Monster Supplies
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Rob Smith


Rob is responsible the overall direction of Ministry of Stories, leading the organisation with a mixture of mischief and mastery. With a career in the arts and creative learning, Rob is inspired by the ideas and imaginations of children and young people, and the power of their voices to make change in the world. He is also a Director for our magical shop, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

Kirsty Telford

Deputy Director

Kirsty loves things to be shipshape and reach their full potential. She believes that each and every person has the power to transform their community. Kirsty has a background in fundraising, participation and service delivery, gained through almost 20 years in the charity world. Her ambition is to help create fantastic relationships with our volunteers, funders and shoppers, so that we can support more children to discover their talent.

Jessica Randall

Writing Programme Manager

Jessica has over 20 years experience facilitating creative workshops for children and young people. Her background is in youth theatre and she has an MA in Applied Theatre from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. As a playwright (Jessica Fisher), she won the 2010 Nick Darke Award and Pilot Theatre’s 2012 Generation Zed competition. Jessica’s play Ghost Town toured nationally in 2014. More recently, she has had prose published in Aesthetica Magazine’s annual anthology.

Linden K. McMahon

Linden K. McMahon

Writing Facilitator - Community

Linden is a poet, performer, fiction writer and Ministry of Stories Writing Facilitator.  They also like baking elaborate desserts, making pottery and reading sci fi novels, and first joined the team as a volunteer writing mentor in 2018.

Dorothy Cotter

Dorothy Cotter

Education Programme Manager (maternity cover)

Dorothy was created in an underground laboratory at Ministry Of Stories in 2016 and takes on a new form every few years. Her latest transmogrification sees her managing all of the exciting writing projects in primary and secondary schools across Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Islington. She is constantly amused and amazed by the imaginations of young writers and aspires to be as good as them one day. The final form Dorothy takes will most likely be a crustacean wearing a tiny top hat.

Jamie Swift Drake sits smiling with their hands crossed on the table in front of them. They are wearing a grey jumper and colourful bracelets.

Jamie Swift Drake

Development Manager (Trusts, Public and Individuals)

Jamie is passionate about supporting children to find and share their voices and imagination. They have more than ten years’ experience in charity development, working with many funders to deliver a range of arts, education, social care, and physical and mental health projects. Jamie’s main mission at Ministry of Stories is to track down Wells, the elusive shop cat, alongside keeping our funders happy and well informed.

Maya Alexander has dark curly hair that stops just above her shoulders, she is wearing a black and white chequered shirt. Maya is smiling at the camera with her hands clasped in front of her on a white table.

Maya Alexander

Development Coordinator (Corporate and Community)

Maya has been writing since she could pick up a pen and spent a lot of time writing about children trapped in dolphins bodies and reimagining classics such as Little Miss Ride If She Could, where Red Riding Hood runs over the Wolf on her motorbike. She is a huge fan of macrame, murder mysteries, musicals and finding hobbies that start with M. Maya has worked in fundraising for various children’s charities for more than ten years and is excited to join the Ministry family and be the recipient of a lifetime supply of Thickest Human Snot.

Panagiota Kotoula

Retail Business Manager

Having worked for over ten years as a senior buyer and product developer at the Acropolis Museum and as a retail operations manager at the SNFCC in Athens, Panagiota has recently moved back to London in search for new monstrous adventures. She is currently trying to recruit young volunteers to serve a life sentence as shopkeepers and to manage our house monsters at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies. She is barely tolerated by Wells, our invisible cat who spends most of his time doing mischief in the shop and blaming house goblins.

Tegan Imbert sits smiling, hands clasped on a table in front of her. She has long dark brown hair and wears a black jumper with wiggly white lines.

Tegan Imbert

Volunteer Administrator

Tegan’s a teller of tales and an alliteration aficionado. She has experience working in both youth and arts organisations and is a strong believer in empowering young people through creativity. Outside of work her hobbies include making tasty lattes and touching her nose with her tongue, however, when she is at work she spends the majority of her time in absolute awe of our volunteers and their dedication and support to Ministry of Stories.

Alice has long dark, curly hair and is wearing a long sleeved white t-shirt. She has a silver nose ring, necklace and rings on. Her hands are clasped in front of her on the table and she is smiling at the camera.

Alice Bonomini

Retail Team Leader

After a century or two spent managing bookshops, Alice has come down from her favourite shelf in search of new adventures sparking the creativity of monsters big and small. When she’s not overseeing our shop and its almost fearless shopkeepers, you can probably find her conversing with Wells, our invisible cat. She translates several feline dialects with ease and teaches yoga to monsters of all types, so they can rest in actual peace.


Rowan Earley sits smiling, hands clasped on a table in front of her. She has half blonde, half brown hair split down the middle. She wears a bright blue, oversized cardigan.

Rowan Earley

Finance and Programme Administrator

Jack of all trades and master of roast potatoes, Rowan has worked across a range of arts organisations in administration, operations and customer service. Rowan is delighted to have found herself amongst the wonderful team at Ministry of Stories, where she is endlessly amazed and motivated by the talent of London’s very best young writers.

Thea King-Woodward 1

Thea King-Woodward

Marketing Manager

Thea has been working in arts marketing for more than ten years. She is passionate about inspiring and engaging new audiences. She’ll go the extra mile to tell great stories and create exciting content, including taste testing Hoxton Street Monster Supplies’ fresh batches of Seasonal Bogies.

Ed Cornish sits smiling in front of grey background

Ed Cornish

Art Director | Ministry of Stories

Ed is a designer, art-director and animator with over 10 years experience working in London. He has been working with The Ministry since it was founded in 2010, and joined as Art Director in 2021. He is also director of Edward Cornish Studio, a multidisciplinary design studio.

Alistair Hall 1

Alistair Hall

Art Director | Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Alistair, one of the co-founders of the Ministry of Stories, is responsible for our overall look of Hoxton Street Monster Supplies; he also oversees a team of fantastic volunteer designers. He has been running his own graphic design studio, We Made This, for more than fifteen years.

Michaela Greene Chair

Michaela Greene


Michaela became Chair in November 2021 after serving five years on the Board as Vice Chair. Currently, Partnerships and Impact Director at the Roundhouse, and following a brief period in the commercial sector, Michaela has more than 20 years’ experience in the charity and arts sector. Having started her fundraising career at the National Theatre she moved into the charity sector before joining the Roundhouse in 2012. Michaela joined Ministry of Stories in 2016 and is a member of our Finance and Fundraising and Business and Programme Sub Committees. She also holds the role of trustee at UN Women UK.

Simon Mott-Cowan

Simon Mott-Cowan

Vice Chair; Chair of Finance & Fundraising Sub Com

Simon has been with HW Fisher since 2003 and is head of the firm’s audit department. His expertise spans both external and internal auditing along with the preparation of financial statements, as well as general business advice. His portfolio of clients spans a broad range of sectors including property, technology, media, professional practices and hospitality. Much of his work includes strategic business and commercial advice to owner managed entities. Simon joined the Ministry of Stories Board in 2015 and chairs our Finance and Fundraising Sub Committee.

Anya Zhuravkina

Anya Zhuravkina

Chair of Business & Programme Sub Com

Anya does what the Ministry of Stories does for children, just for adults. And she’s done this throughout her career. As the founder of Winning Language Ltd, she helps companies change the conversations they have with their customers and teams by changing their language. As a Language Director at KPMG, she helped people win work by making their words more compelling. As Account Director at The Writer, she helped to change culture in multinationals by changing how people write and speak. She’s a firm believer in the positive power of language to change people, businesses and children’s prospects. Anya joined the Ministry of Stories Board in 2019.

Mina Patria

Mina Patria

Trustee; and Director of Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Mina has worked as Publisher/Publishing Director at companies including BBC, Guinness World Records, Berlitz and Lonely Planet. She is also a visiting lecturer for the MA Publishing programme at City University and is working on developing and assessing the standard for the new Publishing Apprenticeship. Mina is passionate about storytelling and its potential to open up a world of possibilities and opportunities. After all, our journeys begin with the stories we create and those we encounter, and with that in mind, she is also following her other passion – to create stories. Mina joined the Board in 2018 and became a Director for Hoxton Street Monster Supplies the following year.

Nick Makoha

Nick Makoha


Nick is a poet, playwright. His debut Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and Complete Works Alumni. He won the 2015 Brunel prize and 2016 Derricotte & Eady Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man.  He was the 2019 Writer-in-Residence for The Wordsworth Trust and Wasafiri.  His play The Dark was directed by JMK award-winner Roy Alexander. His poems appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. Nick joined the Board in 2017.

Piers Torday

Piers Torday


Piers Torday writes books and plays for children. Books include The Last Wild trilogy (Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize) and The Lost Magician series (Teach Primary Book Award). Plays include the world stage premiere of John Masefield’s The Box of Delights and Christmas Carol: a fairy tale (Wilton’s Music Hall). He co-founded the Paul Torday Memorial Prize for Debut Novelists Over 60. He is also an Associate Artist at Wilton’s, a Trustee of the Unicorn Theatre, a Patron of Shrewsbury Bookfest, a Reading Helper with Coram Beanstalk, and is passionate about helping children seize the life changing freedom of their imagination. Piers joined the Ministry of Stories as a trustee in 2017.

Shân Maclennan

Shân Maclennan


Shân is an arts educator and programmer committed to equality of opportunity. She worked in the Education team at Southbank Centre in London for over twenty five years and as Deputy Artistic Director for the last five. She pioneered the innovative use of indoor and outdoor public space as a place for learning and participation which became one of the defining features of the organisation and also brought the organisation’s archival and library collections into imaginative public use. Shân worked previously in education and programming at Southampton City Art Gallery and Wrexham Library Arts Centre and was the one of the co-founders of The Collective Gallery in Edinburgh. She now works freelance and is the Chair of Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education. Shân joined the Board in 2018 and is a member of the Business and Programme Sub Committee.

Duncan Kilty

Duncan Kilty

Expert Advisor (Business & Programme Sub Com)

Duncan is Deputy Headteacher at Grazebrook Primary School in Hackney. He has worked in schools in Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney for more than ten years and has a deep understanding of both the challenges faced by young Londoners and their amazing potential. Duncan is committed to ensuring that creativity and imagination retain their central place in children’s education due to its essential role in their development into empathetic, articulate and emotionally-literate adults. Duncan started as a volunteer, then became a trustee in 2016. Following his retirement in 2022, he is proud to continue to support as an Expert Advisor.

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.

Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh is the author of Coconut Unlimited, which was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010, and Meatspace. In 2013 he released The Time Machine, which won the Best Novella at the Sabotage Awards. His short stories have featured in Best British Short Stories 2013, The Sunday Times and BBC Radio 4. 

Inua Ellams

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is an award winning poet, playwright & founder of the Midnight Run. Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in his work in which he mixes the old with the new, traditional with the contemporary. His books are published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches & Oberon.

Sophie Kinsella

Sophie is the author of novels The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and the best-selling Shopaholic series. Her books have been translated into over 30 languages her novel Confessions of a Shopaholic was adapted into a film starring Isla Fisher.

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.

Riz Ahmed

Riz is an actor and rapper known for his roles in films Shifty and Four LionsAs Riz MC, he has been championed by BBC Radio1 – on the ‘Introducing’ stage at Glastonbury, the Electric Proms, and a Maida Vale session – and toured the USA, playing shows from Fabric to the Royal Festival Hall with the likes of Massive Attack, Nitin Sawhney, Dizzee Rascal, and Mos Def.

Charlie Higson

Charlie Higson is an author, actor, comedian and writer for television and radio. He wrote the Young Bond series, which has now sold over a million copies in the UK and has been translated into over 24 different languages. Charlie is a huge fan of horror films and books, and even studied gothic literature at university. 

David Nicholls

David is the author of four novels including One Day and Us. His TV credits include 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.

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.

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.

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’.

Dominic Cooper

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

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.

Sandra Agard

Sandra A. Agard

Writing Facilitator

Sandra is a storyteller, writer, playwright, poet and cultural historian. She has worked in a range of organisations including art galleries, community groups, forests and libraries. Sandra was the Centenary Storyteller for the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Sandra has led our community programmes, including the Awfully Bad Guide to Monster Travel series with fellow facilitator Laila. Sandra’s non-fiction book, ‘Trailblazers: Harriet Tubman’ was released in 2019.

Gem Carmella

Gem Ahmet

Writing Facilitator

Gem is a creative powerhouse with a passion for educating and empowering young people and marginalised voices. She’s also worked professionally as a performer, writer, producer and film festival director and aims to bring joy and laughter into every project she undertakes. She was Ministry of Stories’ first ever writing facilitator and recently developed our comedy sketch writing programme in schools.

Justin wears a light blue shirt, has short dark hair and a short dark brown beard. He sits smiling with his hands clasped in front of him on a white desk.

Justin Coe

Writing Facilitator

Justin Coe is a poet, writer and spoken word theatre-maker, specialising in work for young audiences. He tours his theatre shows nationally and his collections The Dictionary of Dads (2017) and The Magic of Mums (2020) are published by Otter-Barry Books. He has enjoyed working in educational and community settings for over twenty years, facilitating numerous creative writing projects, most recently specialising in intergenerational work. 

Charlotte Cromie

Charlotte Cromie

Writing Facilitator

Charlotte is a professional writer for television, theatre and audio. She was the youngest member of the 2021 cohort of BBC Writers’ Academy, and has also worked as a script reader for London theatres and for the BBC. Charlotte has volunteered and worked with the Ministry since 2014 in all kinds of roles, including facilitating storymaking workshops. As an obsessive lifelong writer, she believes that writing is one of the healthiest obsessions you can develop.

Broniahas long dark hair and sits smiling hands clasped on a white desk

Bronia Evers


Bronia is a storyteller, performer and facilitator. She is also a designer and maker of performing objects, including kinetic illustrations and puppets. She has facilitated story-based creative projects with people of all ages, and especially enjoys working with children and young people. Bronia most recently worked with Ministry of Stories on a project based around the inspiring collection of true tales, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls.

Dr. Keith Jarrett

Dr. Keith Jarrett

Writing Facilitator

Keith is a poet, fiction writer, playwright and educator. He is the author of two books of poetry, Selah (Burning Eye Books, 2017) and I Speak Home (Eyewear, 2015) and the play Safest Spot in Town (2017). He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of London, exploring Caribbean Pentecostal culture in London. He developed Ministry of Stories’ speech writing programme, Speak Up.

Laila Sumpton 

Laila Sumpton 

Writing Facilitator

Laila is a writing facilitator, singer and performance poet supporting writers of all ages in schools, hospitals, museums and libraries. She also can be found working in youth peace-building projects in Bosnia. Laila led on our Migration Tales and Ancient African and Asian Kingdoms projects, as well as the Awfully Bad Guide to Monster Travel series with fellow facilitator Sandra.

Shenelle has warm toned dreadlocks with a colourful scarf tied on top of her head. She has afro-comb earrings painted the colours of the Pan-African flag and is wearing a bright green top. She sits smiling at the camera with her hands clasped on the table in front of her. Her finger nails are colourful and sparkly.

Shenelle Thomas


Shenelle is a freelance writing facilitator and mentor with over ten years experience of working within the Education and Community sectors working with a diverse range of participants. She loves how creative writing challenges perception, promotes open mindedness and supports mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, seeing it as a language spoken and unspoken, mutually understood, or singularly interpreted. 


Phoebe has red hair in tight curls and a red stipy tshirt with gold jewelry. She sits smiling behind a white desk hands clasped together.

Phoebe Wagner


Phoebe (she/her) is a poet and community artist. Her work explores politics in the personal through collaborating with people. She published her debut pamphlet The Body You’re In with Bad Betty Press in 2019. Her love of trainers inspired her to establish Crep Project, an arts collective exploring the identity, creativity and community in sneaker culture with working class people. In 2021, she was nominated for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and was commissioned for Helen Kirkum‘s London Fashion Week show. She’s part of the Poetry Translation Centre’s Polylingual Poets Please programme, a Barbican Young Poet and Visual Artist.

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.

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. 

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.