24 Stories of Family Arts

Theatre Porto
Warm and Toasty

Audience Impact & Innovation Award Nominee

“Thank you for the tea, the toast, the chat, the creativity, the activities, the films, the warmth, the understanding, the laughs and for making us feel we belong.” – Participant

“Having a warm and toasty after school has been great because …it gives me a physical rest. It keeps my son warm and feeds him up and I get adult interaction with other parents.” – Participant

Theatre Porto responded to the cost-of-living crisis by offering free accessible arts activity along with free food based around ‘hot toast’. They provided a free meal and a warm space to 800 people during holiday periods and through an after-school drop-in during term time. 

They promoted the activity through local networks such as Westminster families, Trinity Church, The Peoples Pantry, and local schools. This activity introduced many people to their new café and venue which Theatre Porto established as a warm, welcoming space especially for local families. The activity allowed children and adults to tap into their creativity in a supportive and inspiring environment using a broad range of engaging, artistic approaches.

Theatre Porto is a specialist children and young people’s theatre company based in Ellesmere Port and part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.

August 2022 concluded an ambitious £2.8M capital programme which has established a new state-of-the-art theatre and cultural space in green flag awarded Whitby Park. The new theatre is the only purpose-built, dedicated children and young people’s venue in Cheshire, on Merseyside, and is one of a small number outside of London.

Theatre Porto is an arts-led organisation with a track record of making world-class theatre which offers adults and children a unique shared experience. Their new venue was launched with Once Upon a Time; a free and inclusive celebratory 10-day arts programme for all ages, in Ellesmere Port.

Their recent work for families also includes;

 Star of Wonder, a co-production with Teatro Pomodoro, performed by a diverse team of international and learning-disabled performers, supported by an installation based schools project called Wonder Classroom.

Baba Yaga, is a co-production with Theatre Hullabaloo, which tells the story of a brother and sister fleeing conflict, in a modern retelling of the Eastern European fairytale, written by Laura Lindow.

For winter 2023 Theatre Porto are recreating their acclaimed production, Little Red for HOME Manchester.

Their engagement programme reaches 6000 children and young people each year across schools, their youth theatre and family programme, 30% of which are SEND.

You can discover all 24 Stories of Family Arts here. If you’d like to discover more fantastic organisations that meet our Family Arts Standards or Age-Friendly Standards explore the Fantastic for Families Directory.

Theatre Porto has been shortlisted for the Audience Impact & Innovation Award in the Fantastic for Families Awards 2023

Awards Shortlist

24 Stories of Family Arts
Discover the shortlist and their 24 stories of arts engagement. Find out who is nominated for Best Family Arts Activity, Best Age-Friendly Outreach, and Audience Impact & Innovation.


Fantastic for Families
From festivals and theatre companies to galleries and museums, in our directory you’ll find 1000+ organisations bringing eye-boggling creative events, activities and initiatives to life across the UK.

Sector Support

Family Arts Campaign
Work in the arts industry? Find out more about our work to support you. Dive into our resources library, commit to the Family Arts Standards or create a Family Arts Network in your area.