The background to our organisation
Tameside Arts Ltd was founded in 2005 and is a not for profit, user-led social enterprise. We began with a small grant to establish the company and then were successful in securing Learning Disability Development Funding to establish The Chatterbox Theatre Company, for adults with a Learning Disability which continues to this day. We then secured funding to establish Stage Stars Drama and dance group which also continues today. We were commissioned to devise and perform issue-based plays for Learning Disability Open-events and performed regularly for the general public, schools, colleges and day services. We set up a weekly disco which continues to this day. We slowly built a small team, and then 6 years ago, we were approached by Tameside Council and offered the opportunity to deliver day service provision. We began with 32 clients weekly. This has grown to over 90 clients weekly, and including the drama, dance and disco groups – we work with over 200 children and adults weekly.
Along the way we were successful in securing other funding for particular projects, such as single Parents, Mental health, youth, statemented children therapeutic sessions and lots more.
What we want to do and why
For the past 14 years we have run the organisation out of shared spaces which are great in theory, but in practice mean lots of time spent each day getting everything out, then putting away at the end of each day. We haven’t been able to decorate and put our stamp on our space, or, due to logistics and storage issues, use all of the wonderful resources we have (sensory items, drum-kit, piano, UV lighting, craft materials, costumes, make-up and body-paint to name a few) to their full potential, and we want to be able to share these with the community as we have always believed that everything we own belongs to our Members and the community and should be available to everyone.
We are so excited to have taken on a 5 to 10-year rental lease for our very own Community Arts venue for the general public whilst maintaining and developing our established specialism in service provision for children, adults and older people with a wide range of support needs.
This means we can expand and develop our services, events, groups, performances and activities from a secure, adapted, accessible community hub for everyone.
We will be open 7 days and evenings offering a wide range of opportunities for the community.
The activities offered will be catered to the client group. Some will be specific to people with support needs. For example, people with a Learning Disability, sensory impairment, older people, people with Dementia, people with depression, children with ADHD, children with Autism.
Other activities will be inclusive, for the general public, families and individuals and will be activity-based rather than needs-focused. This will increase awareness and develop understanding and acceptance of different types of people, cultures, needs and beliefs – ultimately bringing people from all areas of society together. We aim that the public will take the lead on what activities occur by making suggestions and establishing their own groups and events.
Tameside Arts Ltd is a Social Enterprise not-for-profit company that is limited by guarantee. This structure allows us to work in a flexible way, we take our responsibility to the Tameside community very seriously and are clear to ensure that our outcomes in any project are for the benefit of the project, the individuals involved and the wider community. We are completely inclusive and encourage people from the whole community to be involved.
Tameside Arts Ltd has a Board of nine members (the majority have a learning disability) who meet every month and are responsible for the strategic direction and policy of the organisation. Our committee have varied interests and professional backgrounds relevant to the work of Tameside Arts Ltd, the Project Manager and Directors of the Company also attend these meetings.
A scheme of delegation is in place and day to day responsibility for the provision of the services rest with the Directors in conjunction with the Project Manager, they are responsible for ensuring that the organisation delivers the services specified to an exceptional standard and that key performance indicators are met.