Annual Report 2012-13

Arty Party Annual Report 2012-2013   

The Board presents its directors’ report and audited financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2013

Charity Name: Arty Party Limited
Charity Number: 1142517
Company Number: 7162495

Main Office Address: Park Lane Centre. Park Lane, Woodside, Telford, Shropshire TF7 5QZ.

Registered Company Address: Sandwell Accountancy Services, 30 Upper High Street, Town Centre, Cradley Heath B64 5HY

Trustees (to AGM 28st November 2013)

Ms J Dean-Richards – Chair of Trustees and Director
Mr M Jones
Mr J O’Neill

Mr O’Neill did not seek re-appointment at AGM. 

Duly elected/re-elected as Trustees at AGM 2013 

Mr M Jones
Mr P Tudor
Ms J Bridges
Ms J Dean-Richards (Chairperson)


Arty Party is an independent arts organisation based in Telford, which supports people with learning and or physical disabilities, living in Telford and Shropshire, to make art. Members collaborate with professional artists to create work using film, theatre, visual art, creative writing, music and other art forms.

Arty Party shares powerful work with the public through performance and exhibitions.

Arty Party aims to:

  • Increase the confidence, skills and independence of adults with learning disabilities by providing arts training and work experience.
  • Reduce social isolation of adults and young people with learning disabilities, in Telford and Shropshire, by bringing this community together to actively participate in the planning and delivery of art and social activities.
  • Increase understanding and integration of positive contributions made by learning disabled people regionally, nationally and internationally, by presenting their work through exhibitions, digital media, performance and social events.

The Charity’s Object is:

To improve the quality of life of people with disabilities within Shropshire and its surrounding areas, by promoting education and the arts, and through this improving individual health, social wellbeing and economic stability. Also to promote social integration and community cohesion, building trust, confidence and communication between people with disabilities and the wider community through the medium of the arts.

The key strengths of Arty Party are that it has over 90 members and a dedicated and knowledgeable team including trustees, advisors and volunteers. The organisation has an excellent relationship with Telford and Wrekin Council and is building productive partnerships with other key arts and community organisations.

Business Context

Arty Party was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 18th February 2010 (company number 7162495). Its status as a registered charity (charity number 1142517) was confirmed on 21st June 2011.

The Board of Trustees

Arty Party has a Board of Trustees with responsibility for directing the affairs of the charity. Arty Party Trustees are involved in agreeing policy, making decisions and monitoring work, as well as doing some of that work. As the organisation grows and finds further funding, the board will delegate responsibility for most tasks to staff. 

Advisers to the Board

Arty Party is advised by people who can offer the benefit of their expertise, without becoming Trustees.


Arty Party is a membership organisation for people over the age of 18, who support the organisation’s charitable objectives. Anyone wishing to become a member is asked to complete an application form. 

Members Committee

The Members Committee meets quarterly and representatives from the group attend quarterly Board of Trustee meetings to represent the views of whole membership. At the Annual General Meeting, members elect a Members’ Committee of 12 Members. The purpose of the Members Committee is to:

  • represent members at Trustee meetings
  • review the organisation’s activities
  • suggest future activities and events
  • organise activities and events as appropriate and with support
  • put forward ideas for the development of the organisation
  • suggest and organise fund raising activities

Arty Party meets its objectives by:

organising creative activities and training for people with learning disabilities, in Visual Art, Film, Performance, Craft, Creative Writing, Music and Radio and Working in the Creative Industries.

Arty Party also regularly organises social activities, with the aim of reducing social isolation of learning disabled people in Telford and Shropshire. The Members Committee has considerable ownership of and control over the planning and hosting of these events.

Ensuring our work delivers our aims

We will review our aims, objectives and activities each year, considering our achievements and the outcomes of our work in the previous 12 months.  We will refer to the guidance contained in the Charity Commission’s general guidance on public benefit when reviewing our aims and objectives and in planning future activities. In particular, the Trustees will consider how planned activities will contribute to the aims and objectives they have set. 

The focus of our work between April 2012 – and March 2013

After considerable input by staff and Board between March and May 2012 Arty Party submitted a Big Lottery Bid in May 2012, hoping to build upon the success of previous projects, using the lessons learned through evaluation and the considerable experience and expertise of staff team and board. In order to ensure the organisation could use the bid to meet the needs of our existing groups of learning disabled adults, as well as aiming to reach new people, not previously involved in Arty Party activities, we held consultation events. Members and friends of Arty Party were invited to the events, which were led by members of staff and board, alongside Alison Saint, the evaluator who worked with us in the final year of our Lottery funded Work + Play project.

Consultation events were attended by around sixty Arty Party members, parents and carers. Attendees and other respondents identified the need for  the continuation of our day time programme of arts activities, as well as an increase in the number of arts themed evening social events.  Meanwhile, we continued skeleton arts, performance and social events programmes run through the small reserves and the willingness of volunteers, and also worked with other organisations, locally, to involve our members in externally funded opportunities, whilst keeping the name and reputation of Arty Party on the agenda. Key existing staff, who are experienced and skilled, worked on a voluntary basis, to sustain contact with members and potential members, to maintain the profile of the organisation, and to raise funds. However, having successfully got through the first stage of the application, In August 2012 we were told the bid had not been successful.

In an increasingly challenging external environment, we resolved to find the means to continue to find ways to ensure members could get together with minimal expenditure. For example, we enjoyed an Arty Party picnic, held in Telford town Park, and members took part in the M21 project, organised by Disability Arts Shropshire, in Much Wenlock, to celebrate the Olympic year. A notable sight was a snake of Arty Party performers dancing down the High Street.

We decided to move our office, and were offered a base at Park Lane Community Centre. Many of our members live in Woodside and the surrounding area. We have been made very welcome at the purpose built centre, and have a presence on Park Lane Centre’s website.

Fortunately, we secured a grant from the European Social Fund, through Shropshire and Telford Community Foundation, to run a year long Performance and Media course from September 2012 to June 2013, with a group of twelve Arty Party members.

The training was coordinated and delivered by Arty Party’s performance director Ray Jacobs, who is an experienced trainer in performing arts and an artist in his own right. Ray was education officer for Blue Eyed Soul Dance Company from 1999 – 2006 where he led workshops nationally and internationally to disabled students as well as national dance companies such as Birmingham Royal Ballet and African Cultural Exchange. Ray has also taught at degree level for Coventry University and Hereward College (for physical and sensory disabled people) students. He has industry experience, having toured as a professional dancer and directed many large scale events. Ray has been working successfully with Arty Party since 2007.

We trained twelve of our members in the skills and confidence needed to work in the performance, media and broadcasting industries. The Performance and Media Group also participated in work experience training.

The performance and media training included:

  • Acting skills, including working as part of an ensemble, voice skills, movement skills, improvisation, text based performance, and character study.
  • Presentation skills such as voice projection, speaking with clarity, microphone and camera technique.
  • Audition, interviewing and professionalism in the workplace skills.
  • Vocational skills such as self confidence, assertiveness, and independent travel.
  • Guest Workshops lead by leading directors in creative media.
  • Work experience: creating live theatre, working alongside professional theatre staff, creating sound casts and video casts to be broadcast online.

The delivery funding did not cover accreditation. However, to assist learners with progression into further study and employment, elements of the course were mapped against units from national employability qualifications from the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

The members committee met regularly at Park Lane community Centre, according to a calendar of meetings. There was greater emphasis on members making decisions about the priorities for the organisation. The committee became an important hub and way of keeping in touch with those members not involved in the performance and media course.

With limited funds it was difficult to run many social events. However, we secured funding for the Arty Party ‘Celebrate Me’ event, from the Basil Houghton Memorial Trust, and in December 2012, we ran two storytelling workshops, to encourage learning disabled members to talk about their achievements during the year. The event itself was a fun filled night of Arty Party magic, sponsored by The Basil Houghton Memorial Trust. This was a great evening to shout out loud and celebrate the wonderful things learning disabled members of Arty Party did in 2012.

Held at Castle Farm Community Centre, the event was full of sparkle. Arty Party Members and friends were invited to get in touch about something they are proud to have achieved in 2012.

Thirty-six people told us about the special things they did. Achievements included gaining independence by learning to use the bus, learning to knit, starring in a film and travelling to Moscow where it was shown, taking part in an aerobatic stunt flight to raise money for charity, and overcoming fear to learn to swim.

All Achievers were presented with an Arty Party Celebrate Me! Certificate.

We asked Fiona, from Taking Part, in Telford, to choose seven achievements which deserved a medal. Fiona found it hard to choose. The seven winners were Basil Capp, Sam Rogers, Robert Checkley, Cherylanne Maddy, Mervyn Bradley, Rebecca Smith and Mandy Freeman. They were presented with an Arty Party Gold Star medal.

Later, there was music and dancing, with DJ Dave Rickard.

Arty Party’s Performance and Media group interviewed people at the event. You can listen to the interviews on our blog:

During 2012 – 13, the art work of two Arty Party members, John Sprint and Alison Picknell, was chosen to be shown at the prestigious Compton Verney Arty Gallery, as part of a national Outside-In exhibition. Outside – In provides a platform for artists who find it difficult to access the art world.

The art work of both members sold to the public on the first night of the exhibition. John Sprint’s  artwork ‘Portrait of Julianne’, was featured on the front of the programme. Several other Arty Party members had work exhibited digitally at the exhibition.

During the early part of 2013, the board and members committee met to decide the priorities for the rest of the year. The organisation has continued to change and adapt to the needs of members and external challenges. We continue to send the films made by Arty Party to festivals around the world, and will continue to promote the creative work of our members and raise funds to run social events, to include and empower learning disabled people in Telford and Shropshire.

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