This month as part of our We Are AAM interviews we got to speak to one of our lovely trustees, Sue Morris. Sue is our acting Chair of the Board and has a wealth of experience in the local commercial, arts and voluntary sectors. Here's what Sue told us about being part of AAM..
How long have you been a trustee for AAM?
I've been a trustee since 2004, so over 10 years now.
How did you become a trustee?
I had been Vice Chair of the board at the Theatre Royal, and I had just finished an 8 year tenure there. Elizebeth Jones, who was the Chief Exec at the theatre then, knew that Rose was looking to recruit to the board of trustees at AAM and she suggested we should meet up, which we did and I’ve been a part of AAM ever since.
What does being a trustee involve?
As trustees we meet regularly with Rose to go over how everything is going with the charity, we have approximately 6 meetings a year. We're also responsible for making sure the organisation is run professionally and that the finances are all in good order and checked regularly. As trustees we have legal obligations to the Charity Commission, to ensure that everything is financially sound. Our role is really to use our collective experience to help support the charity in a wide variety of its functions. We also support the staff who work for AAM and make sure that we have the right numbers and appropriate skills within the organisation, and that the projects we run are the right ones and that they're successful.
What made you want to be part of AAM?
I guess I was at a bit of a loose end after coming off the board at the Theatre Royal. I didn’t know that much about AAM before speaking to Rose, but after we met I realised how interesting and different it was. I always enjoy being hands on with organisation I work with so I joined the Hands & Voices choir and learnt how to sign, it gave me a brilliant insight into what the organisation does. I found the choir challenging and exciting and I absolutely loved it - and I still do!
Tell us one random fact about yourself!
I knew Jimi Hendrix and he also shares the same birthday as me!
We're hugely grateful to all of the funders who have recently awarded Accessible Arts & Media with grants to allow us to continue delivering and developing our projects and our charitable work in the community.
The Boshier-Hinton Foundation have awarded us £4,340 to allow us to expand our Apprentice Workhop Leader Training programme. Accessible Arts and Media is one of the first organisations in the country to train adults and young people with learning difficulties and disabilities to co-lead creative singing and signing and accessible music technology workshops. Our apprentices deliver these workshops, presentations and demonstrations in a range of community, education and business settings throughout the UK and always get a really positive response. This donation will ensure we can continue to run this ground-breaking programme until the end of March 2016.
Our amazing Hands & Voices Choir have been awarded £500 by each of the following: York Vikings Rotary Club, David Dickson and Garbutt & Elliot, and The Calmcott Trust. Hands and Voices is a fully inclusive singing and signing community choir with community spirit at its heart that inspires disabled people to communicate through creativity.
Hands & Voices brought the house down when they performed earlier this summer as part of our Sing it, Move it, Sign it gig. We can't wait to see what they have got in store for us for the rest of the year - sign up for our newsletter to be one of the first to find out about future performance dates.
Our IMPs programme has received funding for both our York & East Riding projects. York Shine (CYC Play Team) awarded our York IMPs Apprentice Training Programme £2,300, and the East Riding of Yorkshire Council have awarded a £1,500 Arts Grant to our East Riding IMPs group. IMPs is fully accessible and inclusive and provides a unique opportunity for young people who love music to work together as equals, learn new skills, make new friends and celebrate abilities. Our IMPs Apprentices have been taking part in our apprentice training programme and are now getting out and about, delivering workshops in schools and youth groups around York and the East Riding. We're currently able to offer free taster workshops, co-led by our apprentices, to schools and youth groups - contact us if you'd like to find out more.
The Sir George Martin Charitable Trust have also awarded us £1000 to allow us to provide more vibration equipment for our iMUSE programme. iMUSE is a unique interactive music, sound, visual and vibration stimulation experience tailored to suit the individual needs of those with profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities (PMLD) and to help improve their quality of life. Sessions are personalised through colour, shapes, sound and low frequency sound to reduce pain, stress and anxiety, thereby freeing our young people and adults to think, communicate and learn independently. The use of the vibration equipment is a key part of the iMUSE sessions.
Lastly we would like to say Thank You! to Lauren Simpson and Robyn Parker and the University of Sheffield Light Entertainment Society (USLES) who fundraised for us recently at their performances of Swan Lake: A Comedy in Two Acts and raised an amazing £550 for Accessible Arts & Media.
So a huge thank you from all of us to everyone who has continued to support Accessible Arts & Media this year - if you would like to support our work, please visit our Support Us page where you can find out how to donate, volunteer or fundraise for us.
On Friday 26th June we held our brilliant inclusive birthday celebration Sing it, Move it, Sign it! featuring the fabulous MiXiT, Hands & Voices and Chilli BON BON!
We want to say a huge AAM thank you to all our volunteers, staff, trustees, artists and performers who took part and made the night such a huge success. All of the performers blew us away with their energy, enthusiasm and sense of fun; what better reminder of what Accessible Arts & Media is all about on our 33rd birthday?
The evening kicked off with our very own Hands & Voices choir who were first up to perform with their brilliant versions of Stand by Me and Boardwalk. A favourite with the crowd was definitely Hands & Voices' re-worked Da-Do-Ron-Ron, with seven members of the choir each singing their own verse based on all the things they love. They got everyone up on their feet to learn the signs and words to Daydream Believer, before conducting the audience in a big sing-along then finished their performance with the ever-popular Feeling Groovy.
Next up were the brilliant MiXiT - we know a lot of our participants were quite star-struck at the prospect of getting to meet their idols and they didn't disappoint. Their crowd-pleasing set included covers of Katy Perry's Roar, Beneath You're Beautiful by Labrinth and, a firm favourite with everyone, Seasons of Love by Rent. Big shout out to Jayd, who stepped in at the last minute to perform some amazing solos!
Chilli BON BON bought a totally different slant to the evening with their amazing interpretive sound and movement performance. To get us all ready for dancing the night away, they got us up on our feet to learn some funky moves to All Shook Up, and we were able to test out our new moves when DJ George kept us on the dancefloor til the end of the nightwith some killer tunes!
What a fab night, thank you from all of us at AAM - can we do it all again next year?!
For more photos of the night check out our Facebook page www.facebook.com/aamedia.org.uk
Our fabulous IMPs groups are very excited – they’ve been invited to perform at the York Music Hub Festival on the evening of Saturday 4th July!
The concert's taking place in Central Hall at the University of York, which is the biggest venue they’ve performed in to date.
The IMPs have been working hard on a great selection of songs. Our themes for this term were around the world and nature so expect some songs from different countries, a bit of reggae and some pop classics!
A big thank you to York Music Hub for inviting us to take part – we can’t wait!
On June 20th Red Cow Music will be holding the 2015 York Ukulele Festival. A huge thank you to Steve from Red Cow Music who has chosen Accessible Arts & Media as one of the two charities the festival will be supporting this year.
The line up for this years festival is as follows:
14.00 Seaside Uke Strummers
14.45 The One and Only-Kyle Frazer
15.30 Cleveland Ukuleles
16.15 Harrogate Ukulele Group
18.00 The Uketopians
19.00 The Blukuleles
19.45 The Tenfoot Ukes
20.30 Ukulele Sunshine Revival
21.45 The Grand Old Uke of York
There is limited space for the workshops so please arrive well before the start time.
Open Mike Session: Once again there will be the popular open mike session, please contact The Grand Old Uke of York to book your spot.
Main performance stage The Black Horse Monkgate, York (formerly Tap & Spile). Good Ale & barbeque.
For more information and updates visit the York Ukulele Festival Website or ring 01904 674440.