Saving CYTO

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This discussion topic has been automatically created of petition Saving CYTO.

Craig Stevenson

#1 Saving CYTO

2011-03-12 10:58

I have now been a professional actor for more than 30 years with films like "Braveheart","Robin Hood Prince of Thieves", "Highlander", "The Machinist", "Goya's Ghosts", "Mr. Nice"… on my CV amongst others. This would never have happened without the formative training I received in my time at CYTO. To close this institution would be the biggest mistake. Don't do it!
rob collins

#2 cyto closure

2011-03-12 11:20

I am terribly upset that Croydon Council is considering this drastic idea.

Cyto has been a fantastic place for people of all ages to come together and learn drama, dance, singing and more importantly the art of community and communication, for many years.

There are very few places left for young people to gain such experiences. At this time there seems very little for the young to do and very few places for them to go and be able to grow into adults. This coupled with the seemingly huge growth in youth related crimes in the Croydon area and all over the south east, I am quite frankly shocked that the council as a whole would consider taking yet another thing away from the young people in our area.

Please Croydon Council, don't allow this to happen. I loved every minute of being there as did many many friends and also my niece, who when old enough to join couldnt wait to do so.

Lets give the youth of Croydon somewhere to learn and grow, not just fail them again.


Rob Collins
Professional Singer and long term resident singer in Singapore's most famous Jazz nightclub.
Liesl Weir


2011-03-12 12:31

I joined CYTO at the tender age of 16 and spent many a evening rehearsing a play or musical. I have always been a shy sort of a person and I really came on leaps and bounds in a fun environment that helped me on the stage and off. I was proud to be part of a family that I feel sad to think that this place might not be there for others. I really hope that it survives all the closures that have hit recently.
sean mclevy

#4 saving the croydon youth theatre

2011-03-12 12:36

For the last 47 years the croydon youth theatre has helped young people from all over south london express themselves in a way that only theatre and the arts can do . it has allowed young people the freedom to articulate their own lives and make sense of the crazy world around them . as artistic director from 1996-1998. i witnessed.over two hundred young people coming through the doors of the shoestring theatre in south norwood . most of whom had no where else to go where they felt safe . in that building they knew who they were. they began to understand about thier place in the world. since i left there have been many artistic directors experiencing the same thing . for the last eight years viv berry the current artistic director has taken the croydon youth theatre to a new level and hundreds of young people have experienced the warmth and freedom and safety, which the croydon youth theatre can provide.How can the current croydon council think that it is agood idea to lose this life affirming place, in a time when the current situation out on the streets is as dangerous and bewildering as it has ever been in croydon.please please do not let this happen to a generation of young people who will have no alternative but to hang out on the streets and express themselves in a way that is negative to society rather than totally positive and life affirming .
Danielle Williams

#5 Re: saving the croydon youth theatre

2011-03-12 13:18

Youth theatre is the beginning of many great artists.
Richard Bradshaw (Garrett)

#6 Saving Croydon Youth Theatre

2011-03-12 17:06

As an actor & stuntman with over 18 years of work, & credits from Titanic to Star Wars, Doubling for James Bond & Wolverine amongst others. I can honestly say that there is no way I would have embarked on my career had it not been for the confidence & belief in myself I gained at CYTO.
However CYTO is so much more than just another vehicle to bring young people into working in the Arts. It is a place where young people from South London can begin to feel able to express themselves in a safe, constructive & learning environment. Surely with the growth in crime statistics & in youth unemployment the last thing we should be doing is reducing the opportunities for youngsters in Croydon. CYTO gives those all who are part of it a sense of belonging, a sense of responsibility to others, & breeds confidence in a way I have never seen elsewhere. There is no-one telling you what you "must" do, but it is clear that if you don't turn up for rehearsal you are letting down your friends, so you always turn up. You see the crowds out there in the audience & are intimidated, but you are out there next to your friends so you hold your head up & perform. I joined CYTO as a very shy 14 year old but from my first day there I was accepted as part of the group, even by those who were nearly 10years older than me - another generation when you're that age! - & I was given respect.
I firmly believe were CYTO to close, then Croydon Council would be seriously letting down a significant number of it's young people, & denying them the potential for a future they otherwise may never have.
Maria McPartland (nee Linger)

#7 Saving CYTO

2011-03-12 17:17

I joined CYTO as a very share 15 year old, and it literally changed my life. I discovered a love of the theatre that will never die. It led to me studying "Lighting Design & Production Management" at Croydon College and then a very sucessful career in Stage Management.

I made some wonderful friends and grew through CYTO. It would be a disaster if the young people of Croydon were to lose the chance to perform, grow, learn and live in the same way I did.

Please Croydon council, think again and support Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation into the future.
Mike Goodenough

#8 Saving CYTO

2011-03-12 18:17

CYTO provided an opportunity for me to explore the various palaces of variety that theatre can be in an exciting, creative atmosphere. I would not have had the confidence to pursue acting as a career had it not been for CYTO and I hold the memories of my time there and the fantastic friendships that still exist 26 years later as dearly to me as anything I have experienced.
Kirsty Ashby

#9 Re: saving the croydon youth theatre

2011-03-12 18:23

kevin herbert

#10 cyto

2011-03-12 20:26

cyto is such a very special place i can not believe they are even considering closing cyto. I was a member of cyto from 1985 to 1988 and it completely changed my life and have been working go the theatre industry ever since. But it is so much more than that. It giver young people a great opportunity to learn skills. Form life long friendships it is such a very special place cyto must not close.
charlotte chinn


2011-03-12 21:30

this is urgent!!! where will our young people go??? back on the streets with nothing to do????

CYTO has given our people so much to look forward to, and to work for! DONT LET THEM TAKE IT AWAY FROM THEM!

CYTO is the most precious youth centre I've ever known and they are trying to shut it down...what will become of our young people then!!!! CYTO works at a professional standard and turns our young people into confident, loving, and professional people...the best start for a young person is to be apart of something like this!!! DONT LET THEM TAKE IT AWAY FROM THEM!!!
CJ Reid

#12 CYTO is too important to lose

2011-03-12 22:16

I have recently been fortunate to work with the members of CYTO on designing some of their shows. I cannot believe this service is thought of as anything less than a vital part of the community of Croydon, and the decision to close this down will have devastating effects on the members and Croydon as a whole. The provision of this service cannot be stopped. Where else would these young people go to work together in creating something which allows them freedom of expression, the ability to confront issues which affect their everyday lives, overcome their fears and learn and experience, in the way that CYTO does?

CYTO is more than just an arts service. To many of the individuals this is an extended family, where they are safe to be themselves, where they can build up the confidence to become who they wish to be. Please please do not let this be destroyed.

Rosie Lyne


2011-03-12 22:25

CYTO is an invaluable asset to Croydon's youth and families. It is a second home for many teenagers and young adults that have had hard lives. It teaches young adults teamwork, confidence and maturity. Most importantly, it lets the teenagers of Croydon feel self worth, and know that the authorities have faith in them. In order for Croydon to have a successful future generation, we must protect places like CYTO.
lizzy connolly


2011-03-12 22:48

Cyto is an amazing place. It would be such a mistake to close. The supportive staff and positive energy makes it a special, exciting and buzzing building. It not only gives you the chance to learn skills and channel your energy. It has also helped me gain the skills I needed to continue to follow a career in musical theatre. Couldnt have done this without cyto. It brings people together from so many different backgrounds and you all become best friends. Such incredible memories and friends for life. and it would be such a shame for young people living in croydon today not to benefit! Please please please keep cyto!
Darren Lawrence

#15 Re: saving the croydon youth theatre

2011-03-13 01:16

Richard Vincent

#16 CYTO

2011-03-13 10:17

Before I came to Croydon, I, like the vast majority of the country, reguarded it as a bit of a joke place, the home of Terry And June and a target of ridicule by Mike Leigh. These days, of course, it has a more dubious reputation, being reguarded as a dangerous, perilous hole, a reputation it has aquired mainly from the percieved actions of its young people. But in CYTO (Croydon Youth Theatre) there is something truly beautiful going on; it is a place where young people can come, no matter what their race, gender or sexual orientation, and find a home from home, a supportive family...a place to go. It has gained a national and international name for itself for it's fine, sometimes brilliant work, and consistently produces shows of quality. Having said that, to become a member of CYTO you don't need to be able to act, dance or sing (though many can), you just need to 'be', and it offers structure to some young lives that is sometimes sorely lacking. It is a positive place for young people to go in a borough blighted with knife and gang crime. And what do Croydon Council choose to do? Dismantel it entirely; one of the few jewels Croydon has in it's crown, and they throw it away. We all know that times are hard, and cuts have to be made, but this is truly a piece of unthinking, unimaginative, short sighted vandalism. Is this the example we want to set before our young people? Please, if you've ever had anything to do with the performing arts or young people, or just care about the vibrant soul of this country; even if you've never heard of Croydon Youth Theatre, please, please, please, sign this petition today.
Wayne Mullen

#17 Re: CYTO

2011-03-13 11:54

#16: Richard Vincent - CYTO 

For many of us who didn't come from families of means, CYTO was a lifesaver.  It was a place where we found confidence through working with others who shared the same passion, collaborating, creating, developing a whole set of skills and access to practioners who really cared about what they were doing.  It was a place where young people didn't have to believe the myth about themselves.  That in itself, is invaluable. 

Toni potter

#18 Re: CYTO

2011-03-13 12:29

This post has been removed by its writer (Show details)

2011-03-13 12:38

Alex Banks

#20 Save CYTO!

2011-03-13 12:40

I've been to CYTO to watch plays and cabarets because I have friends that go to CYTO; on every occassion that I've been there, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Everyone there is amazing at what they do, wether it is acting, singing, dancing or technical parts like lighting and sound, and also, they are easy to talk to, and are friendly. So, whats the point in closing CYTO? If you do this, you will be closing the dreams that young people have. The Government are always wanting to do things to help young people stay of the streets and not get into gangs/drugs/other bad things, so by closing this down, more young people will be denied the opportunity to be able to forfill their dreams and goals. So, dont close down CYTO!
kat kaloun


2011-03-13 12:44

wha is wrong with this country, they moan about youth crime, kids hanging about on the streets, well what do they expect when they close down youth theatres. wake up govenment do something good for a change and keep cyto open.!!!!
Charlotte Allen

#22 saving CYTO

2011-03-13 13:03

This is a quick note. CYTO is one of the best
things I have ever done. I love the
People and the friends I made there
And if the council get rid of it
Then it will be an injustice to all
The kids who benefit from it.
Kathryn Mincer


2011-03-13 13:28

If cyto closed down it would not just be a shame, it would be disastrous!
I joined cyto when I was 14. I was shy, getting badly bullied and school and self harming in secret. The people at cyto, even the members, are so supportive and friendly that I was soon able to share my problems and start healing.
During my 7 years at cyto I have had very low moments, but I always knew that I could turn to the people there for support, help or even just a chat.
I see all the young people now at cyto and I promise you now, you close cyto and it will break their hearts. I hope none of them ever have to go through what I have in life, but if they did they would know that cyto is there for them.
Amir Korangy

#24 Saving CYTO

2011-03-13 14:18

It is organisations like CYTO that are the heart and soul of this country. Closing down CYTO is cutting off the cultural lifeline of a whole generation of young people.
Graeme Dockrell


2011-03-13 14:37

I think this is an absolute joke, if all these outlets for young people are being taken away, these teenagers will be more inclined to be walking the streets and creating their own drama, in an uncontrolled environment where it's not safe. When I attended CYTO I came into contact with some people who could have quite easily gone down a very bad route and this helped them to become respectful members of the community who have gone on to achieve some impressive things.