Little Voices Year of Fundraising 2013
Little Voices fundraising for Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund
My Personal CHALLENGES ARE HUGE for 2013
Please help me PR this mammoth story this year.
Radio Lancashire are helping!
David Lloyd Gym in Chorley are helping me!
Well here is my story……
On the 1st May I made some huge decisions. This date is a very poignant one. It is the day that we lost my Grandfather many years ago.
My grandfather would sit with me every term and go through every spelling, reading and mathematics book. His expectations were high and he ‘acted’ sorely disappointed and was certainly always inquisitive if I gained a ‘9/10’ or an ‘A-‘. He would expect a full reflection on why it was not ‘10/10’ or an ‘A’! He gave ‘strategy’ on how to ‘improve next time kiddo’. I did not know it then and it has taken years to realise but his way of setting ‘short and long term goals’, his ‘reflection time’ with me on my school work at 7 years old, set me up for life. He helped me achieve, not just each term, and impress him, but ultimately in my life and business now, TODAY – 25 years on! He was and still is my inspiration!
He remains in my mind, keeping me focused, driven and passionate about my life and work every day. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word and I really clearly remember his smart appearance, his immaculate presence and his most infectious laugh! He was just fabulous!
It was with the 1st of May looming that I decided to put an 8 month plan in place to achieve everything that I set out to achieve in 2013, personally speaking. Just as in my business we have to have short and long term goals, an ultimate vision and a way of assessing our progress along the way, otherwise things are never achieved! We will be at Christmas next year in the same situation with hopes and dreams that have not been realised!
Many things are important to me but ‘giving back’ and treating others as I would like to be treated myself is always at the top of my agenda. So fundraising for the charity that I am Trustee of and really ‘making a difference’ was on my agenda this year.
Selfish things on my list for 2013 – I want to be slim again – look ‘hot’ in a bikini and complete a physical challenge (I did the London Marathon in 2001 so wanted to push myself again in my 35th year despite the hindrance of my foot! (more later on that…) But also I wanted to inspire and drive people on to achieve things through my stories, successes and disappointments.
KEEP 15th December 2013 FREE in your diary as it is going to be the culmination of all the achievements this year and will be the biggest event of the year for your calendar. I would really like to see you there and the tables are selling FAST!
Everyone is invited, friends, family, colleagues, friends of friends, children, pupils, parents and family of ‘Little Voices’. EVERYONE is invited. HOWEVER THERE ARE ONLY 30 tables and 8 have been sold and paid for before we even launched this week. As Dame Judi Dench is our patron of the charity I will be inviting her too however I am sure that she will already have a prior engagement but there is no harm in trying!!
All proceeds from each event will go to Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund and as well as raising money for a worthwhile cause you can make your ambitions come true to in 2013?!
SO what I set out to do was:
- Sponsored slim (Starting in the month of May) A ‘just giving’ page is set up for all donations of 40p for this. www.justgiving.com/JaneMaudsley I am aiming to lose around 3 – 4 stone!
- Trip – Come to Oxfordshire to Sophie’s Barn on 7th July and see the Little Voices children perform
- Join us for ‘Survival of the Fittest’ physical challenge in November
- Be a social butterfly and party King or Queen and come to the DAYTIME BALL at the PINES on 15th December to celebrate all the successes!!
How am I doing and what is my story that lead me to this ……
Why this Charity Jane? – Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund
This is the charity that really enabled me to get to where I am today. They supported me through my Masters Degree with the financial help that I needed to complete my studies at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now known as the RCS) and I feel so privileged to have a continued relationship even now with the charity over 10 years on, as a Trustee.
Some Background on SSLF (Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund)?
Sophie Large was tragically killed in a car accident in February 1998, aged nineteen. Her parents, Cherry and Stephen Large, set up a Memorial Fund, to be known as SOPHIE’S SILVER LINING FUND, to help needy young artists with the considerable expenses of their training in acting or singing. The inspiration for the Fund comes from Sophie’s own words in a Haiku.
How can the End ~ Be the Beginning Again ~ When All seems Lost?
The proceeds from Sophie’s Log Thanks to the energy, commitment and talent of Cherry and Stephen, and the generosity of their supporters, the charity has raised tens of thousands of pounds and has assisted a large number of students. The success of the Fund has also helped Cherry and Stephen come to terms with their loss. In 2007: Stephen climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity while Cherry supervised the superb conversion of a barn on their property into a private arts venue known as Sophie’s Barn.
Following my appointment as a Trustee in 2011 I have aligned my company Little Voices with the charity and tried to give back not just my time and ideas but create ways to fundraise for the charity that is dear to my heart and is so necessary for future generations of Actors and Musicians. Our Little Voices Pupils have the opportunity of performing in the Barn every year and we have a lovely trip that we enjoy every year to Sophie’s Barn to picnic in the gorgeous garden there and perform to parents.
Our Patron of SSLF is Dame Judi Dench.
Dame Judi also wrote the foreword for the book ‘Sophie’s Log’:
Although I never knew Sophie, I didn’t hesitate when Stephen and Cherry Large asked me to be patron of Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund. I was so moved by the tragedy that ended Sophie’s young life that I wanted to do what I could to help.
Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund has been set up to help gifted and determined young actors and singers, and this book will help to raise funds. This collection of Sophie’s work is just one aspect of her wide range of talents. I urge you to support Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund so that something positive can come out of the sad loss of such a unique young woman. Judi Dench
The Log is a tribute to Sophie and the proceeds from the book go towards the Fund. Sophie’s Log contains all of Sophie’s poems and a medley of her other writings extracted from numerous notebooks, diaries and letters. Sophie’s writings form a wonderful archive of her life and work and naturally they are a great source of comfort to those who were close to her. And others as the following highlights:
Some reflections from readers of the log:
“Dear Cherry, Today, as I was clearing out boxes, I came across Sophie’s Log and thoughts turned to you. You may recall, around 6 years ago, I made contact with you after reading Sophie’s Log. This was at a very low point in my life and reading the log brought me an inner peace that I so desperately needed.
Life has moved on and I am now remarried and have a much happier life. As soon as I found Sophie’s Log, I eagerly opened it and read it once again and, as with the first time when I read the log, my heart felt up lifted and a smile came upon my face. I thought I would email you and let you know that I have not forgotten about you or Sophie. I may not have been in contact over these past years but you have been in my thoughts on many occasions.
I hope this finds you well and I trust you will remember me.”
“I was overwhelmed with the joy and wonder and love of life coursing through Sophie’s book. It could be a great source of inspiration to bereaved families.”
“Our daughter has found great comfort in reading Sophie’s wonderful poems and writings. She has touched the essence of those difficult teenage years and helped us all to express our thoughts.”
“Untimely death is particularly hard to bear (I too lost a 20 year old son many years ago) but ….it seems to me you are inspiring others to ‘live for her’ ,to do some of the things she would have done.” “I really thought it was quite amazing in its maturity and insight… the depth of her understanding expressed in ‘Accepting Death’ is quite phenomenal.” “I am sure that each person who reads this book…will notice a subtle difference in their lives thereafter.”
“I was very moved by her extraordinary gift with words. What a lovely idea to make a book so that others can enjoy the richness of what she gave to the world in her short life.”
“Thank you, never has a ‘book’ touched and enlightened me so. “My friend died in a crash 3 years ago. I miss him terribly. But I have the opportunity to live and Sophie showed me hope.”
A play based on “Sophie’s Log” was commissioned in 2001 after encouragement from Professor Richard Demarco, a very influential person on the Edinburgh arts scene. The playwright is Bryan Willis from Seattle. There is a very small cast; Sophie, aged 19, and Sophie as a much younger person.
The play called ‘Sophie’ received its premiere at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival. The Scotsman newspaper gave the play a four star rating and the recommendation that the play was a “definite must see”. It played to full houses.
The play then toured the USA. This was master-minded by Erin Hurme (one of our ex-sponsored students).
The play was then commissioned by the BBC as a radio play and broadcast on BBC Radio Four (The Afternoon Play) in April 2004.
The most recent performance took place in Sophie’s Barn in March 2012. It was performed by students from Washington State University USA under the tutorage of the playwright Brian Willis. It was to commemorate the 10 years since our trip to Edinburgh.
The play remains as fresh, compelling and relevant as ever.
AND there is currently an extract of the play used by LAMDA in their Acting anthology for Examinations, which our Little Voices Pupils have loved learning over the years for the advanced LAMDA examinations.
The Book and The play are available to purchase. Please just ask me, I have copies to sell and can access more for anyone that would like a copy. All the proceeds from the sale of the books go to Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund to support gifted and determined Actors and Music through their studies.A
You have heard the word Little Voices so much but do you know about my history and what Little Voices is all about?
I am 34 years old and all I have ever really loved has been music, singing and acting. A life on the stage was where I was heading in my teenage years. I followed this through with my training at the University of Sheffield and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now known as the RCS) and really dreamed of a life on the stage. However life is not plain sailing and the reality is very different from the dream sometimes. A full time career on the stage is very idyllic in its ideal but the reality is very different. I always knew that there was something missing and something that I had to discover to make me feel totally happy.
My reputation in teaching began to develop in 2004 however my road to securing happiness and contentment with a super successful business and reputation for excellence to match it from Singing Tuition began in Sept 2007.(Little Voices is as old as my daughter so I will never forget how old the organisation is!! )
In May 2007 I was a new mummy to a gorgeous baby girl, Olivia; breastfeeding, teaching in many schools, and teaching at home on a 1:1 basis, and generally enjoying training young voices and sharing outstanding ABRSM examination results with my students. My husband had left me during my pregnancy for someone else and for many years it was an emotionally tough time. I had an amazing family for support both from my in laws and my own family, but financially and professionally I had to pay the bills.
I needed to have a secure future planned out with short and long term visions and goals!
Little Voices was born around a coffee table with a very close friend and colleague in 2007. It was the answer to every challenge I had faced and most importantly I knew that it felt ‘right’. I finally found I was on the right track! ‘BUSINESS’ was where I felt happy and content! Little Voices is a unique framework of singing and drama lessons, I was, and still am, teaching the subject that I love and have a growing reputation as the most excellent Drama and Singing Tuition and Training.
I am really proud of the 100% Pass Rate, the hundreds of students that I have taught and continue to teach.
Little Voices pupils are having their voices trained at the highest level, they are taking examinations and achieving the BEST results. Parents are in awe of what their children are achieving and enjoying each week. We passionately teach Drama and Singing, CONFIDENCE and skills for life, I have an outstanding reputation, as a result a waiting list for lessons across all centres.
I have a REAL sense of satisfaction that comes from success, a job well done. But the truth is that my business started in just one little area at the start of a recession – and the truth is that it has flourished in a major recession and now every singing teacher, drama teacher in every town/village is FINDING OUT and LEARNING AND HEARING me so they can see what we do and replicate it in their area with our Full support.
There are children been born every minute of every day, and I know that what we do, the way I ensure that every LITTLE VOICES TUTOR and PRINCIPAL DOES ‘IT’ is special and Every Parent Loves Little Voices for their child and teenager. CHILDREN LOVE COMING TO LITTLE VOICES.
They love the weekly lessons at Little Voices, they ADORE the SUMMER THEATRE WEEKS that we run, they make such fabulous friendships with children from lots of different schools and they flourish! Whether they want training for a life on the stage or to just develop their confidence for life then they find it all at Little Voices.
Consequently I knew that I could help lots of professionals develop their own Little Voices businesses and do the job that they love using a highly structured system and with the highest level of professionalism and support. Little Voices is now popping up across the UK. However I am incredibly fussy. You have to be special to work in our organisation and to work with me and Little Voices, the very best company in performing arts, you have to meet my high expectations. The growth of Little Voices businesses is NOT a money making operation. The foundations are important to me and the REPUTATION, SUCCESS and QUALITY of each and every person within Little Voices is my primary focus. We have Locations now, in Peterborough, in Yorkshire and two in London, Little Voices is also all over Lancashire except on the Fylde coast. I ONLY WORK with the BEST, I EXPECT THE BEST, THE HIGHEST level of PROFESSIONALISM, focus determination, passion, highly skilled people are within our organisation and I will not accept anything less than the best. This applies to all the TEAM based in Head Office, every Tutor, Principal and individual that attends our lessons.
Why is this so important to you Jane?
Because I strive for perfection and if I do, everyone else must! This is why Little Voices is the best. Everyone shares this ethos in my organisation. It is why we have an outstanding 100% pass rate and an outstanding reputation with LAMD. Our pupils stay with us to gain their QCA accredited examinations. This enables them to build their UCAS applications with their experience and get extra points for University and College entrance. We strive for excellence with our pupils on every level and as a consequence they do well.
Why choose Little Voices for your child’s Vocal and dramatic training?
– Because we are the best at what we do.
You will see this at THE BIG SILVER BALL – as we are hoping that many pupils will join us at the event to perform to you.
I am very proud of each and every pupil, Tutor and Principal that is involved in our organisation and as it goes from strength to strength I will not sacrifice high standards and reputation for anything or anyone. After all, my grandfather was not happy with ‘near perfection’ so it is ingrained in me not to accept anything less than ‘perfection’.
So why is the Survival of the Fittest such a challenge?
Well this boils down to the fact that I have two joints missing in my right foot following 16 operations years ago! A straight forward bunion removal turned into quite a nightmare: Septicaemia, pneumonia, severe bone infection and almost the loss of my foot.
This was 12 months on crutches that was just horrific BUT I survived and I learnt so much from this journey too. Lots of lessons that I can still apply to my company and my teaching of pupils and principals – ‘how to cope’, how to survive when the world is caving in on you or you are under pressure!
Life is what you make it and I absolutely believe that we are all special and whatever life throws at us we must cope and find a way to fight on!
Will you complete the Survival of the Fittest challenge?
I absolutely intend to! I trained and did the London Marathon in 2001 in 4 hours 29 mins – a respectable attempt for a non runner! And raised £5k for the children’s society in the process so determination and guts I have a whole pile of! I just need the old foot to hold up to the training!
Can we trust you with this huge fundraising project?
Absolutely. The Last Night of The Proms Concert, the Dinner Dance/Auction and sponsorship I did for the Children’s Society all worked a treat! I am counting on lots of support for these events too in lots of different ways.
How can we be involved?
You can buy Sophie’s Log and/or Sophie’s play from me email me at jane@littlevoices,org.uk or visit the website www.sslf.org.uk
You can sponsor me on www.justgiving.com/Jane Maudsley
You can become part of the team for THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, we need a team of 10 and FUNDRAISE with me!
You could help with a raffle prize, chocolates, bottles or larger auction items?
As a company or local business could you be involved and add some ‘sparkle ‘ to our Silver Ball with your presence or assistance? This is an opportunity to create awareness about what you do and be involved in a very special event.
BUT PLEASE come to the ball and enjoy all the fun.
When is it?
SUNDAY 15th DECEMBER
Where is it?
The Pines Hotel in the Dixon Suite at Clayton le Woods, Nr Chorley.
Who is welcome?
All ages from children to adults
Whats on offer for us?
Drinks Reception with QEGS Jazz Band
3 Course Dinner
Buble Tribute Act
Fever Dance Company showcasing and later training us and children ‘How to Dance’!
‘Special Surprise Guests’
Dancing till the end!
Raffle, Auction and Heads and Tails
In attendance will be Cherry and Stephen Large and Trustees from Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund and other special and distinguished guests!
There will also be full coverage from LANCASHIRE magazine!
A table of 10 costs £350 and all monies need to be paid for by 31st August!
Look forward to hearing from you all! PLEASE join in – I have a figure of £5k in my head to raise and would love to SMASH IT.
PLEASE HELP Myself and the Little Voices dedicated Charity ‘Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund’ be successful before 2014 arrives.
RING the office on 01254 207516 to reserve your table or ask for more information.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you got 15th DECEMBER in your DIARY?
If not, why not?
Do you know what is happening this year on this date? THE Silver Ball please can you cover this event too?