People meet together through the love of music and the strength of fellowship and mutual connection. We all have something unique to give, and we all take away more than we bring. Everybody matters and everybody deserves to thrive; together we make that happen.
Meet the Team
Founder Managing Director
Diploma in Music Therapy, Centre of Excellence
Arts in Health Practitioner training, Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies
Music Theory and Practice (Violin, Clarinet), ABRSM
MSc Information Systems Engineering, UMIST
BSc (Hons) Physical Science, Open University
BSc (Hons) Medical Informatics, University of Manchester
Mental Health First Aid training, Shropshire Council
Safeguarding Lead training, Shropshire Partners in Care
Laura brings twenty years health and social care experience, leading complex, multi-organisational, county-wide projects to transform patient care and care pathways through improved information and communication.
Music is her lifelong passion, she is a versatile and engaging Music Leader, passionate about fulfilling a transformative impact on people and local communities. She loves playing ukulele, keyboard, violin, viola and percussion.
Laura has lived experience of mental health issues and trauma, which she uses to inform her work and approach. She uses her broad range of skills and experience to work with Open Harmony community members and partners to coproduce exciting and innovative programmes that go far beyond improving wellbeing and confidence, to help bring about a truly integrated, inclusive, and empowered society.
Tel: 07753 381908
Co-Director and Director of Strategic Partnerships
PRINCE2 Practitioner accreditation (Project Management)
Project experience: digital technology and digital inclusion, complex service and pathway redevelopments, research, stakeholder engagement and clinical training
BA (Hons) Art & Design, University of Suffolk
Safeguarding Adults training
Music Theory and Practice (Piano) ABRSM
ABPI Qualified (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry)
Debbie has worked over 17 years with health and social care stakeholders, users and suppliers, to deliver health improvement programmes that are sustainable long-term. Several of her projects across the NHS are still going strong today.
Through her passion, creativity, organisational, communication, networking, and process skills, she achieves tangible benefits in improved efficiencies, patient care and cost savings.
Debbie brings extensive experience through her work to deliver projects in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector and from her
volunteer role at Healthwatch.
Debbie is also an avid pianist and has a vocal range to rival Adele!
Steering Committee Chair
Social Enterprise Leadership Programme, Social Heart CIC
Mental Health First Aid training, Shropshire Council
Adult Safeguarding Awareness, Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership
Exploitation & Vulnerability training, West Mercia Police
Building a Media Presence training, Third Sector Network
First Aid courses, Red Cross
Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Accreditation, Job Centre
Carpentry course, Allison
NVQ Levels 1 & 2 Football Coaching, Soccer Skills Community Coaching
Carl has been chairing the Open Harmony Steering Committee meetings for nine months (at November 2023). He sets the agenda and calls meetings every two months, or more frequently during times of organisational growth.
His role as Chair involves helping ensure robust policies and procedures are in place to safeguard the wellbeing of members, staff, and volunteers, and to get involved in many different aspects of the organisation such as fundraising, finance, and promotion of Open Harmony via the website, local and social media.
Carl’s 5 years of supervisory experience (leading volunteers at the Orchard, Oswestry), have helped him to encourage voluntary contributions from members of the Open Harmony community to make group music sessions go as smoothly and enjoyably as possible, whilst creating real community spirit.
Carl has a deep appreciation of the music-learning process as he progresses with the guitar and brings many insights and ideas to the Music Programme design, planning and delivery. He is a budding visual artist too, working with Designs in Mind, Oswestry, to produce unique designs for the Habitat homeware collection. A skilled painter and decorator, Carl has been generous in lending his time and skills to redecorate the Designs in Mind studio and shop.
“I have been a part of the Open Harmony music group, for almost four years. Started off during the testing times of lock down.
My role as Chair is to organise Steering Committee meetings and think of ways to take the pressure off our Exec Director, Laura.
At times it can be a challenge, but I feel we are getting there as a team. If someone said to me at the start that someone would give you an opportunity to be a vital part in the day-to-day workings of their company, I would have laughed at you. Because back when I first started, I wouldn't have thought I would have lasted this long. At times it can be challenging due to me being on the Autism spectrum, but the whole experience and group workings are proving to be more rewarding than you can imagine.
Plus I have a better sense of myself, and in the last couple of years, been a keen lover of the guitar. So it's an amazing adventure.”
Steering Committee Treasurer
Add a short bio for each team member. Make it brief and informative to keep visitors engaged.
Steering Committee Secretary
Jan Ward (a.k.a. Jan Daniels)
Jan has a wealth of experience as a music leader, singer songwriter and as an administrator. Her 18 years’ administrative experience in the agricultural industry make her very well placed to manage all the administration of the Steering Committee. Her adroit notes of each meeting help everyone stay focussed on the priorities to help Open Harmony be effective and grow.
Jan is a prolific singer songwriter, having written her first song aged 11 and produced several albums since then, her latest being ‘My Songs My Heart’ (under the name Jan Daniels). Jan writes songs that tell the story of her extraordinary life experiences; for example, her near death experience inspired her album Long Time Coming. She is also phenomenally quick at coming up with an original song, having penned a Eurovision-hopeful song, Haunted Memories, whilst driving to the studio!
She worked in Benidorm for 8 years as a karaoke leader and, later with her husband, as a highly popular cabaret act.
Back in the UK she has sung in care/nursing homes, playing guitar, and working as a music leader and activity organiser for people living with dementia. It always delighted Jan to see how they'd light up with a familiar song and she is skilful at evoking their happy memories through her sensitive song choices.
Jan was a young infant when she had a hole in the heart operation in 1963; in 2013 she had a mitral valve replacement due to heart failure and she is now pacemaker dependent, but despite this, is one of the most courageous and resilient people we know!
Steering Committee Strategic and Artistic Lead
Safeguarding for Leaders
Data Handling and Protection
First Aid in the Workplace
Certificate of Higher Education in English Studies; Creative Writing and Critical Practise, Ruskin College, Oxford
Extensive classroom training / live skills practices / online modules in:
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion;
Talking About Suicide;
Self-Harm and Suicide
Handling Difficult Contacts;
Implementing Key Policies;
As Strategic and Artistic Lead, Vicki works with other volunteers to find innovative ways to help members of the group sessions to be involved to the best of their ability, ensuring that the group is cohesive despite the diverse backgrounds and abilities of the group. It's quite a challenge to achieve that session after session but Vicki manages it effortlessly and naturally, and despite having lost her sight completely.
Vicki is unapologetically competent and an example to women leaders.
With Open Harmony, she was instrumental in helping fundraise, review and transform our website, and shape the strategic direction of Open Harmony over the next few years and beyond. She is a very energetic and influential member of the Committee. Her creative problem-solving skills and ability to synthesise disparate and rapidly changing information about a situation into something positive and practical is second-to-none.
Vicki is an experienced musician who has played guitar for almost 30 years. She has been helping lead group music sessions for two years. The instruments we play, such as guitars and drums, require a high level of technical skill, and Vicki generously imparts her knowledge and expertise to those who are less familiar with the technicalities and the art-form of music itself. Through her guidance and enthusiastic involvement in the sessions, she helps people to build their confidence in playing, and in trying something new - skills that they can then employ in multiple ways and areas of their lives, thus creating a life-enhancing experience for all involved.
In her professional life she helps blind and visually impaired people to identify how technology can be made accessible to help them in their everyday lives, and assists them in learning how to use and make the best of that technology.
Vicki has always been severely sight impaired, but lost her sight completely in 2013. She came to Open Harmony in 2021.
“When I first found Open Harmony it was a lifeline. I’d recently moved back to Telford, Covid lockdowns were in full swing and I felt utterly lost. I’d had a really difficult few years after losing my sight and my confidence and self-esteem was on the floor. I’ve always known I have a lot to offer but felt like I was too broken and nobody would want anything to do with anything to do with me. Open Harmony really picked me up. The people I met gave me belief that I am worthy of self-belief and self-respect, and that I do have the right to strive for better and achieve what I want in my life. It’s because of Open Harmony that I had the impetus to apply for and get a job, and the conviction that I have the right to be there, and the expectation of myself that I will succeed.”
Music Session Co-Leader as a Supported Internship
Adult Safeguarding Awareness, Shropshire Partners in Care
Diploma in Music Technology and Performance, levels 3 and 3-extended, Shrewsbury Colleges Group (formerly known as Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology, SCAT)
Diploma in Music Technology and Performance, levels 1 and 2, Liverpool City College
A-level Art and Photography
Toby was referred to Open Harmony by Enable and has been with us since April 2022 on a Supported Internship as a Group Music Session Co-Leader. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength and is now leading drumming and singing tutorials with great aplomb.
Toby is passionate about supporting other people through his greatest passion in life: music. His enthusiasm and dedication to creating great music are evident in every session he supports, and he keeps the group entertained and inspired with his tales of his live performances and creative exploits. Toby has a unique, genre-fluent sound and a great stage presence, and his talents are a great asset to our community. Toby has also recently begun volunteering to support the running of the weekly Hive Music Club sessions.
His ambition is to be a music industry professional and to help other artists and bands to produce quality products and get out there gigging.
We are a social enterprise company
What does that mean?
We serve our local community. We design, develop and deliver our services together with the people in the community we serve so we stay accountable to them.
We are a not-for-profit organisation so all our profits are reinvested in community projects.
In short, our social enterprise puts the interests of people first so that we can create the biggest possible impact.