Lawnmowers Theatre Company

For over 26 years The Lawnmowers Theatre Company, a registered charity, run by and for people with learning disabilities, has been building bridges between the learning-disabled community and mainstream culture.  Based in Gateshead, we offer performances, creative workshops, nightclubs, festivals, music groups, courses and social drop-in sessions.


Lawnmowers were delighted to receive funding from The Ballinger Trust to develop the “Lawnmowers Youth Academy”. This new and exciting strand aims to provide a supportive and creative network in which young learning-disabled people can develop skills in theatre, music, dance and leadership. It will also give young people the chance to gain recognised Arts Award qualifications and the opportunity to continue into a fully functioning theatre company when they graduate.

 _MG_6641The “Lawnmowers Youth Academy” was launched in October and the response has been incredible. It now has fourteen members, some coming from as far afield as Crook in County Durham.

One member told us,All I want to do is act and now that I’m at Lawnmowers, I can! I can’t wait for next Saturday!”


Feedback from parents and carers has also been fantastic. One parent commented, “I was worried about my son’s future and what he would do once he finished school. It’s good to know he has somewhere like this to come.” 


Seven Stories – National Centre for Children’s Books

Seven Stories is an arts charity that promotes a love of reading across generations through lively exhibitions, learning and events programmes at its centre in Newcastle and in schools and children’s centres across the North East.  Support from the Ballinger Charitable Trust is helping children with special education needs to take part and enjoy all that we do. Our grant is helping us to improve visitors’ experience, so that the whole of our centre takes the needs of children with disabilities into account. Continue reading

Crossroads Care, Gateshead

We are a charity supporting young carers in Gateshead aged between 8 and 18 years. With the help of the Ballinger Charitable Trust we have been able to compile an activity calendar providing activities for this age group ranging from theatre trips, and issue based work around internet safety, to overnight stays and meals out. Continue reading

Dementia Care Day Club refurbishment and respite centre

Dementia Care is a charity working in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland providing support services to people with dementia and their carers. The Ballinger Trust awarded a grant in November 2011 to refurbish their day centre, making it dementia friendly, and also to open a new respite wing for people with dementia at their headquarters in The Bradbury Centre, Brunswick Village, Newcastle upon Tyne. Continue reading