MEET THE STAFF

We have a diverse staff team with a large range of specialism, skills and experience.

 

Sue Williamson - Founder and CEO 

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Neil Card - Company Secretary, Business and Finance Manager, Lead on RSL Administration, Music Tutor (specialising in production and beatmaking)

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, and I co-lead on the delivery of our Youth Music and Kick-Start programmes with Sue.  One of my roles is to take 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. 

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, 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, and  I have a quality assurance role across the organisation whether this be wellbeing, the curriculum, accreditation, or community clubs. 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.

 

As for my personal life, I love reading, going for long solitary walks, and I am still totally in love with music. 

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Alex ‘Al’ Williamson - Company Director and Electronics/Workshop Tutor

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,  Tutor of Independent Living Skills, 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.

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Matthew Douglas 'Dougie' - Lead Music Tutor 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 Coordinator  and Drama/Dance Tutor

 As the EHCP Coordinator 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.

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Graham Rogers - Wellbeing Lead, 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 - Piano Tutor and Choir-Master for 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 piano tutor which includes teaching Level 3 Music units and I also
lead our inclusive community choir and other group singing sessions
throughout the week. I thoroughly enjoy working here, everyone is so
is 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 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.

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Jane Rhodes - HR Manager and Health & Safety Officer 

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.

Matt Lucas - Lead on Sport/Fitness 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!

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Alan Rollinson - Art Tutor

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 the main Art Tutor, 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 to be launching accredited programmes this year, 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, 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 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.

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Tom Nightingale - Drama Tutor

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 Support Worker for Sport/Gym

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.

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Lucy Barwick-Ward - Drama and Dance Tutor 

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. 

Natasha Chambers -  Music Support Worker, and 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 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.

 

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Renieta Pashova - Music Tutor

 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

Bev Quigley - Cooking Tutor, 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!

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Rob Olley - Functional Skills Coordinator and Drama Tutor

I  joined Tang Hall SMART in February 2021 as a Support Worker, but from September 2021, I have taken on the role of Functional Skills Coordinator, teaching literacy and numeracy to learners. I have previous experience of teaching as I used to be a Primary School Teacher, and have also worked in a number of support roles with disabled adults. Coming from this background, I have a burning passion to assist our learners on their journey to become more literate and numerate, and give them the tools to exercise greater power over their own lives and the world around them; I also think this helps individuals learn more about themselves as people and I feel privileged to be part of this process. 

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.

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Jo Holmes - Support Worker

I am delighted to be joining the team at Tang Hall Smart in September as a Support Assistant. I am a
local resident and have worked as a hairdresser for the past 20 years; I have worked in salons across
York but now work part-time in a home-based salon. I love being artistic, creative, and baking with
my children.

 

Through my own experiences as a parent, I have developed a passion for inclusion and helping to
remove the barriers to education some children and young people face. This led me to pursue a
change in career. Therefore, I recently completed a degree as a mature student at the University of
York BA Hons Social Policy children and young people.
Additionally, I have lots of volunteering experience working with children and young people in
various Primary schools, York Child Contact Service and most recently at the Dyslexia Centre ERP.

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.

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Derek Hare - Support Worker

I am really looking forward to joining the team as a Support Worker at Tang Hall Smart.

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.

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NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

Non-Executive Chair: Adrian Fisher BA(Hons):  I am a retired Chartered Management Accountant, ex Senior Civil Servant, and Dad to two daughters, one of whom has Special Needs and attends Tang Hall SMART.   I have been a School Governor in several schools in York, covering more than a decade of experience, including Burnholme School on whose site SMART now stands.  Currently, I am Chair of Applefields School, SMART’s near neighbour.  I have been with SMART from the early days of big ambition but not much money and I am proud to have played a very small part in creating a thriving and stable business that provides so much support, success and joy to all it serves.

 

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.