Independent reading consultant, prison festival organiser
David Kendall is a specialist in engaging people who think that reading is not for them. Throughout the last two decades he has worked on a wide variety of projects with prisoners (and their families), young people in care, and rough sleepers.
Penned Up is the result of his determination to create a buzz about books and reading within prisons. Together with Mark Hewitt he directs Penned Up, a literature and arts festival created by, with, and for prisoners. Guests have included: Levi Roots, Billy Bragg, Kit de Waal, Erwin James and Jimmy McGovern.
Festivals, or good ones anyway, are a bit bonkers. Rather than calculate and Gradgrind-cost every event, you pour in talent-excitement- inspiration until the vessel overflows. Instead of offering the minimum, a good festival is designed so you can’t have it all. However much you run around you will miss something. You can gorge yourself but still know there was something you missed. You will still want more.
Teacher, creative, coder and inventor
Jez Whitworth: The warranty voiding inventortainer, slowly taking apart the world whilst encouraging creativity in the people he meets.
Jez gained qualifications in art, design and computing and loves encouraging creativity in the people he encounters. With a background in software development, his IT skills have helped him create an innovative and exciting approach to deliver creative and fun lessons for all ages and abilities.
Two years ago Jez set up First Coding in order to offer comprehensive coding lessons for children aged between 7 and 16 years old in his home city of Salisbury. Covering the important concepts of programming in a fun and creative environment, he provides the building blocks for children to build on their creative ideas whilst all the time gaining confidence with computing and technology as a whole.
In the evenings he can be found mostly in his shed of which he was a Shed of the Year finalist in 2006.
Freelance arts, heritage and events consultant
Sarah Rickett began her career as a teacher. A chance advert lead to her heading up the education programme at Salisbury Cathedral which subsequently broadened into overall responsibility for wider heritage engagement, events and outreach. She has made her way to live now in the Welsh Borders with her husband and works as a freelance consultant for various heritage and church-based projects. She likes reading, music, dancing and hillwalking. And gin.
Theatre maker and survivor activist
Viv is a theatre maker and survivor activist. She writes and performs shows that creatively articulate trauma narratives based on her lived experience as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, connecting the personal with wider, socio-political themes and perspectives. Her work is a campaign to forge survivor voice, visibility and community and agitate for change.
This year she previewed ORAL, a gobby opinionated show about sexual abuse, dentistry and civil rights co-commissioned by Strike a Light and The Sick of the Fringe. She holds a Develop Your Creative Practice Grant from Arts Council England to develop relationships with survivor artists, activists and academics in the UK and USA. She is currently making a new solo show called Cutting Out, reflecting on the scale and impact of abuse in the UK.
Alongside her creative work, she campaigns for access and inclusion for artists and audiences with mental health needs offering mentoring, training and consultancy.