Catherine-Pestano1-530x400Catherine Pestano – Founder

Catherine has a passion for bringing people together to encounter and enjoy each other through singing and music-making.

Catherine used singing in her work as a Mental Health Social Worker and manager in day centres, residential care, group therapy, planning meetings and large scale conferences to bring heart, connection, fun and relaxation into group work.  The roots of Creative Croydon were formed when she founded  CRISP (Croydon Intercultural Singing Project) in 1997 with the aim of setting up world harmony, free-your-voice singing groups inspired by training with Frankie Armstrong, founder of the Natural Voice Network.  She took the Certificate in Workshop Skills (Music) at Goldsmiths College in 2002 and since then has been involved in funding, managing and delivering a vast array of community music projects in settings including: school projects,songwriting projects with young people in PRUs and youth centres, music projects with young offenders and training community musicians such as those who founded the Gary Mason Charity.

Catherine emphasises the importance of having a joyful and expansive experience of singing in the now.  Catherine ran both Croydon Community Choir and South Norwood Choir on inclusive principles, making sessions accessible to mental health users and members of the BME and LBGT communities.   She made optional performance opportunities available for choir members at events at the Roundhouse, South Bank and local festivals. She hosted workshops at Holy Innocents Church, South Norwood enabling local community members to experience the teaching of practitioners including Frankie Armstrong, Carol Prior, Roshi Nasehi, Tony Backhouse, Polly Barton, Una May Olomolaiye, Kirsty Martin, Pete Morton, Lester Simpson and Bilal Ameen.  She acted as a consultant to local LGBT asylum seeker group, Rainbows Across Borders, supporting them to establish a choir which now performs at local events.  She also founded Caterham Community Choir which she co-leads with Sarah Fisher and Croydon Carers Choir, facilitated by Katie Rose.

10630698_10152637684220376_5310508673478047073_oCatherine is a founder member of Sound Connections’ Children Challenging Circumstances group and was a finalist for the Croydon Council Awards for the ‘Contribution to Civic Life’ category in 2014.
She became the UK ambassador for Singing in Hospitals in 2014 and offers Bedside Singing sessions at St George’s Hospital, Tooting.

Creative Croydon is grateful to the following funders for their support:
Croydon Council, Croydon Voluntary Action, SLAM, Youth Music, European Social Funding, Sound Connections, Innovate.

anne crumpAnne Crump – Director

Anne Crump has a background in Dramatherapy, Counselling, Mental Health and Community Arts. She is passionate about encouraging people to take care of their emotional wellbeing and runs drama, storytelling, creative arts, relaxation and mindfulness workshops.

Anne finds nature a wonderful source of inspiration and solace and loves to wander in the local green spaces of Croydon. As a keen photographer she has written three books that combine her passion for nature and wellbeing. They are an invitation to be creative and to explore ways to renew and refresh ourselves on life’s journey.

  • Treasure Yourself: Creative Ways to Nurture and Delight in your Life 
  • Tree Notes and Leafy Thoughts: Restoring your spirits through nature
  • Sky, Clouds and Mindful Ways                   (Wind Dancer Publishing)