Lucy Macnab (photo: Tom Oldham)

Lucy Macnab


Lucy has a background in participation, writer development and education. She finds ways to help people tell their stories, in print, performance, digitally, through collaboration. Most recently, Lucy was Participation Producer at Southbank Centre.

Ben Payne (photo: Tom Oldham)

Ben Payne


Ben is a writer, director and dramaturg. He was previously Literary Manager and Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre where he established the company’s ground-breaking young playwrights’ scheme and programmed the work of The Door.

Ilona Leighton Goodall (photo: Tom Oldham)

Ilona Leighton-Goodall

Operations Director

Ilona worked in television production before leaving to manage an independent bookshop. She went on to become a Centre Director at Arvon’s residential creative writing houses in Shropshire and Yorkshire, before joining the Ministry.

Alistair Hall Minister of the Month

Alistair Hall

Art Director

Alistair is responsible for the look of the Ministry of Stories and Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, overseeing a team of fantastic volunteer designers. He has been running his own graphic design studio, We Made This, for over ten years.

Emily Murdock (photo: Tom Oldham)

Emily Murdock

Trading Manager

Throughout childhood Emily longed to someday run a shop selling supplies for monsters and could hardly believe it when she discovered such a shop existed right on her doorstep in Shoreditch.  Emily has worked in community conflict resolution and counselling, including as a volunteer counsellor with children with the Place2Be.

Rich Catty (photo: Tom Oldham)

Rich Catty


Rich made the switch from a career in administrative roles to the Ministry following a delightful year of volunteering at MoS. He enjoys writing and attending his weekly reading club and claims to be the biggest psych-rock enthusiast this side of Bethnal Green.

Emma Joliffe

Emma Joliffe

Creative Learning Manager

Emma has over 7 years’ experience as a teacher and leading secondary school drama departments.  Her passion has always been engaging young people through the arts, helping them find a voice and feel valued. She is also a successful performance poet.

Ruth Davey

Ruth Davey

Fundraising Manager

Ruth worked in media sales and event management before combining work with a love of the arts by moving into fundraising. Her passions include reading, theatre and films and she’s especially proud of her near encyclopaedic knowledge of the Back to the Future trilogy.


Ashley Parsons

Community Engagement Coordinator

Ashley has experience as a support worker to young homeless people and in engaging varied community groups around high street regeneration and crime reduction. He enjoys writing fiction in his spare time. He most recently worked for Safe Ground, coordinating a parenting programme for men in prison.


Rachael O’Rourke

Writing Programme Leader

Rachael previously worked as an English Teacher in Secondary schools, where she promoted creative writing both inside and outside of the classroom. When not writing and reading about feisty heroines, she enjoys making music and knitting brightly coloured hats. 

Régis Cochefert

Chair of Trustees

Régis was appointed Director, Grants and Programmes at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation in July 2015, having been Head of Arts since 2005. He was previously head of external relations and then opera general administrator at Aldeburgh Productions (now Aldeburgh Music).

Sue Horner

Sue has long been committed to education and the arts. She works in national strategy and implementation of curriculum and assessment both in the UK and abroad, after being Director of Curriculum for England. She was awarded the MBE in 2014 for services to literature.

Louise Portelli

Louise has over 15 years experience in leading large organisational transformations. As a Director at KPMG, Louise advises Financial Services clients on how to make major changes to their businesses.

Alice King-Farlow

Alice began her career at Opera North before becoming head of English National Opera’s education programme. Alice is now director of Discover at the National Theatre.

Keith Arrowsmith

Keith has provided legal services to a broad range of third sector organisations. He regularly assists in their formation and management as well as dealing with brand and reputation management.

Wendy Smithers

Wendy is founder and co-director of arts development practice the hub. Formed in 2002, it provides bespoke advice through a range of programmes. Before this, Wendy was Development Manager at the Barbican and worked in the sponsorship sales team at Classic FM.

Peter Barron

Peter is Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Google. Before that he was editor of BBC2’s Newsnight and worked in TV News and Current Affairs for nearly twenty years. He is a governor of the National Film and Television School and sits on the council of the Edinburgh TV Festival.

Joe Dunthorne

Joe’s debut novel, “Submarine” won the Curtis Brown prize and has been translated into ten languages and made into a film. Author of Wild Abandon and member of the poetry collective, Aisle 16, Joe is also a striker for the England Writers’ Football Team.

Rohan Silva

Co-founder of Second Home and and co-founder and chairman of Spacious, Rohan was formerly a senior policy adviser for the government.

Laura Dockrill

Laura is a performance poet, author, illustrator and short story writer. She is the author of the series of books ‘Darcy Burdock’ for young readers.

Linda Thompson

Born in Hackney, Linda became one of the most recognised names and voices in the British folk rock movement of the 1970s and 1980s, in collaboration with her then husband and fellow British folk rock musician, guitarist Richard Thompson, and later as a solo artist.

Charlie Leadbeater

Charles is a leading authority on innovation and creativity. He has advised companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy and drew on that experience in writing his latest book ‘We-think: the power of mass creativity’.

Meera Syal

Meera Syal is a writer, comedian, playwright and actress. She co-writes and is a cast member of the popular BBC Television comedy series ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ and The Kumars at No. 42′. She also works as a journalist and is a regular contributor to The Guardian.

Zadie Smith

Zadie is the author of four novels including ‘White Teeth’ and ‘On Beauty’ which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Dominic Cooper

Dominic is an actor known for his roles in, among others, ‘History boys’, ‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘An Education’ and ‘The Dutchess’.

David Nicholls

David is the author of four novels including ‘One Day’ and ‘Starter for Ten’. His TV credits include an penning an updated version of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, with Damien Lewis and Sarah Parrish and an acclaimed adaptation of ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’, starring Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards.

Rachel Cooke

Rachel is a journalist and writer. Born in Sheffield, the daughter of a university lecturer, Cooke attended Oxford University, before beginning her career as a reporter for The Sunday Times.

Nick Hornby

Nick is the author of six novels, including High Fidelity and About a Boy. He has also written three works of non-fiction, including Fever Pitch. He wrote the screenplay for the film An Education, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. Nick was a journalist and an English teacher before becoming a writer.

Michaela Greene

Kerri Ratcliffe

Kerri is an American who has been residing in London for 15 years. Kerri worked in finance for HSBC and Morgan Stanley, and then had a 15 year career as an administrator for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  Since moving to London she has been active in a variety of nonprofit organisations involved in education, theatre, and youth sports.

Cathy Dishner

Cathy is an expat living in London. Her work experience ranges from corporate advertising, PR, and marketing to extensive volunteer work and Board leadership positions for local and national charities.

Maureen Smith

Maureen is a US lawyer who has been living in London for 7 years.  Maureen works as a volunteer advisor for Zacchaeus 2000 Trust representing individuals with debt and housing issues.

Charles Leadbeater

Charles is a leading authority on innovation and creativity. He has advised companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy and drew on that experience in writing his latest book We-think: the power of mass creativity.

Liam Maxwell

Liam is Chief Technology Officer for the British Government.  His team within the Government Digital Service is responsible for technical leadership across government and for identifying the technologies required to deliver great digital public services.

Liz Kanter

Liz is a Government Relations expert with 20 years experience working in the tech industry in the U.S. and UK. She is passionate about increasing opportunities for young people in STEM subjects and more broadly through organisations like the Ministry of Stories.

Charlotte Appleyard

Charlotte is Director of Development at the Royal Academy of Arts. She previously worked as Director of Creative Development at Outset Contemporary Art Fund, and in the curatorial departments at The National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.