To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the National Lottery, players are being offered free entry to Shakespeare’s family homes in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage in his home town, is one of the hundreds of National Lottery-supported visitor attractions that are taking part in the national #ThanksToYou campaign, from 23 November to 1 December, 2019.
Since the first draw took place on 19 November, 1994, National Lottery players have generated £30million a week for good causes, and the #ThanksToYou campaign is a way of thanking them in many different ways for helping to raise those vital funds by buying a lottery ticket.
Lottery players supported the re-interpretation in 2016 of the gardens of Shakespeare’s New Place, the site of Shakespeare’s last home in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he lived for 19 years, and in 2018 the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust became a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) through the lottery-funded Arts Council England.
In the past year this has enabled the charity to:
- Welcome 840,000 visitors from around the world to the five historic Shakespeare family homes in Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Help 2 million young people celebrate Shakespeare’s language and stories through Shakespeare Week, a national annual celebration giving primary school children a great first encounter with Shakespeare.
- Establish a network of Shakespeare Hub Schools across England, using Shakespeare to deepen and enrich the arts experiences of children.
- Deliver 665 formal learning sessions to 26,717 people of all ages.
- Commission 11 art projects.
Ruth Warner, head of visitor experience at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “Offering free entry to our historic properties is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to people who support our charity by playing the National Lottery.”
To claim free entry to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Hall’s Croft, between 23 November and 1 December, simply present a ticket for any National Lottery draw or a scratchcard at the ticket desk of each property. The offer is valid for individual house tickets only, for up to two adults and up to four children. Tickets will only be valid on the day of issue. The Trust may defer entry to any property in the unlikely event of them reaching capacity, as well as unforeseen circumstances.
Plan your visit to the Shakespeare family homes at shakespeare.org.uk/visit.
Mary Arden’s Farm will be closed, as usual, throughout the winter, from 3 November until spring 2020.