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Handmade Parade (HMP to our friends) is an arts organisation based in West Yorkshire. For over 10 years we have co-created parades and outdoor spectacles with communities in our home base of Hebden Bridge and across the North – we’re really proud to say we’ve reached over a million people with our creative activities. Before Covid-19 we annually entertained and inspired over 100,000 people in devising, designing, making and performing in events, engaging 5,000 more as volunteers. We are passionate about helping people to explore their understanding of identity and place through our work, and supporting community expression and well-being. Most of our work engages people from underrepresented, vulnerable or disadvantaged groups within our communities.

About us

We normally produce two annual events co-created with communities in West Yorkshire – the Handmade Parade in Hebden Bridge (from which we take our name) and the Lamplighter Festival in Todmorden. We also work with partners across Yorkshire, the North-West and beyond, including local authorities and public bodies, to deliver events that reach audiences from 500-50,000 people. We’ve previously worked with lots of different organisations – Newbury Corn Exchange, Royal Armouries North, Skipton International Puppet Festival, Oldham Illuminate, Bolton Octagon, Welcome to Yorkshire, Hull 2017, and Ripon Cathedral. Our work looks like this



Covid-19 had a huge impact on us. In 2020 we couldn’t get out on the streets and we weren’t able to run our annual Hebden Bridge Parade or Lamplighter Festival, so we worked with communities far and wide, and made a film instead:


With commitment and financial support from lots of people, we’ve survived lockdown and are desperate to get back to work. We’re a small team but we make big things happen and we’re looking for people with the skills, commitment and energy to provide strategic guidance and leadership as we embark on our renewal and regrowth.

Our Vision

To make magic out of the everyday, create memories that last forever and transform how people see the world, their community and their place within it.

Our Mission

To bring people together to co-create wonderful art and spectacular events that animate spaces, connecting people to places and telling stories that reflect the lives of the people.

Our Values

Wonder and Magic – we want people to laugh out loud, point, shout and see themselves and their world in a whole new way. We want to leave some sparkle in people’s lives when we go.

Co-creation – we want communities to help to shape and make events so that they can call them their own.

No barriers – we want to break down barriers to make it easier for everyone to engage with our work in the way that suits them best

Memories not mess – as a sector-leader in environmentally friendly cultural events, we will keep working to further reduce our environmental impact so that all we leave behind are happy memories.

Strategic planning and our next steps

We worked with a consultant to identify areas for work and business development over the next year, and we received Arts Council England Project Grant funding to cover the costs of this. Like the rest of our sector, we’re facing challenges but we are also identifying opportunities and embracing new skills at this time. Our strategic plan to navigate the changed operating landscape post-Covid 19 focuses on:

Developing Governance – expanding our board, and providing training for board directors

Income generation – developing a fundraising strategy and income plan that reflects the changes to the sector and diversifies our income streams

Brand development – we want to better connect with audiences and clients, so we are re-imagining how we can do that, including a review of all communication tools and systems

Reaching new audiences – we want to work in areas and localities that are new to us and have little access to arts provision

Board operations

The HMP board usually meets every two months and although we used video call during lockdown, we’re keen to return to meetings in person. We’ll continue to offer remote access to board meetings but will ask board members to commit to attending at least two meetings per year in person, in addition to board development sessions.

About You

We are looking for new directors who believe in the importance of arts and culture to communities, well-being and life. You will be:

o Keen to apply your personal and professional expertise in support of our mission and the positive impact that engaging with culture has on individuals and communities;

o A strategic and lateral thinker who is comfortable in a leadership role;

o A collaborative person who enjoys working with others and can both explore and challenge ideas.

We are keen to hear from people who have previous board experience (particularly within the charitable or third-sector) as well as people who bring specialist skills but may not have served on a board previously. You may be looking for additional board experience or to embark on your first director role. We will provide induction and training to suit your needs. We are particularly interested in hearing from people with:

Finance skills – you may currently work in a financial role or you may have retired from a role where rigorous financial management was a core aspect of your job;

Fundraising – you may work as a fundraiser or have extensive experience of it as a key part of your work in the arts or any sector;

Professional arts experience – you might be an outdoor arts professional, though we welcome interest from people across the cultural sector;

Community engagement and communication – you might work in a volunteer management role, have knowledge of community engagement or expertise in digital communication.

Your next step

Please email an expression of interest – a maximum of 500 words (or short video or audio file) telling us about you, what you’d bring and why you’d like to join the board. If you have previous experience of a similar position, please let us know. If you don’t have previous experience as a trustee, that’s not a problem. We will offer training to all our board members.

If you’d like a conversation about HMP, its board or any aspect of our recruitment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Executive Director, Elaine Price. Please submit your expression of interest to elaine@handmadeparade.co.uk by midnight on Monday 2nd August 2021.