Avis Fawcitt


HI RES Avis Fawcitt, Bradley Walsh, Dame Mary Perkins

In 1957 Avis along with her friend Betty, who is now deceased, decided to form the Orphean Youth Orchestra in their local community. No child with a wish to play was ever turned away, including children with special needs and those dismissed from other music groups. Her aims were simple, to show what young people are really like when given an opportunity. In 1985, after teaching music for 29 years Avis took early retirement. At that time she leased an old village hall in the same area as the school to continue her work with the orchestra.

The hall was restored to its original glory through hard work from Avis and her supporters. Performances are now held in aid of local and national charities and to date have raised in excess of £150,000. Avis gives individual lessons to children as young as five, puts children through exams, and provides instruments for those unable to afford them.

Now in her late eighties and in failing health, her passion drive and enthusiasm has not diminished. She still teaches, conducts her orchestra every week, and refuses to give in to mere age.

Nominated by: Susan Moulder