Sue Williamson (Founder and Managing Director)
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 Chief Executive Officer, with a very hands-on approach. I take the lead on our Level 3 Music Course, I Lead on the Kick-Start Programme with Neil, and as well as contributing to the organisation that goes on behind the scenes, I take a key role on the video-creation for our on-line college. I am passionate about inclusion, empowerment and living life to the maximum and love working for Tang Hall SMART where I get a chance to work towards all these things.
As for my personal life, I love reading, walking and I am still totally in love with music. Here is my most recent music adventure.facebook.com/SueWilliamsonAKAThePunkCrone
Neil Card (Musical and Production Director, Company Secretary, Business and Finance Manager)
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, I co-lead on the delivery of our Youth Music and Kick-Start programmes with Sue, and I lead on the THS Music and Arts Community website - aimed at adults. One of my roles is to take responsibility for production and music 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 five albums on the Musication label; my sixth is currently being mixed and mastered. During the Lock-Down, I have been busy creating 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 (Director of Electronics/Workshop)
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.
Graham Rogers (Music Facilitator, Lead Community Engagement Officer, Lead Support Officer)
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.
Holly Parker - (Day Manager, Administration Officer)
I started working for Tang Hall SMART in 2015 as an apprentice. My main role is supporting people’s wellbeing and making sure the day to day of running SMART is as smooth as possible. I work with adults and young people with learning disabilities, whether this be teaching a few chords on guitar, or making a mess with paint! I also help run our SMART-WAYS programme where I enable young adults to access education through vocational learning. I also help run our new independent living skills scheme of work. I am extremely passionate about my job and seeing the differences we make to people's lives is what I care about.
Matthew Douglas 'Dougie' (Lead Music Coach,
Lead of SMART SPACE virtual college)
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 of the 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!
Becky O’Donovan (Support Worker, Life Experience 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 from then to do more bespoke sessions revolving around the wellbeing of others. I now support wellbeing at Musication, as well as providing support for young people on our Smart-Ways programme. I provide also support during our urban-art classes. Away from SMART, I am a wife, and busy mother to my four children.
Joe Collins (Music Coach)
I started volunteering at the junior and teen Rock School Clubs for Tang Hall SMART during my third year of study at York St John University as part of my community music module. I really enjoyed helping out at the clubs and continued to do so after I had finished my degree. I now work for Tang Hall SMART full time. I am a tutor on our Level 2 and 3 Music courses, and focus on helping young people to find their voice through songwriting and ensemble work.
In my spare time I like to keep my self musically engaged. I play ukulele and lead vocals in The Solar Bats and a band called Frantics .
Jane Rhodes (Human Resources Manager)
Kate Thompson (Head Art Coach)
I have over 20 years of teaching experience within the primary sector. In my role as Art & Design Tutor at York College, I delivered a wide range of disciplines to students aged 16- 19 - Portfolio building for future courses was a large part of the curriculum on the Level 2 Diploma course. I have worked as a freelance artist, exhibiting work in York galleries and across Yorkshire, including York Open Studios. In 2016, I launched Unostar, an eclectic brand of upcycled clothing and accessories and I have a keen interest in environmental issues.
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 Human Resources Manager. 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.
Tom Nightingale (Head Drama Coach)
Eliot Cumper (Music Coach, Job Skills Coach)
I volunteered at SMART in 2016 as part of a placement in my second year of university. Three years later I jumped at the chance to work there 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. In my spare time I am in the band, Frantics.
Lucy Barwick-Ward (Drama Coach, & Support Assistant)
I support other members of staff in doing the creative activities session such as drama, singing, dancing and art! I got 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 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. Since then I have added the role of Drama Coach, and also leader of 'Dancing with Lucy' to my portfolio.
I first came across Tang Hall SMART as a participant at Musication, and enjoyed the range of music, with all the performance and recording opportunities. I began to work as a volunteer a year or so ago, bringing my 'Give it a Go Joe' drama improvisation club to the community here, and then became an employee this year with the responsibility of developing our drama side. The highlight so far has been staging the community play, "Nightingale's Game' here as part of the Phoenix Arising Festival last July, and seeing my original script come alive on stage. I am very much enjoying working with the learners at Tang Hall SMART, coaching them in their drama skills.
Lisa Harrison (Learning Achievement Coordinator, Support Worker)
I am a mum of two boys and they are the most important and rewarding element of my life. I enjoy spending quality family time with them and my husband. I have a PhD in Breast cancer research and a great interest in both science and research. I am a people person and enjoy getting the best out of others, it’s one of my strongest skills. I previously lectured at the University of Huddersfield and teaching is something that makes me tick. My motto is learn, do, then teach. Other interests; well I love football, always have and always will, I have been kicking a ball around for as long as I can remember. I am a lifelong Liverpool supporter, this was my first passion in life or it certainly seems that way. I enjoy playing sports and tend to play a fair bit of tennis these days, and I am very competitive! I love music and until January 2020 I had never played an instrument. Anyway, inspired by the music students and staff at Tang Hall SMART, I picked up a guitar and I am at least attempting to learn. I love to laugh, I think I am hilarious, others may disagree, but most laugh with me, so there you go, that in a nutshell is me!
Joe Christie (Music Coach)
I first came to Tang Hall SMART whilst I was in the third year of my degree 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. I thoroughly enjoy working with Musication and Smart-Ways and it is so rewarding to see what a difference music has on everyone who attends SMART. Outside of SMART I am a freelance community musician. I also enjoy going to concerts as well as having a love for reading, I spend a lot of my free time with my friends and family.
Natasha Chambers (Art Coach, Community Support
Officer, Session Leader of Tang Hall Chorus)
I came to Smart in 2014 as a very shy and nervous participant. I'd been singing in public since I was 7, learning the guitar since the age of 18 and drawing since I could hold a pencil! The first things I attended were the adult rock school and the Tang Hall Chorus Choir. Now I've become a staff member I've taken my passion for art and singing to become an art coach where I support Kate who is our Head of Art as well as now becoming the the leader for the Tang Hall Chorus. I feel very privileged to be part of the SMART family.
Outside of SMART I enjoy many creative pursuits such as singing, playing guitar, crafting and silver smithing! I have also created my own Youtube channel - Natasha at Tang Hall Smart - to feature the songs I work with at Tang Hall SMART and also from when performing as Natasha Nostalgia (and the Blue Rib-band)
Alan Rollinson (Urban Arts Coach)
I first joined Tang Hall SMART as a member of Musication, before progressing to the ESF scheme as a supported volunteer. I am delighted to be a paid member of staff, leader of Urban Arts which is new for September 2020. I find my former experience running my own tattoo business to be helpful when it comes to creating courses for our learners. In my spare time I am a guitarist and bass player, and create pedals for guitarists.
Renieta Pashova (Music Coach)
I first came to SMART as a participant of Musication back in 2015, only a few days after I had moved to live in England from Bulgaria. A few years later, after doing a Music degree, my passion for singing had grown into a desire to teach vocals. I also wanted to make a difference in people's lives and help those marginalised by society and SMART offered me just that- the chance to empower people and grow their confidence through music. In my spare time I run an arts and crafts venture with my mum: Delicate leaves
NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
Non-Executive Chair: Adrian Fisher, CGMA, BA(Hons) - I am an Accountant, Senior Civil Servant and Dad to two daughters, one of whom has Special Educational Needs. I have been a Governor in several schools in York over the last 10 years, including Burnholme School on whose site SMART now stands; currently I am Chair of Applefields Special School, SMART’s near neighbour. I have been with SMART from its early days of big ideas, but little money, and I am proud to have been a small part of creating a thriving and stable business that provides so much support, success and joy to our customers.
Non Executive Director: Adam Booker -BA (HONS) NQT, NPQH, Ad.Cert. - I am Head Teacher at Applefields School from 2015 to present, previously head of a 0-19 special school in Lincolnshire from 2003-2015. My role at SMART is to support them with their work for their customers, providing some insight from my background in SEND.
Non Executive Director: Mary Hill - My career in education has included teaching at Burnholme Community College 1985 to 1992, then from 2008-2014 as an educational consultant for Skipton and Bradford schools, specializing in pastoral support, staff development and safeguarding. My roles at Tang Hall SMART are to advise on safeguarding, staff development/appraisal, and administrative systems – and to act as a mentor to Sue.
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.