Questions I have been asked in recent weeks?
“Why exactly are you doing this? What do these two charities do?”
In 1999 I went to work at Stainsby Festival, a wholly volunteer run event. I had a great time and have since become a member of the Stainsby Family that meets once a year in a certain time in space on the ‘Field of Dreams’ This gathering has inspired me in countless ways to reach out and work in the community by modeling exactly that. Selflessness is a word I would use frequently to describe the spirit in which the volunteers show up to serve their community at the Festival. It goes way beyond just music. It is a large family, with all the elements that you would expect, harmonious and not. I love being there and the drum circle is now deeply embedded into the festival psyche. The chance has arisen to buy ‘The Field’ on which the Festival has run for 50 years and this is my contribution. One small field in England that does and will continue to make a positive difference in peoples lives. If we don’t buy the field, who knows. I don’t want to even consider the possibility.
Tinto Music and Arts is a creative partner to Wiston Lodge, my home and the place I volunteer a significant amount of my time. We work primarily with vulnerable young adults in outdoor education and now we are developing creative arts. We want to push that program and my trip is going to help us to do that. We don’t have an open door into the Arts funding world as yet with our primary role having been in the outdoors. We have in the last 12 months delivered our first creative arts week, managed Rhythms of the World, Wee Drum and UK Playshop gatherings and hosted a mindfulness retreat as well as help deliver trainings for local arts organisations and support a number of Festivals here in South Lanarkshire. We are slowly building a profile in the Arts.
Alongside that we are building a creative arts curriculum to run alongside our outdoor program to support the existing client base we have here through PSED programs. (Personal Social and Emotional Development)
With the funds from and a DrumTrek we will be able to take ‘free at the point of access’ workshops into some of the most deprived rural areas in the UK and through that to foster links with Wiston Lodge in the wider community. We will also then be able to approach funding organisations with a pot of cash and a delivery track record and say ‘please now match this’ and help us to continue this valuable work.
Every penny we raise will go 50/50 to these amazing organisations.
Are you going to make money out of this?
I have and will continue to work as a volunteer for both charities but, and this is important I think, there may come a time in the future when self sustainability is achieved that could allow me to bid for some of the work created as a freelance.
DrumTrek is a foundation stone that we hope will allow a move towards autonomy, particularly here at Wiston. (Stainsby is pretty much there in terms of running the festival…but not cash rich enough to buy the land)
We want to use this platform to raise our profile. If work is created in the future I won’t decide if I get it or not and just like every quote I submit as a freelance I’ll be competing in the open market.The Wiston Lodge Charity is managed by a board of directors and any freelance project work/positions will be advertised and open to others to apply for.
The important thing here is that work is created and Music and Arts are delivered into these areas. If I get some paid work in the future I can live with that knowing how much volunteer time I have put in.
Every year at Stainsby Chris Ellis ( The Artist co-ordinator) and I have a ritual. He pays me a fee, usually £300, to cover travel and the facilitation of two circles over the weekend. I then hand it back.
I’m not nor ever have been motivated by money. This project is from the Heart.
The funds raised will help both charities to develop and move forward in a time when austerity is high on the agenda.
Don’t you think £25,000 is too big a target?
It’s a number. I’m not attached to it. I’d like more. I arrived at the figure by thinking along these lines. I know a lot of people in the drumming community through my work and managing trainings. Let’s say there are 1000 friends out there, people I have met and know. If each one of them gave £10 we would get £10,000. If each one encouraged a friend to do the same £20,000.
I don’t think it is unachievable.
Go Fund Me take 7.5%, 7.5 pence in the pound, 75 pence in £10, £7.50 in £1000, £75 in £1000, £750 in £10,000.
If we hit £25K they’ll take £1875 and both Charities will clear £10K each.
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
In a time when Government helps less and less, I am turning to you, my community. Music and Art is crucial in the development of life, in Education, in social contexts, in connecting us together, more so now than ever before in my opinion. Let’s see what people power can achieve.
I am fully committed to making as much as I can for them and to working alongside both in the future and to having a lot of fun and rhythmical bliss along the way.
I hope you can help by making a DONATION.