Bradford theatre boss makes tattoo pledge in fundraising campaign

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tim Wheeler Tim Wheeler

The head of a Bradford theatre company is turning himself into a “human tattoo thermometer” to boost a fundraising campaign.

Mind the Gap, which provides training for actors with disabilities, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the Silver Challenge, aimed at raising £10,000 The campaign involves handing out up to £1,000 to inspire people to raise funds. Aimed at developing a long-term collaboration with local communities, the scheme involves handing out £10 to supporters to kickstart their fundraising.

Fundraisers have now reached the halfway point to achieving the £10,000 target by June, 2014. Events this year have included a Silver Moth Ball and a tour of family show Treasure Island.

Artistic director Tim Wheeler is turning the challenge into art – by transforming himself into a tattoo thermometer.

He has pledged to have Mind the Gap’s logo tattooed on his body – and if he raises £250,000 it will be tattooed on his head.

The whereabouts of the tattoo on his body will depend on the total amount he raises by next summer.

So far he has raised more than £500, which means the proposed tattoo has reached his knee, and the next milestone is £2,500, which would mean a tattooed bottom.

If he raises £250,000 he will have the tattoo on his head.

Mr Wheeler said: “On June 21 we launched our anniversary year with the Silver Moth Ball, celebrating 25 years of excellence in theatre. This fundraising campaign is a great way to get creative, have fun and raise money.

“And because we are part of Arts Council England’s Catalyst scheme we can double your money by matching £1 for £1.”

With more than 30 participants signed up so far, the fundraisers are set to raise more than £6,000 towards the £10,000 target.

Fundraisers include Sainsbury’s Bradford in Greengates, which invited customers to nominate a charity to support. Spokesman Carole O’Connor said: “As a team we’re really keen on supporting local charities. When Mind the Gap was nominated we jumped at the chance to support them. We were amazed by the work they do with learning disabled artists and want to do everything we can to support them in continuing their great work.”

Jackie Utley has reached her £500 target by hosting two charity dinners for her friends and family, and ex-Making Theatre student Pippa Bolton successfully raised £258 by organising a concert with Two Rivers Swing & Concert Bands at Idle Parish Church in October.

For more information on Mind the Gap’s 25th anniversary events visit mind-the-gap.org.uk To take part in the Silver Challenge e-mail tori@mind-the-gap.org.uk

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