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Richard receives a Duke of York award at a ceremony

York Charity crowns 30th Anniversary year with Royal Award

York charity, Accessible Arts & Media (AAM) is proud to be receiving an award from HRH The Duke of York, for delivering true value and inspiration to the community. Their celebrated singing and signing choir, Hands and Voices, will perform at the prestigious Royal Reception on 5th December at the Merchant Taylors Hall, York.

AAM is a York-based arts & media charity working with local communities, disadvantaged young people and people with disabilities across York & North Yorkshire, led by a vision for an inclusive society where the talents and aspirations of everyone, disabled and non disabled can be celebrated through the arts and digital media regardless of their circumstances.

Over two hundred and fifty people in and around York benefit each year from taking part in a vibrant range of accessible and inclusive AAM projects for vulnerable groups that push boundaries and raise expectations of what people can do to challenge stereotypes. These range from a sensory programme designed specifically for adults and children with profound and multiple disabilities to music workshop leader training for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, and includes one of the UK’s first singing and signing choirs, Hands and Voices, which enables those with communication and learning difficulties to express themselves more easily.

Members of the public will get a chance to see the joyous Hands and Voices choir perform for themselves at their annual Buskathon on Sunday 16th December in Coppergate from 1 – 3pm.

Being awarded the Duke of York Community Initiative is a fantastic achievement, a real honour, and is the icing on the cake for us this year as we celebrate a 30 year legacy of inspiring creativity and communication for disabled people and young people in York.Rose Kent, AAM Managing Director

The Duke of York meets the Hands and Voices Choir

His Royal Highness The Duke of York founded The Duke of York Community Initiative Award in 1998, to actively encourage the development of community spirit, individual leadership and initiatives in Yorkshire and the Humber. The initiative supports projects through a dedicated award scheme and recognition of excellence. Its principal aim is to foster and increase community spirit throughout Yorkshire and is only awarded to community schemes of outstanding merit which meet the rigorous and robust assessment criteria.

AAM will be shouting about celebrating their award and the artistic achievements of their very talented members at a special craft fair and sale at St. Crux, York on Friday 14th December from 10am – 4pm. All welcome!

Media Contact: Katie Saunders
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Tel: 07812 033 087
Twitter: @A_Arts_Media

Notes to Editors

Background info on Accessible Arts & Media

AAM has been an integral part of the cultural and community landscape in York since 1982 when a collective of local filmmakers got together to form York Film Workshop. With a few more names changes and relocations over the years (The Old Dairy Studios, York Artlink, Accessible Arts and Cube Media), Accessible Arts & Media was born in 2008 and with continuing support of its so many members, supporters, funders and friends; the charity has grown into the vibrant and fun organisation that it is today, and will continue to be in the future. More information from

Background info on Duke of York Community Initiative (DOYCI)

The Duke of York's Community Initiative is an exciting venture which supports community projects throughout Yorkshire and Humberside, by recognition of excellence. In January 1998 HRH The Duke of York presented the first Community Initiative Awards to ten schemes, from different parts of the region, run by their local communities. More information from