Unscene Suffolk – Case Study

A community theatre company – this organisation works closely with adults with visual impairment, providing opportunities to produce and participate in performances which are accessible to blind and sighted audiences. Visually impaired adults are assisted by professional artists, support workers and volunteers.  

  

A grant from the Realising Ambitions Fund enabled Unscene Suffolk to hold a private performance at Barham Care Home in February. Two additional outreach sessions in Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds libraries were planned for March and May but had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. Instead, regular sessions moved online via Zoom and the grant was used to support these sessions.  

  

A live performance in Aldeburgh was replaced with a multi-tracked song for national Make Music Day UK, now available to watch on YouTube! A series of video sessions were made available on YouTube for members to access at any time. A small amount of the grant was used for CDs of the sessions, which were posted to members unable to join in online or access YouTube.  

“I’m deaf/blind and due to lack of groups for us I decided to try the VI singing group. I wasn’t sure how it would work. When I first started, I found I was often out of time with the rest of the group or completely lost as to where they were in the song. One of the volunteers with a strong voice stood next to me and I found I could concentrate on her voice and sing along with her. I really enjoy singing, it makes me happy and to be part of a group has really helped my isolation and confidence. Yes, I do still struggle, but it doesn’t matter so much now.” – a participant    

Being able to use our funding to pay for online sessions enabled us to continue without a break, which has been much appreciated by the members, and we would like to thank Suffolk Community Foundation for their support over this difficult period.  

As we enter Lockdown 2, we continue online, but are embarking on a new joint venture with the drama group – find us on Facebook to hear more in due course. New members (no experienced needed) are always welcome – go to unscenesuffolk.co.uk to find out more.

Emma Bishton

Singing Leader and Vocal Coach, Unscene Suffolk

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