The charity started in 2015 following the tragic death of Ashdon Muirhead who ended her own life at just the age of 14 years. As a teenager Ashdon struggled with peer pressure, peer aggression at school and lacking confidence about being herself in a society that pressurises young women to be and act a certain way.
Her mother Tricia Muirhead, believes it’s now her life’s work to help as many girls fighting the same demons not to end the same way as her daughter. To this end she set up Ashdon Jazz Academy. Now in its 5th year the charity has helped over 200 young ladies, through putting on various projects and working alongside a number of local councils. The main work of the charity is to assign a mentor with a mentee on a 1:1 basis. They meet, or speak regularly and empower confidence, develop personal skills, deal with their challenges and be an listening ear.
Through the charity’s growth it has provided a number of Workshops, Projects, Drop In Sessions and Retreats and weekly Girls’ Nights. AJA works in partnership with local Councils, Youth Clubs, Schools, Children’s Social Care and other statutory and voluntary organisations. This enables them to target young females who may benefit from being referred, or may wish to self-refer directly for mentoring, or to access one of the services.
Meet The Team
The AJA team is led by CEO and Founder Trisha Muirhead. The charity is governed by trustees who meet regularly to review charity finances, safeguarding and impact. Each trustee is responsible for overseeing key aspects of the charity.
The charity is indebted to its number of volunteers, whom without their hard work and dedication the charity could not carry it’s mission. Before each volunteer begins working with AJA, they are asked to attend a interview to ensure they fully understand what is required of them and share their previous experience. Once they pass the interview stage, they undergo certified safeguarding training and Enhanced DBS and reference checks. Only once this process has been passed, they can start working with the girls, with monthly supervision meetings.
Introducing Donna Fraser, Patron
I was delighted to be approached to be become the Patron for the Ashdon Jazz Academy. When I attended one of the charity’s event I saw first-hand the unique impact they have on the young women they help. I am very excited about how I can be of service and look forward making a contribution that can raise the profile of the charity.
During my career as an athlete I can look back and value the people who took an interest in me and looked after my welfare as I was growing up and developing as an athlete. These experiences have helped to shape me into the person I am today. I too can see that Ashdon Jazz Academy is making important connections with young women and nurturing them through the challenges they face.
Your support will make a significant difference in helping them reach their full potential. It isn’t so much a sprint what you do, it is more of a marathon! I have no doubt the young women will greatly benefit from all your endeavours.
I wish you every success in what you are doing and look forward to a long and productive association with you all.