Laura EmersonLead Artist (Safeguarding Lead)

Laura is a writer / musician / performer / facilitator. She is lead worker for Jack Drum Arts' Youth Music programme and lead artist for adult learning programmes. She is also a founder member of Backscratch Theatre. Laura spent her childhood in the school library reading big books with no pictures. When she turned 13 she ventured out into the real world and became a founding member of Jackass Youth Theatre following a Jack Drum half-term project. Then she just kept showing up until they gave her a job.

In 2004 she went back to the library to study English (with Writing / Performance) at the University of York and hobnobbed with the rep theatre-types. On her return she jumped straight back into Jackass as facilitator, writer, and co-director. Rather than get a real job, she became a freelance drama and music practitioner / performer in 2007 and embarked upon a life of creativity and poverty. In 2011 she graduated from Newcastle University with a Masters degree in Creative Writing.

As a writer, Laura draws from story frameworks, character archetypes, and folk-lore to create timeless theatre. She also specialises in devising theatre from research material. She is a keen musician who plays flute / whistle, dabbles in guitar, drums constantly, and is making great progress with her folk fiddling. Ho-hum. She recently acquired a desk. Good job too – they’ve closed the libraries…

Katy Roberts – Programme Manager (Data Protection Officer)

Katy graduated with an English, Writing and Performance degree from the University of York. She freelanced in the UK film industry for a number of years, followed by work supporting offenders in the Probation Service. 

As Children and Young People’s Programme Manager Katy currently manages our DurhamWorks programme for young adults, our Transitions project for children and young people, the People’s Health Trust funded CREE-ATE youth project, our Active Citizens programme with the British Council, as well as providing operational support to the Community Learning Programme. Part of her role involves maintaining a young people’s drop in provision, and leading one of our weekly youth sessions as a Youth Engagement Worker, providing targeted support and guidance to the young people who access our services. 

 Katy is an Arts Award Advisor - supporting young people to undertake Discover, Explore, Bronze or Silver accreditation, and a Key Facilitator – facilitating group work and developing young people’s leadership and fundraising skills.

James Edwin Lane – Music and Drama Facilitator (Equality and DIversity Champion)

James is an accomplished composer and performer, having a worldwide following online and over 50 individual collaborations under his belt with film makers in the Youtube Community since 2010.

Graduating with a degree in Music Practice from the University of Central Lancashire in 2013, James spent his time at university absorbing as much knowledge as he could, covering such areas as samba drumming, imposed parameters and digital audio production amongst a sea of other subjects.

Having been an attending member of Jack Drum's many projects for over a decade prior, James joined the Jack Drum team in Spring 2016 and has since entirely committed himself to providing the very same invaluable artistic development and transitional support for the young people he works with now that he received as a young participant. 

Anna Harding - ROAD Administrator and Workshop Facilitator

Anna was very fortunate that her formative years were  spent inspired by her father, a fine artist, graphic designer, photographer, film maker, musician, composer, actor and teacher -needless to say some of that was bound to rub off on her. Following in the steps of her father, Anna got her initial education in graphic art and illustration at CCAD in the 1990's and layer acquired professional qualifications in photography and design.

Post education work experience over the years  lead to a huge of variety of roles in many sectors gaining a wealth of experience in visual art and design, business and building technology. Following redundancy in the crash of 2008, Anna acquired a teaching qualification and founded Anna Harding Arts, and local Artists project Green Bee Creatives.

Anna is passionate about working with others, teaching and sharing her creative skills to benefit members of the local community. Having joined the team in the Crook office she enjoys helping with both the creative and the administrative work across the ROAD programme.

Mike Daynes - Combined Arts Facilitator

Mike became ensnared by Jack Drum Arts at the very tender age of 18. Having volunteered on ‘Two Sides of the Hill’ a film about Wind Farming and Coal Mining, he never left! After joining Jackass for a year he became more of a helper than a participant and decided to stay.

Mike has been working freelance with Jack Drum since the age of 19 and has been running workshops ever since. He has joined the team on a part time basis and now works with Jackass Youth Theatre, runs our youth café Hotspot as well as delivering our Active Citizens and Community Learning programmes. Mike enjoys working with a wide variety of people with a range of abilities and has developed a specialism in work with vulnerable adults. In his spare time Mike is Co-Artistic Director of Backscratch Theatre Company and specialises in clowning, improvisation and straightforward theatre.

 Faye Guy – ROAD Health Trainer (Health Champion)

With an interest in health, fitness and the arts starting from an incredibly early age, Faye has developed a formidable skillset, training in performance and theatre studies at A level and Diploma, gaining qualified status as a fitness instructor (exercise to music) in 2000, as well as graduating from Teesside University in 2007 with a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science and from the University of Durham in 2012 with a MSc in Public Policy and Health respectively.

Faye has worked in health improvement for the last ten years for various local authorities, Groundwork North East and Cumbria and most recently North Tees and Hartlepool NHS FT. Faye loves working in the community whether that be taking mums with buggies for a jog in the park or helping people gain confidence after a cardiac arrest through exercise rehabilitation or supporting people to have a better quality of life through making lifestyle changes.

Faye has grabbed the opportunity to combine these passions with both hands and feels very privileged to be working for Jack Drum Arts as a Health Trainer on the ROAD project.

Henry Dawson –
Workshop Assistant

Henry is an actor and performer whose volunteering achievements have been officially and publically recognised by the Durham Works program. Having studied across the world from China to Qatar, Henry's diverse cultural knowledge has been a real contributing factor to his performing capabilities.

As a participant in Jack Drum's projects since 2013 and an active volunteer since 2015, Henry has taken part in a broad range of workshops and performances. Following this, Henry joined the Jack Drum Team in 2017 as a fully fledged staff member and DurhamWorks Apprentice supporting the Jack Drum Team in the fulfillment of their Mission Statement. 



Jack Drum Arts

T: 44 (0) 1388 765002

St Cuthbert’s Centre
Church Hill, Crook,
County Durham,
DL15 9DN

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