News and stories Martha Henley “Martha joined Severn Arts in March 2020 just before the first national lockdown, but a global pandemic hasn’t stopped her from getting the most out of her apprenticeship and supporting the organisation to deliver a range of events. We caught up with Martha to see what she has been up to in her first year as an apprentice…” Despite the current situation and lockdowns, I’ve had so many opportunities to support events at Severn Arts from online events to In Memoriam, an art installation that created a space for the community to reflect and remember those affected by COVID-19. We held an online symposium called Tomorrow, Today, which helped support event organisers with what they needed to consider in staging outdoor events in light of the pandemic. I was responsible for the setting up and management of ticketing, being a communication moderator during the sessions and I also had the privilege of being a speaker in the young producers session. I also helped deliver In Memoriam , which was my first live installation with Severn Arts. I helped liaise with artists for their performances. We have done this all while planning our future events including Light Night Worcester, which I am so thrilled and excited to be a part of. I’m going to be assisting on access and helping manage one of our amazing large-scale projections, on site. I had the chance to complete the NCRQ Health and Safety training course and in-depth industry webinars to add to the qualification I will get from HOW College for my apprenticeship. I’ve already started to implement this into my work through risk assessments and contingency planning. I attended various in-depth industry webinars which have taught me a lot about the sector and where I can see myself in the future. Lockdown also gave me a chance to network through meetings that the Festivals team set up to meet industry professionals, I even got a chance to meet an Events Manager at Disney! I have become really passionate about access and I’ve been taking ownership of how we can make our festivals more accessible as well as being part of the inclusion and diversity working group at Severn Arts. We are currently working in partnership with Without Walls to deliver their Discover programme, which supports new voices to the Outdoor Arts sector. I’ve been looking at the best way to make this online programme accessible for the participants, researching options for BSL interpreters, captioning and transcriptions and how to integrate these. I have thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship here so far and can’t wait to embark on the rest of this journey.