Last March I booked tickets for a mate and I to go to a gig. There were a few reasons for going:- it was cheap, it was in a good venue (Village Underground, near Liverpool Street station in London) and there were four acts on, 2 of which I liked and 2 of which I'd never heard of. It turned out though that there was another good reason for going - the gig had been put on by a small charity called Attitude is Everything to raise awareness of themselves and what they do (clearly this worked, at least on me, otherwise I wouldn't be sitting here writing this). The charity exists to improve access to live music for deaf and disabled people, by working with venues and promoters and getting them to sign up to a Charter of Best Practice. Venues they've worked with include places like Koko in Camden and the Academy in Brixton, and they have close links with Festival Republic (who put on the Reading / Leeds and Latitude festivals) and Glastonbury.
This started me thinking - the only things I have to consider when booking tickets is whether I can afford them and if I'll be able to get a pass out from the lovely Mrs. Cull. I take it for granted that I'll be able to get into the venue - but what if I had to find out about the venue's accessibility before I went? What if I needed an assistant to go with me - would I have to pay for them as well? What if I was deaf and wanted to understand what lyrics were being sung (at the Club Attitude gig thet had BSL interpreters to sign all of the words). Some of the best nights of my life have been spent watching live music - shouldn't this experience be available for everyone? After the gig I sent the charity a donation and asked if there was anything I could help them with...
A few months later, after a rigorous interview process, I was appointed as a Trustee of Attitude is Everything, and I've since been to a few Board meetings and joined the Steering Group for the Club Attitude nights. I've committed to being a Trustee for the next 3 years, and I'm hoping that I can be of some use to them.
With the first anniversary of my initial contact with Attitude coming up, and another Club Attitude night on the horizon, why am I telling you this? To show that there are unexpected opportunities to make a difference in this world, that you never know what's around the corner, and to encourage all of you to find something where you can best use your skills to help others.
Click here if you want to find out more about Attitude is Everything.