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Board of Trustees

The Apples and Snakes board of trustees ensure that the charity is well run and that it operates within the law and the rules of the Charity Commission.

The Trustees are responsible for the long-term vision and mission for the organisation, and setting shorter and medium term strategic aims. The current Apples and Snakes board of trustees are:

Chris Elwell (Chair), Kerry Featherstone, John McGheeMary Callaghan, Abhik Sen, Janett Plummer, Sarah Goodfellow, Abhik Sen, Craig Barratt

Chris Elwell, theatre producer, director and writer Chris Elwell is the Director of London’s Half Moon Theatre, the UK’s leading small-scale venue and touring company developing and presenting professional theatre for young people and family audiences. He was previously a trustee of Paines Plough for 18 years from 1995 (Chair from 2000-2013), The Independent Theatre Council (2004-2009) and the National Student Drama Festival (2006-2012). Chris joined the board of Apples and Snakes in 2014 and was appointed Chair in February 2015.

Kerry Featherstone is Lecturer in Creative Writing in the Department of English and Drama at Loughborough University. He studied at The University of Essex, and at Nottingham Trent, where he wrote a PhD thesis about Bruce Chatwin. He has lectured at several universities, both in the UK and France. From 2004-2008 he was Literature Development Officer for Leicestershire and Rutland, working as part of the East Midlands Literature Network. He was co-manager of the Write: Muse project, and co-edited the "Words and Things" guide to creative writing using museum objects and artworks.  Kerry is also a poet and songwriter, working in French as well as English: his poems have been published and performed in a variety of places, including Tears in the Fence, Modern Poetry in Translation and Coffeehouse.  His debut album "Concealed Exit" appeared in 2009.

John McGhee is a management consultant specialising in organisational change.  He has worked in the UK, North America and India for clients in a range of industries and sectors, including work with government agencies and the third sector.  He studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University in the early 1990s and received his Masters in Business Administration from Cranfield University in 2004. John has a keen interest in literature and the arts and is a passionate supporter of live poetry and performance.

Mary Callaghan is an inclusion, diversity and equality specialist. Currently an associate at the Runnymede Trust, a race equality think-tank. Mary was an account manager for several organisations in membership of the campaigns. This has given her an opportunity to work with public and private organisations across several business sectors. Mary was also working at a strategic level on the RfO campaign and on particular projects relating to employment of migrant workers and inspirational role models for learning and to raise the aspirations for black and minority ethnic young people.

Mary also has a yoga teaching diploma, and teaches in a voluntary capacity for the staff at one of her favoured Charities – Freedom From Torture - the Medical Foundation for the care of victims of torture. She also teaches for the clients of St Mungo's , a charity working with and for homeless people, and at the University of the Third Age, a charity for people aged over 55 who aspire to lifelong learning. Mary is inspired by performance poetry and its capacity to generate such a powerful impact in a few words; or the lyrical way it can develop a message.

Abhik Sen Head of Policy, The Commonwealth

At the Commonwealth Secretariat, the inter-governmental organisation for the 53 member states of the Commonwealth, Abhik oversees policy and research that helps foster socio-economic development in a diverse group of countries that are spread across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific region. He is also a Yale World Fellow at Yale University. Abhik previously was a managing editor at The Economist Group, the world’s leading publisher of analysis and research on international affairs, and has worked in leadership roles for Bloomberg and one of India's leading newspapers. Abhik also sits on the advisory board of InnovaBRICs and Beyond, an international forum that brings together policymakers and business leaders to promote sustainable and equitable development across the world.

Janett Plummer has a background in theatre, performance and arts education and is a well-respected performance poet. As well as performing herself, Janett is a founder of Inspired Word, a charitable organisation for survivors, and Aspire Creativity, which delivers training, workshops and consultancy on poetry, arts, diversity and performance skills for children and adults.

Sarah Goodfellow is a producer and commissioner of new artwork. She was part of the producing team at the London 2012 Festival and has worked with artists around the UK across all art forms, as well as with top international artists. Sarah has a particular interest in literature and film and most enjoys producing work for and with young people.

Craig Barratt is the Director of Transformation, Partnerships and Procurement (Interim) at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust. He is the former Executive Director of Strategy & Transformation at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT). Chris graduated with an LLB in law from Lancaster University and began his career as an NHS Financial Management Trainee in 1998 and held a variety of NHS financial management posts. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountant (CPFA) and has a postgraduate certificate in Project Management, 




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