Mark Smyth - CEO

Mark has 16 years’ experience in the charity sector, leading award-winning charities, including Guardian Charity of the Year 2010, through organisation change delivering successful innovative services and projects, including:
Partnership with Oxford University in giving people with learning disabilities a voice through these digital stories; "Learning Disabilities and Health." Creative Mind Radio raising awareness and breaking the stigma of mental health in partnership with Online Radio Broadcasting. Respite and Wellbeing House - developing mental health crisis house model, and developing new services in Gloucestershire within a Strategic Partnership with Gloucestershire NHS Mental Health Trust. 

Mark now leads Soundabout, the music and disability charity, where Mark recognises the value of partnership working and welcomes discussion with schools, colleges, music hubs, charities, business and others who wish to collaborate in bringing the joy of music into the lives of people with learning difficulties.

John Chilver - Finance Manager

John is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and has specialised in the charity and not for profit sector for many years, including several years working abroad in Tanzania and Belize. He has been with Soundabout for over 2 years. In addition to a position as a Finance Manager, he is an active member of the community as a local elected councillor. 

Sophia Nicholls - Soundabout Training Manager

Sophia has been with Soundabout since 2012. Her passion for music and disabilities has developed through her personal experience as a musician and a parent of a young man whose life was changed through the power of music. Soundabout works to unlock the potential of people with learning disabilities and special needs and this was experienced in Sophia's family. Her background and experience in higher education as a senior lecturer and admissions tutor, events management and co-founding a user-led disability charity has enabled her to work with Soundabout to develop the training programmes in the nursery, primary, secondary and post 16+ settings. Sophia has a MSc degree in Physiology and an MA degree in Education in Inclusion and Special Needs. She has also completed the PGCert in Sounds of Intent. 

Jo Colton - Community Programme Manager 

Jo started working for Soundabout in 2014 bringing over 20 years experience of working with voluntary sector organisations. Jo's role is to manage all our community programmes where we work directly with families, schools and care providers to bring exciting musical experiences. Jo's previous work and volunteering have taken her around the world by way of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and inspired a degree in Anthropology and a Masters degree in Gender, Culture and Development. Jo's interest in working with people with disabilities led to a career break to live in L'Arche, a community for people with and without learning disabilities.  

Mia Waldock – Community Programme Coordinator

Mia is the newest member of the team. She will be supporting Jo Colton, Community Programme Manager, with the continual development and delivery of the community programme. She is also responsible for the online presence of charity through the website and social media pages. With over 6 years experience in the charity sector working and volunteering in fundraising, online marketing and event management. She is keen to utilise her all her experience and skills in this new position.