This month we got to have a chat with our Communication & Development worker Hannah. Hannah originally joined us on a placement from York St John and she loved us all so much she stayed.
• How long have you worked at AAM and what do you do?
I have been working for AAM for 5 ½ years after being a placement student with the amazing Hands and Voices choir and writing my dissertation around music and communication. I have numerous hats at AAM, my main hat being the communication development worker. I’m a Signalong tutor so I can provide training in Sign Supported Communication and lead on the signing for Hands and Voices and Creative Interactions, which is focused on Intensive Interaction and play. Communication isn’t just about the one-to-one interactions with the participants, so I make sure all our resources are fully accessible for our participants, and check out any new developments or practicalities which can be used to better our communication with the participants. I’m also a music facilitator for some of the sensory sessions and the safeguarding officer.
• What do you enjoy most about working with AAM?
Where to start?! I love that every week I have the same routine, the same projects to work on, but they are never the same and it never gets boring. I guess it’s getting the simple eye contact that someone wouldn’t give you before, or that person played the drum because they wanted to, not because someone told them to, or someone has finally cracked that sign that’s been challenging them all term. The simple little changes we see in our participants is what makes AAM a truly beautiful place to work.
• What did you do before working here?
I studied at York St John University studying Performance Music and then went on to study the MA in Community Music at The University of York, and half-way through my MA I started working at AAM. I always had ‘side-line’ jobs as carers or play workers for people with disabilities, which is where my passion for community music came from.
• Tell us one random fact about yourself!
I’ve never been a ‘sensible’ flute player; I dressed up in a fairy costume whilst playing ‘The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy’ whilst walking down the aisle during my final school performance, I re-arranged ‘Freebird’ by Lynard Skynard for solo flute and wind quartet and played it for a university recital, and managed to get my flute to sound like a steam train in a piece called ‘The Great Train Race’.
We’re only able to deliver the groundbreaking work we do here at Accessible Arts & Media thanks to the support of our funders and through your donations. We have to raise over £250,000 every year to continue the vital work we do within the community. To find out more about how you can support us, or to make a donation please click here.