I founded the Accessible Arts arm of the charity in 1992 when I was a young community artist. The organisation grew out of a visual arts project I was running in the late 1980s for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities at the Priory Street Centre. Little did I know at the time that I’d still be running the charity 27 years on and that I’d still be as passionate about the work we do and amazing people we work with……….I have the BEST job!
I’m delighted and honoured to have been recognised as York first Cultural Champion in the inaugural York Culture Awards in 2016. I’m passionate and determined about using arts and culture to help people to become more engaged in their local community. For me, it’s all about levelling the playing field and using creativity and culture in really fun and enjoyable ways, while not taking yourself too seriously!
My experience spans the community arts, voluntary, education and commercial sectors and ranges from arts practitioner to consultant. This experience has been key to raising Accessible Arts and Media’s profile from two small fledgling community arts charities to the award-winning organisation it is today. Over the years my role’s included pioneering the range of user-led disability, youth and community programmes that AAM is so highly widely respected for, running a community centre, and managing a recording studio and media production facility.
I’ve been a trustee of a number of local charities over the years and I ‘m currently Vice-Chair of Tang Hall Big Local, a resident-led initiative funded by the Big Lottery (£1m over 10 years) to make Tang Hall a better place to live.