Meet our trustees: Jenny
In the return of our blog series, we introduce our trustees to you in a series of questions.
How did you first hear about Sing Inside?
I'm interested in music and how it connects people and was looking for organisations that were working in this field. I found Sing Inside through its website and noticed that it was on the hunt for volunteer Trustees so got in touch with Maisie, Sing Inside's wonderful Chief Executive, to find out more.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Inquisitive, determined and busy.
Where are you based and what do you do at the moment?
I live in London and work for music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins. I'm part of the Development team there, forging relationships with people and organisations who are interested in our work and may consider supporting us, not least by providing funding.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in lockdown?
It's not easy to sum that up in one. I think I've always relied on waking up and generally feeling hopeful in what the day will bring. Prior to lockdown I wouldn't have singled out having hope as being quite such an essential part of moving through life. Now I'd put it top of the list, even if that sometimes means consciously trying to seek it out. And for a lot of people, including me, I think music can genuinely help with that.
What are your hopes for Sing Inside in the next few years?
I got to know Sing Inside during lockdown, when prison visits had to stop because of COVID-19. Over the coming months, my hope is that in-person singing sessions can steadily resume, and that with more regular access we can grow activities in a way that best reflects the input and feedback we get from those we work with, both people living in prisons and those who live nearby and come along to join the singing sessions.
I think we're all excited about what comes next. Sing Inside has recently completed the long haul process to become a registered charity, signalling a real commitment to the future. We now have a vision to work towards, a budget, and a strategic plan to help us get there.
Sing Inside relies entirely on a network of amazing volunteers. Since I've come to know the organisation I've been constantly impressed by their energy and generosity, especially that of our volunteer Senior Leadership Team who bring real insight, skills and a sense of purpose.
As the organisation takes its next steps forward, I hope we carry this volunteer commitment with us, while at the same time, starting to build capacity in other ways. With my Development hat on, my ambition is that we grow our income and fundraising in tandem with our prison-based work so that the organisation remains robust, we can bring in one or two - a handful even! - of salaried staff, and we build in some breathing space to trial new projects and ways of working.
Above all else though I hope that everyone who crosses paths with Sing Inside, finds it to be an open, well-considered and respectful organisation that is fun to be part of and perhaps a little bit surprising.