Our Mission / Social Purpose
To develop programmes and support for young people and creative enterprises.
We are a social enterprise that aims to support the development of young people and creative enterprise. Unit Twenty Three delivers programmes for which it has been commissioned or provided with grant funding to enable. The focus of work will be on areas of economic deprivation and need for the development of great art & a great future workforce to deliver this for everyone. We will produce professional arts work and support young artists to achieve success.
Unit Twenty Three has grown out of a long standing desire to further develop training opportunities for young people interested in the arts by the founders. Finding cost effective & sustainable routes to delivering such opportunities is a key challenge in the economic climate experienced since 2010. By working closely with existing organisations, Cloud Artisans and CEG Productions, we have been able to create an organisation that shares core costs, has a wider network of professionals to engage as needed, and can build on the projects they have already experimented with.
Our major community projects have included a Young Carers Focussed theatre production aimed at identifying hidden young carers called Freefall, and a community arts festival which engaged all ages in activity throughout the market town of Diss called Dissfest.
We operate teams based on projects and work with a number of freelancers to make our work happen, whether it is in school, on the professional stage, or online.
The core team includes:
Kayt Button BSC(Hons) M.Phil – Operations Manager
Kayt comes with a background in Environmental Sciences, Charity Development and supporting children to grow. Currently studying for a PHD, Kayt looks after all our operations from ensuring the team has enough coffee to managing the budgets.
Sally Zabroski BA (Hons) – Projects Co-Ordinator
Overseeing our youth engagement and community programmes, Sally coordinates and organises projects such as DissFest, our Youth Theatre, Young Associates and FreeFall Tour. With a background in theatre and drama, having worked in Creative Learning departments across the country, Sally helps to organise young people’s involvement in the arts and manages participation.
Luke Taylor – Projects Assistant
Luke is our vital ingredient for record keeping, logistics organising and manning office communications to keep everyone in check. Aside from that, Luke is a keen designer who is currently looking to study Graphic Design in the near future. He has recently completed his Community Arts Management apprenticeship, which he started back with us in September 2015, and continues to impress us with his organisation, passion for the arts, a healthy sense of humour and a questionable music taste.
Emrys Green MInstLM, LCGI, FRSA, BA(Hons), TechIOSH – Founding Director
Emrys has many years experience working within the arts, participation and enterprise support space. He has been a judge at local, regional and national level for Young Enterprise, been involved in national Arts Council England projects and founded the supporting commercial organisations. Working within digital marketing and arts management, primarily his first love in the arts is Theatre.
Stuart Mullins BA(Hons), MA – Artistic Associate
Stuart leads the artistic development of Freefall and works closely with us to bring his experience of producing high quality arts projects across the East in a number of guises, not least as CEO & Creative Director of Theatre IS… Stuart is currently producing and directing work across the UK with a special interest in emotional wellbeing and Young Carers. Stuart is also a Visiting Lecturer and Subject Co-Ordinator of the Acting for Screen course at the University of Hertfordshire. Find out more at: stuartmullins.eu
Tom Inniss Bsc(Hons), MA – Director
Our resident sounding board. Tom holds a first class degree in politics and has been involved in the Arts Award Youth Network since it’s inception in 2011. Starting as a network leader he is now a key associate, undertaking commissions. He is also the Deputy Editor of Arts Award Voice, holds a Masters in Journalism and is based just down the road in Bury St Edmunds. Tom provides a listening ear for the U23 team and provides strategic guidance as a member of the board.
Dave Thomas BA Hons, BDMA Dip DM, MIDM- Director
Dave is an internationally renowned Blues Musician. He has been touring for over 50 years and even holds an official citation from the City of Cleveland, Ohio in the USA for his contribution to music. In business, Dave has led successful marketing agencies and was the Diploma Director for the Institute of Direct Marketing. He continues to run & play at a lot of gigs – including leading on Fine City Blues.
Jules Talbot – Director
Jules studied fine art at the Harrogate College of Art and Design, and is a grade 8 classical guitarist who picked up an electric guitar in his teens and never looked back. He has been writing songs and performing them with his own bands and working as a session musician for over 30 years and still loves to write and perform. He’s is passionate about art, drama, music and all things creative and teaches song-writing and guitar to all age groups.
Jules ran a music venue and arts centre for 4 years where he built up a strong portfolio of international eclectic musical performers. Prior to this, he worked with disadvantaged children in social care. Jules’ aim is to bring the creative arts to the masses and loves seeing people find joy through performance and artistic expression.
Lora Stimson – Director
Lora is a Programme Manager with The Writers Centre in Norwich, managing among other projects the Inn Crowd – a rural touring scheme. She also sings in a swing band and is a published author. Lora is particularly passionate about arts provision in rural communities and brings her years of professional practice and creativity to supporting the widening of our arts activity in to the literary world. As well as pop-up events, Lora has managed work with Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Latitude Festival. (Photo by Martin Figura)
Joshua Gould – Director
Joshua fancied a career in the sciences when he was at school. He soon found Unit Twenty Three instead and spent more than 2 years with us as our apprentice and moved on to being a project co-ordinator. However he could never get away from his real passion – being an actor. Since leaving employment with us he has performed professionally in a large range of shows. He puts his acting skills to good work running roleplay sessions with new prison officers up and down the country, and continue to find time to keep a hand in creative project administration.
Creative Apprentice of the Year 2014
As well as joining us in 2018 as a board member we were delighted that Joshua was also the 2014 Creative & Cultural Skills Creative Apprentice of the Year! Watch the video about Josh’s achievement below.
The legal bit:
We are a social enterprise registered in England as a Community Interest Company with company registration number 8564486 – running completely not for profit. Please be aware that copies of all terms & conditions of contract or hire are available on request when making a booking. Our physical address is Diss Youth & Community Centre, Shelfanger Road, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4EH.