Joy is bright yellow!

Whilst working with the retailTRUST recently we came across this fantastic small (but massive in ambition) charity called Electric Umbrella. The initiative was set up by Mel Boda and Tom Billington, and is a charity challenging the perception of people with learning disabilities by empowering and enriching lives through music.

What does this mean in practice?

Their sixty members meet weekly at Musical Workshops to be part of a loud, energetic and creative musical team. Everyone has an equal part to play and participate. They also put on great gig nights and shows throughout the year.

Everything they do through music and performance challenges the perception that people with learning challenges are perceived as being less able than others to excel in these areas. They are doing great things and working to really make sure inclusivity is embedded in our society.

Get involved

They have also been running successful team away days for corporates. Recently a group of software engineers came to work shoulder to shoulder with their members for a day to create something amazing and experience the Electric Umbrella approach to the world.

“Back in October, a fab bunch of software developers joined us on a team away day to work shoulder to shoulder with our wonderful members on our Christmas cracker production line! The developers worked alongside our members with learning disabilities to build a production line and create 500 crackers later sold online to raise money for Electric Umbrella and ensure that people with learning disabilities was the talk of Christmas dinner tables up and down the country. We were successful in challenging the perceptions of all those that attended., demonstrating just how much is possible when we work together. The day also included an interactive music workshop over lunch We are running more of these days throughout the year”.

Find out more: visit them at or email Mel at [email protected]

Support them: Text 70070 with the message “SHOW17 £10” to make a one off donation

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