I’m raising money for ActOne

My name is David Richardson. I am 43. I live in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex.  I’ve been a participant at ActOne for five years. I have cerebral palsy – I am deaf and partially sighted,  but I have never let my conditions contain my aspirations. Aged just seven,  I joined SNAP Theatre, being the only person with disabilities in the group.In 1999 I graduated with a 2:1 in Politics   from University of Essex.  During my studies I developed bipolar disorder.

In 2005, I joined Youth Create, an inclusive  youth development theatre in Sawbrigeworth, Herts. Youth Create opened many doors – leading  me to Act One, a dance and performance charity where ability, not disability is put centre stage.

“The company has created a space, where my condition is challenged and I can challenge my condition.”

I’m now raising much needed funds for Act One. I am embarking upon an ambitious 2.5km swim in September. I hope to raise £5,000.  “The company is a family – everyone can learn from and help each other, whilst having fun”

Please plunge deep into your pockets, making waves in support of our life-changing work, Help the magic to continue, step by step.

To donate, visit my JustGiving page.

Changing our name to Silverbirch

I am very pleased to announce that after much consideration we have now agreed on a brand new name for ActOne, Silverbirch

Our new name will be used in conjunction with our vision statement: We put ability, not disability, centre stage

As you may know a name change has been on the cards for some years. The name ActOne ArtsBase, whilst standing us in good stead for the past 15 years, lacked clarity. People often mistake us for an “Arts Space”!

We started as ‘ActOne’, with a focus predominantly on drama and physical theatre. A few years down the line we added ‘ArtsBase’ to reflect the varied arts activities that we provided. Under the ActOne umbrella we have named individual projects ‘DanceBase’ ‘UV’ “Work In Progress’ and many others. While giving each project an individual identity, this has proved confusing to those who are not intimately involved in our work, and sometimes even to those that do know us well!

Our name needs to be something that while reflecting elements of our ethos, is beautiful and memorable. Silver birch trees have an ongoing evolutionary cycle. They provide shelter in forests where things are able to grow and be nourished. The Silver birch itself has many branches. A birch tree is strong, beautiful and elegant. It also is key to nourishing other plants and trees. We felt that the birch tree is a brilliant symbol of our mission.


We’ll be using the new name from September in publicity and stationary, and getting new t-shirts and sweatshirts printed. The website will be transferred in August to silverbirchdance.com. I hope you enjoy the new name and help us to let everyone know the change is happening!