Office staff and project team

Portraits of ITT staff and participants by Lizzie Coombes

Office staff


Sara Lee, Artistic Director
I have an amazing and inspiring job, combining the two things I love most in life: music and people. On a regular basis I witness how writing and performing music can change individuals, offer them new choices and help them think differently about their future.

It all started in my living room after I was asked to set up the organisation in Irene Taylor’s memory. It took about six months of building contacts and fundraising before we delivered our first project in 1996. Feedback from prisoners and staff was fantastic, word got out as to what we were doing and we’ve never looked back. Today I am responsible for the long-term strategy of the Trust, developing projects and planning our programme of work. I also continue to work on the music projects themselves.

I get as much enjoyment seeing how music can change lives today as I did when I first started. I have met, worked with and learned from some extraordinary and inspiring people, none of whom I was ever likely to have come into contact with yet all of whom have played their own part in making the organisation what it is today.

Luke Bowyer, Operations ManagerLuke Bowyer, Funding & Communications Director
When I joined the Trust back in 2008 I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for. I had no idea how much being part of this work would come to mean to me. Music has always been an important part of my life, but for many of our participants it’s a real life-line, a source of positivity, pride and hope against a background of struggle. Every project performance is a major achievement, and as we see from the letters that follow – sometimes many years later – the experience really stays with participants. I feel immensely proud every time I sit as part of an audience watching people share the original music they’ve created.

Being part of a bijou team means that every day brings new things, excitement and challenges. There’s a great deal of pressure on small organisations in the current climate, but seeing the impact of our work makes it all feel worthwhile.

A photo of Finance & Operations Manager Joe Joe Bibby, Finance & Operations Manager
I’ve worked in the charity sector for the past 15 years, most of it in the arts, and mostly for charities supporting young people’s self-expression in one way or another. I’ve been privileged to see first-hand how powerful creativity can be in helping people grow, heal, and learn more about themselves. As a musician myself, I know how central music can be to forming our identities, creating a direct conduit that bypasses preconceptions and differences to bring people together. I’m delighted to have the chance to support the staff, musicians and beneficiaries of the Irene Taylor Trust to continue changing lives through music.

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