Download document here


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 West.

We’re proud to say we’ve reached over a million people with our creative activities in the past decade. Annually, we entertain and inspire over 100,000 people and engage 5,000 more as volunteers in devising, designing, making and performing in events.

We are passionate about helping people to explore their understanding of identity and place through our work, and supporting community expression and well-being. A lot of our work engages people from underrepresented or vulnerable groups within our communities.

About us:

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 new strategic plan.

Each year we produce two 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. Additionally, we deliver multiple events for audiences from 500 – 50,000 working with partners across the North West and beyond each year.

We can’t gather our artists and audiences on the streets at the moment (which we’re pretty sad about) so we’ve gone online with our innovative We Are Here project! You can find out more about it here.

And for a taste of what we get up to when we’re out and about, take a look here.

Our Vision

We 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

We 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 the events so that they can call them their own.

No barriers – we want to break down barriers to make it easier for people from all walks of life 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 have been working with a business development consultant for six months to identify areas for development. We have now arrived at a new 12-month strategic plan to help us to navigate the changes to our operating landscape in a post-Covid19 world. Like the rest of the arts and culture sector, we face many challenges but we are also identifying opportunities and embracing new skills at this time.

Our strategic plan focuses on four main areas:

Developing Governance – expanding our board, providing training for board directors and transitioning from a CIC to a charity

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 reimagining how we can do that, including a review of all communication tools and systems

Artistic vision – we are excited by the creative things we can do with artists and communities at this time. We’re exploring new ways of working and using new technologies to create an artistic vision that inspires people in this changed world

Board operations

The HMP board usually meets every two months but is meeting more often at present to steer the company through the challenges of the pandemic and ensure a strong start to the delivery of the strategic plan. We expect to revert to bimonthly meetings in due course.

Meetings currently take place via video call. We are very happy to consider ongoing engagement via video call for interested applicants from further afield, even when board meetings revert to being in person.

About You

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

    • An enthusiastic supporter of the arts and the positive impact that engaging with culture has on individuals and communities
    • A strategic and lateral thinker who is comfortable in a leadership role
    • 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

Your next step

We want to make the experience of joining the HMP board as straightforward and enjoyable a process as possible. With this in mind, we aren’t asking for CVs or applications – we’d simply invite all interested parties to get in touch for an informal conversation. You can tell us all about you, your experience and what you’d like to get from joining the board and we’ll tell you all about us and what you can expect from HMP.

We’re keen to move forward with our plans and to take new board members on that journey with us so, if you’re interested, please get in touch by Friday 30 October 2020.

You can contact us at:

Laura Cockett – Executive Director laura@handmadeparade.co.uk 0781206192

Dr Carol Stow – Acting Chair via: info@handmadeparade.co.uk