Meet the Staff
Sue Williamson - CEO and Founder
Before setting up the wonderful Tang Hall SMART in 2014, I worked as a teacher at (the also wonderful) Burnholme Community College, specialising in Music and English. During my 20 years at the school, I took on various roles, such as Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Equalities Officer and Able, Gifted and Talented Coordinator - all of which helped to make this a rewarding and varied experience.
At Tang Hall SMART I am the MD/Chief Executive Officer, ensuring the 'good health' and resilience of our organisation, both in terms of personnel (in liaison with Jane) and financially (in liaison with Neil). I lead on new business models, in developing partnerships, in research, in our Kickstart project, and I have a quality assurance role across the organisation whether this be teaching and learning, wellbeing, safeguarding, accreditation, or participant experience. I am passionate about inclusion, empowerment and living life to the maximum and I love working for Tang Hall SMART where I get a chance to work towards all these things.
I have a particular interest in research, with my areas of specialism being participant voice, inclusion/the social model of ability/disability, emancipatory research, and ethnography.
My hobbies include reading, going for long solitary walks, and I am a singer, saxophonist, and song-writer with my current pet-project being The Punk Crone.
Neil Card - Accreditations Manager, Business and Finance Manager, Lead Producer, Kickstart Tutor and Company Secretary
I first came to Tang Hall SMART as a participant then moved on, becoming a volunteer, and have been a paid member of staff since September 2016. I joined the governing board as Director of Music, and Company Secretary August 2017. I take responsibility for our accredited pathway with RSL, which includes the creation and delivery of music-production-focused units of work to students of all levels, and I co-lead on the delivery of our Kick-Start programmes with Sue. One of my roles is to take overall responsibility for production content, and I run our record label, Musication. I am a recording artist in my own right under the name of D.Ni.L and I have released six albums on the Musication label; my seventh is currently in progress. During the Lock-Down, I created a new character for our productions, David, who now has his own twice-weekly show on Facebook and his own YouTube channel: David-THS Live.
Alex ‘Al’ Williamson - Workshop Lead
Before Tang Hall SMART, I worked as an Electronics Engineer and Clock Maker, which included running my own clock and gramophone shop in York from 1989-1997. This was followed by a decade or so of doing up broken and old electrical/ mechanical items, buying cheaply, then repairing and selling. It was an easy transition from my man-shed, to the electronics workshop at Tang Hall SMART where I am involved in designing and developing prototypes; including especially adapted musical equipment for those with disabilities. I lead on our work with young people who are developing their hand-tool skills, as well as electronics/radio sessions. When I’m not at work, I spend time inventing, often involving sound waves/magnets/sensors. I am interested in (Sue would say obsessed with) amateur radio, and I am a proud Morse Code Examiner. I love music too, and play the bass, drums and electric guitar – as well as being interested in computer/ synthesizer generated music, and composition.
Holly Parker - Day Manager (Burnholme site) - Independent Living Skills Coordinator, Drama Tutor
I first came to Tang Hall SMART in 2015 as an apprentice. I help with the day to day running of THS as well as teaching Independent living skills and drama. I also support a variety of sessions. I am extremely passionate about my job and seeing the differences we make to people's lives is what I care about. I love working here, and always look forward to the new challenges and adventures that come my way. Outside of work I am extremely passionate about music and enjoy seeing it live. I am also a big fan of going to the theatre and watching films at the cinema.
Matthew Douglas 'Dougie' - Lead Music Tutor (Guitar, Bass and Drums) and Leader of SMART SPACE
I started volunteering for Tang Hall SMART working with children and teenagers during my second year of university as part of my community music module for my degree and I loved the ethos and the ideals behind SMART. I began working for SMART in 2017 and now in my role of leading tutor of our Level 3 Music course, I help coach and inspire people to develop their skills further as soloists or in bands. I am particularly passionate about helping young people with barriers develop their musicality so it can feed into their confidence and wellbeing. I have led on our virtual college, SMART SPACE, which allows our young people to receive quality programmes of education on-line as well as on-site. Outside of work I remain active musically by playing in several bands such as The Perfect Shambles. When I have a spare moment away from music I like to play video games and go to Elland Road to support the mighty Leeds United!
Hayley Evans - EHCP and Multi-Agency Lead
As the EHCP Lead at Tang Hall SMART, I find my previous experiences as a Youth Worker and Alternative Learning Coordinator to be very useful when managing the EHCPs for all of our students. I worked for CYC as a youth worker for nearly 13 years (after completing my Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Youth Studies) which involved the coordination of bespoke educational programmes for young people at risk of social and educational exclusion. My role of Community Development Lead, enabled me to support local youth provision across the city. My other love is dance; I originally started as a dance coordinator as I was teaching dancing freelance in the local community, and then I ran a preschool dance business for under 5s at various venues across the city and in nurseries and preschools. I am a busy mum of 2 beautiful kids and in my spare time I love to quiz, partaking in several online quizzes a week. I also love live music and theatre. It is amazing to be back working with young people and adults again and to be working with this fantastic organisation.
Graham Rogers - Key Support Worker, and Music Tutor
I first came to Tang Hall Smart as a participant, before becoming a volunteer, then finally a paid member of staff from spring 2016. One of my responsibilities is safeguarding and participant wellbeing, and together with Sue, I am a designated lead on child protection and Safeguarding. I lead on our community provisions strand, coach on the guitar, and I also provide emotional support in on-to-one off-load sessions. When at home I like spending time with my daughter Freyja, and my fiance Lynsey. I enjoy listening to music and playing live with my covers band, The Perfect Shambles.
Joe Christie - Lead Music Tutor (Piano & Vocals), Choirmaster of the Flourish @ Tang Hall SMART Choir
I first came to Tang Hall SMART whilst I was in the third year of my
music degree at Uni of York supporting the Gamelan and Taiko
drumming projects. I returned the following year and worked on their
Gamelan and rap project. I loved the organisation and I was glad to
be asked back to join the team when studying a Masters in
Community Music at York.
I now work full time at SMART, working as a Lead Music Tutor (specialising in piano and vocals). My role includes creating schemes of work for musicians of all levels, and teaching Level 1.2 and 3 Music units. I
lead our inclusive community choir and other group singing sessions
throughout the week.
I thoroughly enjoy working here, everyone is so supportive and great to work with which creates such a friendly and welcoming working environment! I thoroughly enjoy both teaching the qualifications we offer and the community music side of things as it’s all so rewarding to see what a difference music has on everyone who attends SMART.
Outside of SMART, I continue to play music, including accompanying a local community choir in York which provides many performance opportunities throughout the year (music ranging from classical, jazz, pop, folk etc). I am interested in research, and also enjoy going to concerts and seeing live music as well as having a love for reading. I spend a lot of my free time with my friends and family.
Jane Rhodes - Human Resources Manager and Flourish@SMART Administrator
I first became involved with Tang Hall SMART in January 2019 supporting the Flourish@Smart community choir, and later taking on the additional role of Health and Safety Officer, and Resources Manager, with responsibility for staff development, CPD, and wellbeing.
Having previously worked in product development for a life assurance company, I have a strong administrative background. Since 2016 my focus has been much more people orientated, running choirs and other activities for people with Dementia and those who find themselves isolated within the community for a variety of reasons.
I have always been passionate about music. I enjoy playing the clarinet and saxophone, trips to theatre and listening to a wide variety of live music and bands. My other interests include walking, running, sewing, cake decorating and having days out with my family. When I have time I am researching my family tree.
I feel very honoured to be working for Tang Hall SMART and with the wonderful team of people who make this such a fantastic place to be.
Matt Lucas - Lead Sport Tutor, and Music Tutor
I started working for Tang Hall Smart in October 2020 as a Music Tutor/Support Assistant and quickly found myself loving it. Getting the chance to use my experience as a musician and general people person to really make a difference in the lives of others has become part of who I am! I've since started utilising my other skills as a Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer and am now taking participants for workouts and other sporting activities. For me, this is probably the only job out there that makes use of a lot of my previous work experience into one role! I've come out of my shell this year and lead some of the music sessions when I'm not doing the fitness and I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds!
Alan Rollinson - Music-Tech and Support Assistant
I first joined Tang Hall SMART as a member of Musication, before progressing to the ESF scheme as a supported volunteer. From there, I started to tutor our art students, and for the last couple of years, I am delighted to have been one of the Art Tutors, where I encourage our students to develop their own style and a good skill base. In the past amongst other things, I worked as a cabinet maker, and ran my own tattoo business for several years. I am proud of the work our learners create, and am pleased that this year we launched accredited programmes in art, with the onset of Level 1, 2 and 3 RSL courses. In my spare time I am a guitarist and bass player, and create pedals for guitarists.
Becky O’Donovan - Support Worker, Company Director
I first got involved in Tang Hall SMART back in 2015, when Sue asked me to help promote the new Musication course –and then I started volunteering, and taking on a hospitality role. I first started to work as a support assistant for Musication late 2015, and my role has grown since then, as I now provide more bespoke sessions revolving around the wellbeing of others. Away from SMART, I am a wife, and busy mother to my four children.
Tom Nightingale - Drama Support
I arrived at Tang Hall Smart originally as a participant on the Musication course, which I really enjoyed and found very welcoming.
Having completed the Musication course, I approached Sue to ask her if I could bring Give It A Go, Joe to Tang Hall Smart. She said yes. So I started running a couple of sessions a week.
At this point I was working on a play called ' Nightingales Game. Pretend To Be Like Me.' So I asked if we, ( Give It A Go, Joe ) could perform it. On the 4th and 6th of July 2019 it was performed and received well. This was a massive breakthrough for me as a theatre maker and drama teacher. One I will never forget.
I now have a part time contract to teach young people on an accredited drama course, and also continue with Give It A Go, Joe. The Joe in the Give It A Go, Joe, is symbolic of Joe Public.
I personally believe that theatre/drama workshops should be available to anyone and everyone. That there are a lot of people who have never even considered attending a drama course. Perhaps not previously having had the chance.
I am also aware of the beneficial impact that drama can have on someone's life.
Eliot Cumper - Music Tutor and Sports Tutor
I volunteered at SMART in 2016 as part of a placement in my second year of university. After graduating, I tried a variety of different jobs, but two years later, I jumped at the chance to work at SMART full time. I've been playing drums and guitar since I was a teenager and I've taken that passion with me into my music teaching at SMART. I have added to my role this year as I am also working alongside Matt, to support our students in the sports hall and gym. In my spare time I am in the band, Frantics.
Natasha Chambers - Music Support Assistant, Conductor of Tang Hall Chorus
I came to SMART in 2014, as a very shy and nervous participant. I'd been singing in public since the age of 7, learning the guitar since I was 18 and drawing for as long as I can remember. I originally attended the Adult Rock School and Tang Hall Chorus and Musication, when that first began. From there I began volunteering, until I started performing in and introducing the Tea Dances, that were held in the hall at the time. I then moved ontoworking with SMART, as Art Support and leader of the Tang Hall Chorus. These days, I now continue to lead the Chorus, alongside working as Music Support Staff, leading a vocal workshop and supporting Independent Living Skills.
Outside of SMART I enjoy many creative pursuits, such as singing, playing guitar, crafting and Silver Smithing. I also created my own YouTube channel; natashaattanghallsmart, which features songs I have covered, whilst at SMART and songs from the Chorus, where I sing with my Mum.
Lucy Barwick-Ward - Drama Tutor, Dance Tutor and Support Assistant
I first became involved with Tang Hall SMART by coming on board as a volunteer. My first role was helping Neil and Sue with taking the tea dances to independent living homes for people with dementia. I then developed a role supporting a variety of sessions, but am happy that I can now use my training and experience in dance and drama, to tutor our students. I love what we do because it allows us to be creative and use my acting and dancing skills to support others and to give back to the community.
Bev Quigley - Art Administrator and Support Worker
I first discovered the wonderful world of Tang Hall Smart in 2017, when my daughter attended as a participant, and thrived in the supportive environment here. I still remember the feeling of utter amazement that such fabulous place existed, so I was absolutely thrilled to be able to join the team as a support worker in September this year.
My background has always involved working with people, and for the majority of my career I have worked in Human Resources. I am always excited by the prospect of discovering what is possible so I’m delighted to be working in an enabling environment that develops the potential within everyone, whatever that may be.
In my spare time I love to spend time with my family, we have recently welcomed a new member with our newly adopted Dalmatian, Layla. Luckily I enjoy lots of long walks in all kinds of weather as well as keeping fit and active. I also love singing and I’m a member of the Tang Hall Chorus.
I’m a passionate cook, with a growing interest in health and nutrition, and love nothing more that experimenting with a bit of chemistry in the kitchen. One of my favourite TV programmes is the Great British Bake Off, so watch out you never know, one day I might apply!
Rob Olley - Music and Drama Tutor
As a music and drama tutor at Tang Hall Smart, I try to use my enthusiasm and my past experience as a primary school teacher and music coordinator to help develop and inspire our participants. In music sessions, I love helping the people we work with to sing and write songs; songwriting is a passion of mine and I believe that everyone has a song in them! I also love singing sessions; I myself have loved singing for as long as I can remember, and believe that group singing brings people together. In drama sessions, it is a privilege to see our participants flourish and grow in confidence, taking on roles and communicating what’s in their heart in a new way. I absolutely love working at Tang Hall Smart; I feel so lucky to have such a rewarding job and often tell people that I have the best job in the world!
Farai Kuudzadombo 'Faz' - Music Tutor
Working at Tang Hall Smart has been a new challenge in my life, being able to work with so many different people as a producer, sound engineer, session keys and drummer. I am also a private drum tutor. I love to share my music knowledge and experience to all kinds of people. I believe everyone has the ability to tell a story through their music. I am here to inspire and help bring the best out of people.
Colin Rowntree - Music Tutor
I am fascinated by all things music. I have a Degree in Audio Music Technology from Anglia Ruskin University, where I studied everything from recording music to synthesis and signal processing.
I'm a very keen guitarist and have taught privately for many years. I thoroughly enjoy the process and have taught various genres, from The Beatles to Metallica and loads in between.
I don't have any particular favourites styles, but I particularly enjoy learning fingerstyle guitar. I had a period as a solo Blues singer and Guitarist and have played in Rock, Punk and Ska bands. I've recently started to learn Piano.
I'm very interested in the history of music and its evolution, from classical to modern dance music. Outside of music, I'm very interested in the world of Web Development and related technologies.
Derek Hare - Support Worker
Originally from York I moved to London after college and spent 25 years working in Graphic Art; firstly in Print & TV Advertising (Saatchi & Saatchi), moving on to Corporate Identity (Carnegie Orr) and finally to Product & Packaging (Marks & Spencer).
10 years ago I made the move to work in a field in which I have always been passionate; football coaching. I now run my own coaching company; Sambarca Futsal. In 2020 I also started buying and selling vintage & pre-loved menswear - another passion. A third passion is music, which started way back in the early ‘70s with David Bowie, and bands such as The Velvet Underground, New York Dolls and MC5.
Helen Rogers - Support Worker
I started working at Tang Hall Smart on the 13th of September 2021, I knew a lot about SMART as my brother Graham works there. After seeing how much Graham enjoyed working at Smart I thought I would apply for a job and I got it. I'm working as a support assistant mainly helping before and after gym sessions at the sports centre. My responsibilities for this entails me being around in the changing rooms if the girls require any help also supporting in gym sessions giving them praise and boosting their confidence or showing them how to do a certain movement. I have always worked with children from birth right through to young adults and this is now another string to my bow. I come from a very musical family and love to sing and listen to live music. I also love to spend time with my family especially my niece Freyja.
Lisa Harrison - Lead Functional Skills Teacher and Coordinator
I am passionate about inclusion and inclusive teaching practice, which is why Tang Hall smart is the perfect place to work.
I studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Huddersfield where I later gained a Doctorate in Breast Cancer research. More recently I completed a PGCE in Primary Education at York St John University.
I enjoy playing sports, in particular tennis and football. I'm a lifelong Liverpool supporter so my favourite place to watch football is at Anfield.
I have a wonderful family and enjoy spending time with my husband and two boys. I have a great sense of humour. I laugh a lot and I probably think I'm a lot funnier than I really am …
Sam Carson - Music Tutor
Music absolutely changed my life, I’ve been fortunate to meet some incredible people and build some lasting memories along the way, and I’d love to help others to do the same. I started playing music as a kid and over the years I’ve joined a number of bands and toured the country as a drummer with local and international artists. Before working for Smart, I had quite a few different jobs. I was a barista, a tour guide, a workshop leader, a chocolatier and most recently a Brand Rep for a music service so my role involved travelling the country and showing children how much fun it can be to play as part of a band. Over the years I’ve become a singer and have started to learn keyboard and guitar which has opened the door to writing music of my own. I’ve also done some acting and sport over the years, and in my free time I love to go walking or climbing when I’m not gigging.
In my life I’ve been really lucky to experience some incredible things through music, travelling the world and meeting people from many different backgrounds and I feel like this role is the perfect way to put together everything I’ve learned and continue to enrich peoples lives through the arts; I can’t wait to see where it leads!
LeAndre West - Art Support Assistant
Joining as a Music and Art Support Assistant at Tang Hall Smart is a new and exciting venture for me. As someone who has loved music from the womb (as my parents claim), I started singing, song writing and performing as a hobby from a very young age and continued to do so way into my high-school years. During that time, I worked a lot with organisations in Leeds such as Breeze Leeds and ChapelFM (formerly known as ELFM), taking part in and also occasionally organising and leading a range of creative events and workshops within the communities around Leeds with the goal of bringing people together, giving them a medium to express themselves, and helping people to recognise and grow confidence in their talents. After taking a lengthy break from all things creative, I applied to Tang Hall Smart because I would love to be a part of helping to make a difference in people’s lives through the arts.
Bob Fleming - Music Support Assistant
I attended a drama workshop at Tang Hall SMART and absolutely loved it. After seeing how much of an amazing place it is and speaking to people that work there, I felt my 30 years experience working as a gigging musician could be of use, so I volunteered for a month and I am now I’m lucky enough to be one of the music tutors. I absolutely love working with the students and staff, this really is a special place that allows people to grow, both creatively and as an individual. As well as playing guitar, bass, singing and other music stuff, I’m a total geek with of love of Doctor Who, Star Trek, lots of other sci-fi / fantasy stuff, playing Dungeons and Dragons, martial arts and podcasting, which I try to fit in with being a dad, family life and gigging. I’m a very busy but very happy and grateful Bob.
Helen Savage - Lead Art Tutor
I trained as an art teacher at the University of Bristol before taking my first job teaching Key Stage 3 and GCSE art in a mainstream secondary school in York. I later moved to the secondary department at Forest School in Knaresborough, which is a school for children and teenagers with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). During these years I learned a great deal about supporting and communicating to neuro-diverse learners and those with additional emotional needs. I believe that we can never really know how other people experience the world, and that nurturing confidence is the most important step towards achieving success. At Tang Hall Smart I lead on teaching all of the Art courses.
Phyllis Hoyle - Drama Facilitator and Support Assistant
I first became involved with Tang Hall SMART in 2023 as a drama support assistant. I am heavily involved in various theatre settings in York, I am the founder of Sonder Women’s Theatre, a York based community company, as well as studying a masters in Applied Theatre at York St. John University. I decided to make myself even more of a busy bee and join in with drama sessions at Tang Hall. I am having a blast so far, seeing all the creativity from the students and staff is fab, I can’t wait to share my skills, and hopefully learn a few myself! My favourite thing about this kind of work is challenging people to try something they didn’t think they could do, and seeing them succeed. Outside of work, I love going to see shows at the theatre, reading, and see live music. I also love baking, although it doesn’t usually last very long when it’s out of the oven!
Ganna Belcheva - Art Support Assistant
I came to SMART in 2023. I am passionate about graphic design and have experience of teaching students within a higher education setting in graphic design department. I thrive on sharing my creative ideas and technical skills with others. I support my students to express their thoughts and ideas as we continually learn when developing our practice.
I really love to run, and often take part in marathons; it relaxes me as well as keeping me fit and healthy! I am interested in all forms of art and design and enjoy visiting art galleries and exhibitions.
Aaron Moorehouse Everett - Music Tutor/Support Assistant
I began working at Tang Hall Smart as a Music Tutor/Support Assistant in November 2023, and I'm loving it so far! It's so enjoyable to work with the students who attend the sessions - to feed off their energy, and to facilitate the development of their musicianship.
Previously, I have taught music to children and young adults with special educational needs through my work with various schools, colleges, music charities, disabled children's services, and across my activities as a private music tutor and researcher. I have also been employed as a guest lecturer for Bath Spa University, and my research has been published by a number of leading academic journals. I hope to have my PhD finished by next year, with a little bit of luck!
NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
Non Executive Director: Mike Angus, MEng Electronic Engineering and MSc Intelligent Robotics
My current job title is Robotics Lab Technician, in the Department of Electronic Engineering, University of York. The role I have at Tang Hall SMART is to advise Alex with the electronics side, as well as offer guidance on our music production/mastering.
Non Executive Director: Steve Secker BSc, MBA, FCA. My career in business started by qualifying as a chartered accountant. I then spent 24 great years at McCarthy & Stone, Retirement housing developers, where I progressed to Regional Managing Director. I now have a portfolio of non- exec roles spanning Housing Associations, a Building contractor, Software company and chair the Property Forum at York Chamber of Commerce. My son has been one of Tang Hall SMART’s longest running service users and we can see how enormously he has benefited from the great work all the team do. My role at Tang Hall SMART is to help their continued successful growth through advising on issues to do with property, finance and governance.
Non Executive Director: Carmel Appleton BEd, Adv Dip SEN. I qualified as a teacher with a specialist qualification in Special Educational Needs. During my career I have worked with a wide range of ages and abilities in mainstream and special schools and in Further and Adult Education. I have lived and worked in York for over 30 years and have three sons. Since retiring from my job as an Advisory Teacher for Complex Needs I have been working as an advocate for the Speak Up Service in York. I feel very privileged to be able to support the brilliant work of the Tang Hall Smart Team.