Performing Art Foundation

Sue Hooper
Charitable Foundation

The idea of a Performing Arts Foundation came from the founder Sue Hooper MBE, in the late 1990’s. Sue has been associated with the performing arts from childhood. 

Sue Hooper Charitable Foundation

The idea of a Performing Arts Foundation came from the founder Sue Hooper MBE, in the late 1990’s. Sue has been associated with the performing arts from childhood. Sue entered into competitive Music, Speech and Drama Festivals; and has top diplomas from the London Guildhall School of Music, Speech and Drama Examination Boards, in the spoken word and Public Speaking. Sue was an active member of local amateur dramatic societies in Plymouth and Saltash, and taught speech and drama privately, with outstanding success for her pupils in leading performing arts festivals and national examination boards. Sue was also the instigator and co-founder of the Saltash Music Speech and Drama Festival (1990) where she has been general secretary for over 32years; Sue has recently retired after 32 years’ service. She also founded the Mayor’s Drama Awards when she was Mayor of Saltash in 1991. And donating the perpetual Mayor’s Shield. Sue is delighted that incumbent Mayors of Saltash still honour this award to this day.

Sue Hooper, MBE

Sue served Saltash as Mayor on 4 different occasions; and Deputy Mayor on 3 occasions. On her retirement from Saltash Town Council after 30 years’ service, she was given the honour of Freeman of Saltash.

Sue was chair and general secretary of the Saltash Great War Commemorative Events/Projects committee. The committee have organised over 30 events and projects during 2018/2019 – which has involved most of the Saltash Community and beyond; the committee raised over £16,000 to complete the events and projects. Committee dissolved on completion of all the commemorative events September 2023.

Sue has special interest in environmental and youth issues – plus older and vulnerable and less abled people; and was the Ambassador for youth and older people when a District Councillor (Caradon). Sue was President of the Saltash Ladies Choir for 35 years. The Choir has recently disbanded. She is Vice President of the Saltash Town Band. Former President of Livewire Youth Project (of 20 years). Trustee of Saltash Heritage, President of the Saltash Old Cornwall Society and Patron of the Forder Community & Conservation Association. Retired as Trustee of Saltash Mabbot Trust (1991-2014). Founder (1992) and executive committee member of the Saltash Youth Council. Founder of Saltash in Bloom (1992 – 2004). Founder and lead of Saltash 1998/99/2000 Festival of events committee to celebrate the Falmouth Tall Ships Race 1998 (Cornwall/Saltash Gateway working with Cornwall major events), also incorporating the 1999 Eclipse and the Millennium events (which boosted over £100,000 for Saltash economy. Former member of Steering Group for Community Action through Sports (CATS). Made a Cornish Bard in 2009 for her outstanding contribution to music in Saltash and Cornwall. Recently retired as Chairman of Burraton Community Association. Drama practitioner (Co-Founder Essa School of Drama & Performing Arts). Instigated and led the Saltash Town Council’s Memorial Peace Garden project (opened November 2015). Founder and Chair of the Saltash Community Flood Forum (2016). General Secretary of Saltash 1941 Blitz Committee, commemorating the 15 Saltash civilian fallen during enemy action of 1941. Publicity Officer for Saltash VE 75 Committee, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2.

Furthermore, Sue has been the only person to have brought over many, many years to Saltash, the Bands of Her Majesty’s Service, HM Royal Marines, Blues and Royals and Royal Lancers. In addition, the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset Ceremonial Unit of the Fire Service (Pipes, Drums and Flutes), plus the Fire Service Orchestra. And, the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Raising many thousands of pounds for Military and Benevolent Charities. Sue also raised over £20,000 to aid the relief fund for the Boscastle and North Cornwall Floods 2004. Sue also raised over £85,000 to benefit the progression of the Saltash Boys’ Club to Livewire Youth Project.; and gave much time and effort to the fund raising to help convert Ashtorre Rock into a 2 story community building.

Sue received an MBE in 2004 in recognition of her community work and fund raising for so many worthy causes over the past 52 years. Further, she was made Saltash Citizen of the Year in 2020 for her outstanding services to Saltash over the past 5 decades; and in 2022 was honoured by the Saltash Town Council’s special ‘Life time achievement’ award in 2022. Sue has also received lifetime awards from Livewire Youth Project and Saltash Music Speech and Drama Festival.
Sue also delivers talks to organisations in Saltash, Devon and Cornwall on

“Remarkable Women” and “Women in Leadership” – plus many other topics. She has done this for the past 41years.

Sue does most sincerely acknowledge and pay tribute to the teams and individuals that she has worked with over the past 52 years, and indeed her husband John, without his and their loyal support, many of these projects would not have been possible.

Sue has helped raise over £1m pounds for local, Regional, National and International Charities and worthy causes over the past 52 years

Sue Hooper Charitable Foundation – Sue was aware that there were many talented young people in every discipline of the Performing Arts, who were totally committed to learning and further developing their skills at local, Regional and National level, but with limited funding to do so. She was aware that funding opportunities for such skills were very limited, and she saw a gap in which a Bursary Trust may be able to assist. Sue sought help and advice from a colleague, Peter Durbin, a local Solicitor (sadly now deceased) who was enthusiastic and encouraging. Peter, kindly drew up the application and mission statement, with the required aims and objectives to the Charity Commission.

In July 2000 the Sue Hooper Charitable Foundation was set up following a generous donation from Sue. The Charitable Foundation was up and running as a Registered Charity (Founded in aid and support of the promotion of Music, Drama and the Performing Arts). Since then several thousands of pounds has been raised by Sue and the Trust, and donated to young musicians, dramatists and dancers for equipment, instruments, Regional and National auditions, competitions, workshops and, in all the performing arts disciplines within Saltash and Cornwall.

Young beneficiaries have gone on to appear in the Royal Albert Hall, National Youth Orchestra, International Orchestras, National Ballets and Ballet Schools, National Theatre Schools, Covent Garden, Wayne Sleep School Of Ballet, West End Musical – and top Musical Colleges, Universities and Conservatoires. In addition have won top marks in local and County Music Festivals, and National performing arts examinations.

Money has been raised by concerts bringing Cornish choirs and bands to Saltash, and National and International performers. Also by organising music festivals and performing arts workshops and musical theatre events.

Sue is ever grateful to the Trustees of the Foundation both past and present for their dedication and total commitment to the aims and objectives of the Trust. So too, to her dedicated family members, including granddaughters Flo and Rose who have performed on many occasions at the Trust’s charity concerts.