Music lovers of Derby are invited to attend ‘Mic to the Max’ at Ryans Bar on Tuesday 29th August – an open mic fundraiser hosted by disability charity, United Response.

United Response supports people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health needs to live active lives in the community.

The people supported by United Response in Derbyshire are keen gardeners and passionate about growing their own produce. Sadly, a few months ago, their polytunnels were vandalised, making them unsafe to use.

hand-drawn event poster for Mic to the Max

United Response is hoping to raise £600 to get the two polytunnels repaired and enable people to use the garden again.

Phillipa Gould, United Response’s Team Manager, said:

“The garden makes a huge difference to the lives of people we support. One man who I support finds gardening empowering and enjoys the scenery of the garden. It’s an open, but safe, space where he can relax for hours – a wonderful activity for him when he is experiencing anxiety.

“Nobody has been able to use the garden since it was vandalised. We really want to get the polytunnels repaired so that the garden is up and running again, and the people we support can continue to do what makes them happy. In the long-term, we would like to make the garden accessible to even more people.”

The project has already received a generous grant of £400 from the Clothworker’s Foundation, but the damage is so extensive that a further £600 is needed to fully repair it.

‘Mic to the Max’ is a free event from 5pm-10pm, which will include a BBQ, face painting and, of course, live music. Guests are encouraged to dig deep at the event and donate to help United Response raise vital funds for the garden.

The event has been organised by people supported by United Response, who are regulars at the open mic night at Ryans Bar, with the help of their support worker Helen Jackson.

Phillipa said:

“We fell in love with the place when we were welcomed in by a member of staff at Ryans Bar who communicated with the people we support in Makaton – a language which aids communication for people with learning difficulties through signs and symbols.

“We’re very grateful to Ryans bar for hosting what we expect to be a wonderful evening, enabling us to fundraise, as well as build relationships with people in the community.”

To donate to this project, please visit:

As well as funds, United Response is also calling on any gardening enthusiasts in the community who could spare the time to come and help repair the garden.

For further information on this or the event, please contact Helen Jackson on 07463797584.