Magpie’s Founder, Artistic & Executive Director steps down after 32 years

23 Jan 2017


Magpie’s Founder, Artistic & Executive Director, Avril Hitman BEM, has announced she will be stepping down from Magpie Dance this Summer after 32 years leading the organisation, from founding it all those years ago.

“Avril Hitman has shone a light on learning disability through her visionary creativity and determination that dance be open to all.”
Magpie parent

Avril’s difficult decision to retire this year comes at a poignant time, as Magpie is in a secure and very good position with their recent lottery funding news which has given the charity some financial stability over the next three years.  Avril commented:

“Since founding Magpie 32 years ago, I’ve seen it grow from strength to strength and I am proud of what the charity achieves and the commitment and passion of everyone involved.  I shall be sad to step down in the Summer, but also confident that as I pass the baton, I know it will continue to thrive and benefit and provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities.  It’s been a privilege to have worked with all Magpie participants, dancers, staff, freelancers and trustees to witness the growth and development from humble beginnings.  Here’s to another exciting 32 years of Magpie and I know, as the Founder, it won’t be goodbye, just Au Revoir!”

Magpie has a fantastic team who are all very committed and passionate about the work that Magpie undertakes, the charity’s excellent reputation is achieved on the quality work that they deliver to their participants, training externally and on stage to audiences.  It feels like the right time for Magpie’s Artistic & Executive Director to step down and retire, and especially apt after receiving a thoroughly deserved British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year 2017 Honors List.