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Catching up with our individuals

screen grab of the Sync Tank online community group

It has been a busy autumn at Sync South East, the leadership development programme for disabled people and organisations within the arts.

Our 30 individual members had the chance to meet up in September at a great day designed to explore themselves and the programme in more detail, their one to one coaching has begun and we started our online Sync South East community through a Ning group we’ve called Sync Tank.

If you are interested in finding out more about Sync South East and its members, do put the 9th Feb 2010 in your diary. Sync South East is having an expo event for individuals that is open to all. It will be at Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey and will focus on creating partnerships and showcasing real involvement. This will be a fabulous opportunity to find out what happens when disabled people have a genuine chance to contribute to the development and delivery of the arts?

If you have a case study or example you think we should include, get in touch with Jo Verrent (


a drawing by Rachel Gadsden of an Ethiopean tribes woman's head

What have our individual members been up to?

Gary Thomas has been over in Los Angeles, where he’s been attending the Screenwriting Expo for the first time, pitching his screenplay to major studios.

Rachel Gadsden is launching two exhibitions: her work for Rethink Parliament, 
a Parliamentary Outreach programme aimed at engaging adults affected 
by severe mental illness with the work and relevance of Parliament (which will visit 13 venues across England) and The Land of the Sacred Ibis, 
an exhibition of paintings and drawings inspired by her recent trip to the Omo Valley, Southern Ethiopia.

What about our organisations?

Bobby Baker at the Groove meeting for Sync South East

As well as working with 30 disabled individuals, Sync South East is also supporting 10 disability related organisations.

At their latest meeting last week, the fantastic live artist Bobby Baker came to talk about organisational confidence. She gave us lots of great advice about tenacity, inner strength and belief and also the need to change our own attitudes about how we see ourselves and our work first, before we expect others to.

Bobby is one of a number of inspirational people we want to link to Sync South East – stretching our expectations and giving us new food for thought.

We also looked at the differences in how we talk about positive and negative things that have happened to our organisations and discovered more about some leadership theories: Lovemarks and Johari’s window.

Celebrating our organisations

sign dance collective in a dance performance. David is jumping around a chair..

Firstly, congratulations to Sign Dance Collective who will be Company-In-Residence at Buckinghamshire New University from January 2010.

And congratulations too for Creative Future and Freewheelers Theatre Company both of whom have been offered free one year bursaries from Arts & Business to support them in developing new income strands for their companies.

We are busy pairing up consultants with our organisations at present, to provide focused help and support where it is most needed. The organisations meet up again in March to look at funding and fundraising. If you have a new scheme, opportunity or story that could feature as part of this development session, do get in touch by emailing Sarah Pickthall (

That’s it for our October update – do check back at the Sync South East website regularly. Our blog will keep you up to date with opportunities and achievements.

More soon.

From all at Sync South East

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