About

Introduction to Toolbox Drama​

Toolbox Drama is an inclusive provision for adults with additional needs. We deliver sensory drama, music and singing programmes, outreach workshops and events. Please browse through our website for further information about these services.

We ensure that our activities are accessible to a multitude of needs, whilst also delivering high-quality creative arts activity. We have been fortunate enough to receive financial support from the Ward Committees in York, Two Ridings Community Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, Adult Commissioning Services and the Ways to Wellbeing Fund. Our funders have allowed us to develop low cost (and in some cases free!) activity and events. We are incredibly grateful for their continued support and belief in our services.

Ellie Tillotson -
Founding Director and Drama Practitioner

I am a freelance drama practitioner living and working in York. I moved here around 10 years ago and fell in love with North Yorkshire and its lovely countryside.

I work with different community groups from early years children to the elderly, running accessible programmes and live arts events. I also train actors; public speakers and I direct community theatre.

I wanted to set up a provision which would support vulnerable adults in accessing the arts, whilst also building their social circles. I love meeting new participants and seeing their social and creative confidence flourish!

Alysha Smith-Bednall -
Music Practitioner

Hi, I’m Alysha and I like to consider myself an artsy, nerdy historian as I am educated in both music and history! I’m originally from Canada but fell in love with the UK after studying here and now live and work in York as a music practitioner and a manager of youth activities and provisions.

My background as a singer and a historian has made me absolutely love how music and culture can bring joy into the lives of so many people.

As I build a practice that offers inclusive, artistic and most importantly fun experiences, I look forward to the meaningful ways I can be part of people’s creative journeys!

Martin Crosby -
Director

I have worked in charities and higher education for my career.

These roles have included working with students to start up locally focused projects, working with various services to assist when someone goes missing or experienced trafficking, leading grassroots community organisations and most recently being responsible for a large student life, residential and wellbeing provision at the University of York.

In these roles I have always enjoyed working with and learning lots from those with additional support needs.

As a director at Toolbox I am excited to be a small part of a team finding opportunities and platforms for our wonderful service users.

Olivia Blake -
Director

It has been a privilege to support children, young people and their families whose lives are impacted by special educational needs and disability over the past 12 years.

I have a demonstrated history of working across special education, charity based and local authority sectors. I am committed to continuous improvement and inclusion and my ethos is to always drive meaningful change that benefits individuals, their families and society as a whole. I care deeply about accessibility and taking action to help others feel connected to their community.

My educational background includes a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Birmingham in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs.

Outside of work, I enjoy interiors and renovating our new home. Time with family and friends is also very special to me.

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