray: Education and Outreach Manager: kane@squarechapel.co.uk

Tel: 01422 353073

For information about verd de gris: www.verddegris.org

For information about Orangebox: www.orangeboxhalifax.org

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