Honorary Graduate Janet Ayers smiling

Fellow of the University

Community artist Janet has made a great impact on cultural life in Portsmouth. Between 2007–2020, she established Southsea Community Choir, Southsea Community Orchestra, Southsea Circle Dance and Friday Art Club.

Janet aims to create music and art of a high standard while improving the health and wellbeing of participants. Her groups, workshops and events are open-access, so no previous experience or qualifications are required. This approach has enabled hundreds of people to engage in singing, music making, dance and creative practice. 

After graduating from Portsmouth in 1995 with a degree in Illustration, Janet worked in arts administration, the Civil Service, and in book and music publishing before becoming a community artist. She's run singing-for-health groups for organisations and charities including the Alzheimer's Society, British Lung Foundation, Solent NHS and the Good Mental Health Co-operative. Choir performances and concerts have raised over £30,000 for local charities and Water Aid.