Lifetime Achiever

Avril Hitman BEM

  • 2 years ago
  • written by NDA

2017 WINNER: 


Avril founded Magpie Dance in 1985 as an inclusive contemporary dance company for people with learning disabilities, developing an innovative programme of participation, performance and training across the UK. Her uncompromising values and steadfast support of participants and their ability to confound expectations has enabled many people to lead more fulfilling lives. Avril has fuelled Magpie to develop a ground-breaking mentoring scheme for dancers with learning disabilities to profile their work in professional arts venues. Her passion and dedication has enabled Magpie to be recognised nationally for its pioneering and inspiring approach to inclusive dance. Today her work challenges perceptions surrounding disability and impacts on the wider world of dance, health and education. ‘Avril has done more to remove barriers and improve the lives of people with learning disabilities in dance than any other’ said one nominator.


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