Registered Charity


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Prema is a family friendly Arts Centre, promoting performance, live music and art exhibitions as well as accessible workshops, classes and creative experiences for kids and adults.

Prema, near Dursley in the Stroud valleys, offers an affordable day out for all folk in the South West.

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Prema is a registered charity - our registration number is 1002269

Our Board

Dr Simon Opher - Chair

Simon is GP at the Walnut Tree Practice in Dursley. He moved to Uley in 1999 and since then the Opher family have been staunch supporters of Prema. In his professional life Simon is a keen advocate for using the creative and expressive arts as a vehicle for improving well-being and helping people recapture a sense of confidence in their everyday lives.

Laura Nicholas - Vice Chair

Laura has been an avid supporter of Prema for over twenty years. She is a senior manager within NHS England and has a brilliant head for business as well as helping Prema deliver a public programme of work which is excellent value for money (both for funder and visitor to the centre). She lives in Dursley with her young family and helps our board in developing strategies for developing Prema for the future.

Simon Fisher - Treasurer

Simon has been a part of Prema almost from its very beginning. An accountant by day, Simon is able to translate the complexities of Prema's finances into a readily understandable format and in tandem with Bean, our finance officer, makes sure that the numbers at Prema are kept ship-shape and Bristol fashion!

Karen Hilliard - Secretary

Karen is a ceramic artist. She grew up in the Republic of Ireland and moved to Cardiff to study ceramics and thereafter joined Prema in 1991 as resident potter. Karen now lives in Uley with her family and has, in more recent years, extended her creative practice through a series of drawings and prints depicting the fauna of the local area although her first love will always be clay!

Karen Pitney

Karen works in public health and has been a passionate supporter of Prema since her close involvement with Art Lift some years ago. She enjoys singing, drawing and the various bits of voluntary work she does for several charities around the county. Her broad understanding of health and well-being is a great match for Prema as we are involved in so many projects for some of the most vulnerable and unwell people in our community.

Janet Wood

Janet has been a wonderful friend to Prema since its inception. She is a former Stroud district councillor and is now a hardworking champion for the Uley parish council. Her many years in local politics helps Prema to see the potential for joining forces with many community groups so that we can bring creativity and the arts right into people's homes and into the centre of their lives.

Duff Hart-Davis

Duff is a is a British biographer, naturalist and journalist who writes for The Independent newspaper. He lives in Owlpen and has been a stalwart for many local initiatives, including an formidable fundraising campaign for the impressive new Uley cricket pavillion.

Kim Lawrence

Kim understands the complex nature of a small, independent arts centre all too well, having been Prema's administrator back in the 1990s. She is an experienced project manager, education manager and creative producer and since her Prema days she has worked for a variety of organisations including Circomedia (Bristol), Bath Festivals Trust, Situations, Gonzo Moose and Firebird Theatre. She currently works for the internationally renowned Peepolykus and has recently launched a training company, Business Improvers, which uses skills developed from theatre practice to develop creativity, communication skills and confidence in business, educators and young people. 

Ken Lush

Ken was Prema's artistic director in the mid 1990s. His years in the saddle at Prema means that he can readily appreciate the many delights and occasional worries of the staff team at Prema and for the organisation in general. He is an amazing musician, playing guitar and bass for many bands and folk acts in the local area. By day, he's the chief brewer at the wonderful Uley Brewery.

Tom Williams

Tom and his family moved to the area in the year 2000. His work involves working with kids and their families to discover the pleasure of creative play and to help explore the nature of adventure. He has been a passionate supporter and lynchpin for the village cricket pavillion and brings his extensive experience and knowledge of fundraising for a community project as well as a great family-focus to the board at Prema.


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How is Prema funded?

Prema currently receives a small grant from Stroud District Council to support the excellent work we do with people living, working and visiting the Stroud district.

We are one of Arts Council England's National Portfolio Organisations and receive funding each year to support the programme of work and projects we do to bring quality, imaginative, contemporary arts into the lives of over 73,000 people every year.


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Prema currently has two patrons - the fine actress Sheila Hancock CBE (pictured right with her late husband, actor John Thaw) and film supremo Sir David Puttnam. We're thrilled that our patrons have recently been joined by acclaimed choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne who is an ardent supporter of dance and the arts as well as charities and community groups in Uley and surrounding areas.


Prema lives very much hand-to-mouth and is always grateful for donations. Donations received help us to rejuvenate the Chapel and to buy new resources for the Centre so that we're able to keep extending the range and scope of courses and activities throughout our programme. Take a look at our SUPPORT US page to see how you can help Prema - there's more ways to help than just a cheque book!