A huge thank you to all ticket holders who have so far so generously donated more than £13,600 to Lighthouse in the two weeks since Poole’s centre for the arts closed its doors in line with the latest advice on stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

As efforts continue to reschedule shows that have been postponed or cancelled due to the country-wide closure of venues Lighthouse is contacting ticket holders who are able to choose between a full refund, a credit note or to donate all or some of the cost of their tickets to the venue. Of the first 500 customers to reply to the email they received, 116 offered a full donation and a further 84 split between donating and a refund or credit note.

“Lighthouse audiences are absolutely amazing; we cannot be more grateful," says Chief Executive Elspeth McBain. "Their support is as unprecedented as the times we are living in and as our incredible staff continues to work really hard in response to the virus emergency, we have been genuinely humbled by people’s goodwill. 

“Most of our income comes from ticket sales and the money our audiences spend when they come to Lighthouse and without shows there are no audiences. We're working hard to reschedule lost performances, but we're a small team and that will take some time so please bear with us, we will be in touch with you. Meanwhile, we are truly grateful for your generosity.” 

All ticket holders are being contacted by email or phone and of those contacted by phone, more than £500 was donated in the first two days alone. 

Adds Elspeth: “In troubled times it’s a natural response to turn to the creative arts and although we must all lead quite different lives for the time being, I look forward to the time when we can welcome our audiences back to Lighthouse – what a happy day that will be.” 

Lighthouse Ticket Office staff that have been phoning ticket holders have been moved to tears by some of the responses they have received. 

“People have been incredibly understanding and it’s fair to say some of the team have found it quite emotional,” says Ticket Sales Manager Steve Lambert. “Although we often hear how much our audiences enjoy the shows they come to see it’s very rare to be told how much Lighthouse itself means to people and how big a part of their lives it is. 

“These are difficult days for all of us, but the good wishes and true kindness of our customers are making a tough time much easier to work through.” 

:: Ticket holders do not need to contact us, all will be contacted in due course by Lighthouse staff. Lighthouse phone lines will remain closed until further notice. 

Published 24 March 2020