Audrey Mosey Trust adapts for Covid-19

Paul Mounce, 7th June, 2020

In January 2018 Audrey Mosey, a long-time resident of Cottingham sadly passed away. Miss Mosey had always loved the arts and as a youngster had wanted to become a ballet dancer, only to be prevented due to being too small.

After leaving some charitable legacies in her Will, she left the remainder of her estate to her Executrix and close friend Pauline Lindop. Miss Mosey’s estate was over £1.2 million and so, with the assistance of Gosschalks Solicitors and Hey Smile Foundation, the I AM (Audrey Mosey) Fund was born.

The purpose of the I AM fund was simple. To help young people in the Hull and East Yorkshire access and participate in performing arts. Paul Mounce, a partner at Gosschalks Solicitors and Andy Bowden, a Trustee with the Hey Smile Foundation were added as Trustees and it was agreed that four meetings a year would be held with applicants applying using the new Beecan online application system.

The first meeting was held in November 2019, 7 applicants and a £10,000 to the Cottingham Village Trust, a local group who took over the management of the Cottingham Civic Hall. This was followed by a strategic partnership with the Hull and East Yorkshire Arts and Culture Trust (HEYACT), set up by local actor Michael Jibson and director Andrew Pearson to help budding local artists with audition costs and expenses.

The next meeting was scheduled for March 2020 when of course the world changed! While Covid-19 has had a huge and lifechanging effect on most, the hospitality and entertainment industries have felt its effect massively. Suddenly it became a real concern to the Trustees of the I AM fund that there wouldn’t be any local arts groups to support in the coming years, as many local performance groups found themselves in a fight to survive, having to refund tickets and losing vital revenue.

The Trustees knew they could not just sit and wait for things to get better and so an emergency meeting was held, and the Trustees agreed two courses of action: -

1) To create a limited fast track grant of up to £1,000 that could be given to any group requiring assistance with their remote offering (e.g. new laptop/staffing costs)

2) To temporarily widen our grant award criteria, to allow grants for administrative costs and other non-participation projects IF the group applying can show that longer term, they will work with young people entering the performing arts

Already the fund looks different. A whatsapp group allows for quick decisions and Trustee meetings are now held as required by Zoom call!

So far Castaway Goole have been awarded £6,000 to support their online offerings and East Riding Theatre £7,200 for the same.

The I AM Fund is hoping to support organisations to keep providing young people with access to the arts virtually during the Covid-19 crisis and to ensure they are there to bring them back in person when the time comes. It is hoped that the organisations who receive support will build a relationship with the fund going forward.

The fund is available to any group in Hull and East Yorkshire who provide young people with access to performing arts. For more information and how to make an application contact Nick Middleton at Hey Smile Foundation on 07801 895933 or visit https://beecan.org/ for more details.

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