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  • Writer's pictureDougie

The End of a Quality Term

I find it's always difficult to round up all of the amazing things that occur at SMART at the end of a term, there is almost too much achievement to list on this very one blog post. This is our first full term where we have REALLY scaled up our delivery. I'll give it my best shot.

Firstly, how can we not (re!)mention the amazing triumph of our very own Neil Card winning an award from National Youth Music that officially certifies him as the 'Most Inspiring Music Leader of the Year'. We all already knew the impact that Neil and his musical wizardry has had on our young people, but to be formally recognised is a very sweet cherry on an already scrumptious cake. Neil has also dropped his fifth album under his alter-ego D.Ni.L to scintillating reviews from the critics and public alike. It's my all time favourite one too!

SMART-WAYS, which is our bespoke learning package for people with EHCP has been a fantastic success. To see the already steep progress that all of our young people are making has been joyous, long may it continue! From music to drama to cooking, the variety of provisions we run have been a great success.

Flourish@SMART, which is our inclusive choir for people living with dementia and for people with learning disabilities has been a great showcase of not just some fantastic singing, but a true showcase of companionship and caring for others. They performed to a group of family and friends earlier this month, great stuff.

Our concerts continue to be the perfect showcase for the unwavering talent we have at SMART. Our Tea-Dance concerts have continued to provide a wonderful afternoon's worth of the 30's-40's music and will continue to do so in 2020. Let me try and sum up our Inclusive Concert last so good! We say it every single year but it really was the best. Every single person who performed smashed it out of the park. We had a wide range of different styles, genres and abilities on show. There was drumming, there was singing, there was rapping, there was band work and there was lots of very skilled improvising going on, all of it was mightily impressive. Big shout out and lots and lots of cred to everybody who performed that afternoon.

This moves us onto the products we have been making in our workshop, some of which have been sold at our concerts. Created by people on our SMART-WAYS course and ESF scheme, with the help of the brilliant Al and Alan. Christmas decorations, money boxes and the like.

Tonight we sign off this years performances with our Community Concert where our people from the community clubs show off their skills. Everything from soloists to big community group efforts to drama and to rocking bands will be on display this evening, it’s my favourite part of the year seeing everybody's hard work paying off whilst performing some banger's on stage!

2020 is just around the corner now, exciting times are ahead of us. All of us at SMART wish you the best for the holiday seasons!


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