Cultivating spaces for extraordinary artists

Remembering Jonathan Hyams

It is with great sadness that I have to share the news that the former Chair of DASH, Jonathan Hyams, passed away on Friday 27th October. Jonathan had been quite ill for the last year, with many spells in hospital. I am however, comforted to know that he was with his family and at peace when he died.

Jonathan was a tremendous supporter of DASH; I cannot remember a meeting that he missed since he joined the board in 2008. He also volunteered his time to attend staff meetings to ensure the staff team had the support of the board and provided mentoring to both myself and Mike Layward in our roles as co-directors of DASH.

He was generous sharing his knowledge, skills and experience in equality, anti-oppression and community action gained as a practitioner, mentor and trainer for over twenty-five years. He wrote many DASH policies including equality, complaints, grievance, quality assurance, ex-offenders, whistleblowing, anti-bullying and harassment, menopause and most recently the DASH Anti-Oppression Promise.

I really got to know Jonathan when he helped to deliver DASH’s first Disability Equality Training workshops for artists, alongside disabled artist Tanya Raabe-Webber. Ensuring that our community of workshop leaders understood issues about accessibility for disabled people. His kindness, patience and humour helped to make the workshops a great success.

He was proud to be considered an Awkward Bastard, never shirking the responsibility to stand up for equity, and advocate and campaign for the rights of oppressed people to be heard and take part in society.

I will miss him tremendously.

Paula Dower

Operations Director

DASH (Disability Arts in Shropshire)