Eight years ago to the month, Leftwing Idiot and I started Touretteshero. We’d been friends for many years and he’d provided me with vital support when my tics intensified. At times adjusting to them was tough – I found it hard to talk about without tears and I used to put a lot of effort into stopping my wiggly body making me stand out.
But then Leftwing Idiot challenged me to do something creative with my tics, and that was my first breakthrough. It was the start of Touretteshero and the first of many more breakthroughs to come.
Today marks another breakthrough for Touretteshero. I’m deeply happy to tell you that we’ve been awarded a grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Breakthrough Fund.
The funding will stretch over the next three and a half years – it means we’ll be able to employ a much-needed Project Coordinator to help us deliver more projects, involving more people, in more places. The grant also means we can build on our programme for children and young people, test out new ideas and undertake ambitious creative opportunities across the UK and beyond.
Over the last eight years Touretteshero’s grown from a daring idea into a dynamic organisation. Breakthrough Fund support will allow us to build on this in exciting ways, so look out for new chances to get involved in the months to come.
We’re not the only organisation being supported by the Breakthrough Fund. This year four other incredible individuals and organisations have been given grants, including our friends Common Wealth, The Vacuum Cleaner and Scottie. I’m also really looking forward to getting to know Ruth McCarthy and her organisation, Outburst Arts.
Huge thanks to the Paul Hamlyn Fund for believing in what we’re doing. We can’t wait to start shaking things up and bringing our inclusive creative chaos to new cultural institutions. As Touretteshero heads towards its first decade the future has never looked so exciting.