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Annual General Meeting – Christmas Sharing 2016

Wyvern Theatre Swindon, Lower Foyer was the venue on December 5th at 6.10pm for Reach Inclusive Arts Annual General Meeting and Christmas Sharing.  The AGM was well attended and people were welcomed by Mark Smart, Reach Chair. Once the business part of the evening was complete, including financial activity for 2015-16 and project reports for this period, we moved onto our end of year celebration.  This Christmas Sharing is an opportunity to how work produced throughout 2016 by our project participants. This section was opened by Swindon Mayor Councillor Eric Shaw and included a presentation from Sue Welsh, Head of Drama at Crowdys Hill School an SEN school in Swindon. She talked about the benefits her students derive from visits by Partners Theatre Company to her school as part of their touring schedule. She explained that as the actors have disabilities they provide marvellous role models to her students who can aspire to consider the arts as future career choices.  We were also delighted to  hear from Joy Dodridge and Anna Mills who talked about being part of the Crafty Friends art group who meet weekly at the theatre to learn different arts mediums and produce work that formed an exhibition on display for all those attending to enjoy. They both explained how important this group is to them and how they look forward each week to learning more about art and meeting their friends. The audience were then able to enjoy a magical pantomime of  ‘Cinderella’ created and performed in inimitable style by Partners Theatre Company. Earlier in the day, when the company were rehearsing, they had a visit from David Ashely, playing Brenda, one of the ugly sisters from the Wyvern Theatre’s panto ‘Cinderella’ that opened on Saturday 10th December 2016, he seemed very impressed by what he saw and the company joked that he should not steel some of their lines!  Councillor Eric Shaw thanked everyone for attending and expressed his appreciation of their work and closed the evening, wishing everyone a happy Christmas and a safe journey home.

Reach are always grateful for the help they receive from staff from AFL in Swindon who give up their time to set-up and take down the chairs and tables and who provide and distribute refreshments to those attending. This frees Reach staff, trustees and volunteers to concentrate on the evening and it’s contributors.