The Beehive will be run on a not-for-profit basis and was registered as a charity in October 2020 as The Beehive CIO (Charity number: 1191705). Like all Charities we have brought on board a number of patrons from the fields of the arts, community and local business to support the promotion of The Beehive project. As a tribute to the life of Dame Vera Lynn, who was a patron, we shall be dedicating the auditorium to her.
An incredibly successful actor of both stage and screen local resident Judy Parfitt has kindly supported The Beehive since it was a sketch on paper. Judy played Sister Monica Joan in the BBC's Drama 'Call the Midwife'.
Susan Fleet is a PR Supremo, Director of the Burgess Hill Business Parks Association, Gatwick Diamond Business Ambassador and a semi-professional soprano. Susan has been a huge supporter of The Beehive since day one.
Tim French MBE
Lauren is the CEO of MSVA (Mid Sussex Voluntary Action) and is a huge presence in the local community and volunteering sector. She also has a wonderful connection with the former building as her grandfather (a WWII veteran) was a frequent user of it.
Phil is one half of Show of Hands arguably the biggest name in the folk scene for the last 10-15 years. Show of Hands have played in the local area three times in the last few years selling out every time. The band have a strong community focus.
Dame Vera Lynn CH DBE LLD M.Mus
Known as 'The Forces' Sweetheart, The late Dame Vera Lynn was a symbol of hope and reassurance during the dark days of World War II. Dame Vera began performing aged 7 and her career flourished making her one of the most popular artists ever in the UK industry. Dame Vera was a local resident and a generous supporter of The Beehive saying "it is good to know that the future of the arts in Sussex will be secured, as this is very close to my heart and is an issue of great importance to me."
Dame Vera felt the new theatre sounded "like a wonderful opportunity" and said she wanted Burgess Hill to have "an arts centre and theatre it can be proud of."