Katherine Soper, who won a major playwriting competition for her play about benefit cuts, has pledged her support with a donation to Turn2us, a national charity fighting poverty in the UK.
The 24-year-old playwright, who grew up in Surrey and Hampshire, won the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting with her play Wish List. It tells the story of a young carer who takes on a zero-hours contract to help support her brother when his benefits are cut. Wish List will premiere at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre on 24 September 2016.
Katherine says that elements of the play have been written from family experience and that she wanted to support Turn2us as the charity combats issues that are ‘close to her heart’.
She commented: “The changes to the welfare system have been incredibly alarming to me. Turn2us is a friendly, approachable charity doing a really important job in letting people know they are entitled to help, so they don’t have to struggle by themselves.
“The attitude that anyone claiming benefits should feel ashamed is so widespread and creates the kind of stigma that prevents people from investigating the help that could be available to them. It’s easy to see why so many benefits go unclaimed.”
Zena Carter, Head of Fundraising at Turn2us said: “We are incredibly grateful for Katherine’s generous donation which will help us in our fight against poverty in the UK. Through her powerful and important play, Katherine is helping to communicate the realities that people in poverty are facing every day. We hope that this will inspire others to speak out about the issues, act to create change or support those who work to do so.”
Anyone who is struggling financially or would like further information about upcoming benefit changes can visit the free Turn2us website – Turn2us.org.uk. You can also visit the website to find out more about ways to support the charity or make a donation.