I founded Sour Lemons because I want to see more young people from backgrounds like mine accessing the same opportunities that helped me to succeed. Sour Lemons is about shining the light on diversity and celebrating those differences, not hiding them. By diversity, we mean diversity of background and walk of life, not just the colour of your skin or the income of your parents.
Diversity is essential to economic growth and artistic excellence. We know that businesses with more diverse workforces are more profitable and effective. We also know that groups of diverse problem solvers out perform groups of high achieving problem solvers. But still, the leadership in the creative sector is lacking diversity and we think it’s time for change.
Working alongside some of the best creative organisations in the UK, we have co- designed Creative Leadership Training Programme that serves as a launch pad for 12 diverse young leaders. Over the next year we will do everything we can to empower and develop these talented individuals, to help them lead creatively and shape their own opportunities.
But that’s not all, we want the Sour Lemons ethos to be embedded across the industry. And we want our young leaders sitting at the decision-making table.
So we are offering bespoke consultancy services for creative organisations that want to increase their diversity and create more pathways to leadership. At the end of the process, the organisation has a strategy and a new way of looking at things, and our young leaders get paid and have a legitimate experience to put on their CV. It’s a no brainer. And the best thing is, the diversity of the group means they can consult on a wide range of things from apprenticeship and training, to youth outreach strategies and social media plans.
If you are interested in working with us or finding out more about how this might work for you, please get in touch.
Meet The Founder
As a young person, I was addicted to the fast life. I was excluded from two secondary schools, sent to a pupil referral unit and appeared in court twice.
Over the last ten years I have turned my life around, brick by brick, and taken those sour lemons and made my own version of lemonade. At 14 I found myself broken, living by myself, with an addiction and hidden away from my friends and family. Today I am a leader, a creative producer and a founder of my own charity.
I have chosen to use my story to inspire and motivate the next generation of young leaders to aim high and to do the same with their life experiences. It doesn’t matter where you started in life, what matters is where you are heading to.
This is only the start for me and I am excited to bring my passion and unique experience to Sour Lemons and help young people that come from backgrounds like mine to create their own opportunities.
Meet the Board
Jerome Burke (Treasurer)
Associate Supervision, Financial Conduct Authority
Stacy Coyne (Chair)
Director of Marketing & Press, Young Vic Theatre
Senior Manager, Strategic Planning, Barbican Centre
Consultant for creative startups, youth programmes & social enterprises
Managing Associate, Dispute Resolution, Simmons & Simmons
Fundraising & Relationship Coordinator, Battersea Arts Centre