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Rob - a white man with short, fair hair - sits hands clasped in front of him at a white table. He has dark framed glasses and wears a relaxed, striped shirt. He smiles broadly at the camera surrounded by colourful books.

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 fantastical shop, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

Kirsty - a white woman, with shoulder length brown hair - sits with her hands clasped in front of her. She is smiling happily at the camera wearing a teal sweater and large wooden necklace.

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 more than 20 years in the charity world. Her ambition is to help create fantastic relationships with funders, donors and shoppers, so that they can help more children to discover their creative talent.

Jessica Randall

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. Jess manages our community writing programme and works on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Mayo - a black man with short dark hair - sits with his hands clasped in front of him. He wears a dark navy jumper and grins widely towards the camera.

Mayo Agard-Olubo

Writing Facilitator - Community

Mayo is a writer of magical stories for children of all ages. His short story We Must Slay Giants was featured on the BBC sounds podcast, Margins to Mainstream with Michael Sheen. His writing has won a number of awards including a London Writers Award and the 2023 Mo Siewcharran picture book prize. When not writing he can be found enjoying all things fantasy, sci-fi and anime.

At Ministry of Stories he runs the Saturday creative writing labs where he helps young writers explore their limitless imaginations and is constantly thrilled by the brilliant stories they come up with.

Jenny - a white woman with a fringe and long, dark and wavy hair - sits with her hand clasped in front of her. She wears a coral pink jumper and smiles happily at the camera.

Jenny Claessen

Writing Facilitator - Community

Jenny says ‘wow’ a lot, particularly during the Wednesday and Thursday community writing labs at Ministry of Stories where the young writers’ imaginations are out of this world.

She writes novels for 8-12 year olds including the A Month of Magic series published by UCLan and Simon & Schuster. When not writing, Jenny cycles around on a very rusty yellow bike, eats a lot of ice cream and works as Writer in Residence at Mayfair Library and other beautiful and strange places, mostly on this planet.

Cath Greenwood - a white woman with blonde hair, shoulder length hair - site hands clasped in front of her. She wears a taupe, cowl neck jumper and smiles at the camera.

Cath Greenwood

Education Programme Manager (Job share)

Cath loves bringing arts facilitators and teachers together to make creative spaces for children and young people to imagine and tell their stories, in their own way. Before joining the Ministry of Stories she worked for many years in theatre and drama education. As well as her work at the Ministry, alongside Jane her job share partner, she is training to be a Feldenkrais teacher

Jane - a white woman with short, blonde hair - its with her hands folded in front of her. She wears a dark denim shirt and gold earrings and smiles happily at the camera.

Jane McCarthy

Education Programme Manager (Job share)
Jane works alongside Cath Greenwood (her partner in ‘all things schools’) to programme and develop education at the Ministry of Stories. Before joining the Ministry she worked in schools, and for many years in museum and film education. Making and telling stories has always been at the heart of that work, both children’s own stories and those told by other people, books, films or objects. Jane loves a good story herself – the book club she’s part of is now in its third decade and going strong.
Oliver - a white man with dark, curly hair and thick beard - sits with his hands clasped in front of him. He wears a green t-shirt and green cord jacket and smiles cheerfully at the camera.

Oliver Fox

Development Manager

Oliver is a writer and arts administrator from London. His poetry has been published in magazines, most recently The Rialto & Ambit, and his debut pamphlet, Haptics, was published in 2023 by Broken Sleep Books. He is a member of the 2022/23 Southbank New Poets Collective. He’s been working with artists and arts organisations since 2014 to help creative people find their voices and audiences, and brings this experience to Ministry of Stories, working with trusts and foundations to help young people realise their potential as creative writers.

Thea King-Woodward 1

Thea King-Woodward

Marketing Manager (freelance)

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. Thea supports us on a freelance basis on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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. Panagiota works Tuesdays – Fridays across our Hoxton and Leadenhall Market stores.

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

Volunteers 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.

Sabrina - a black woman with dark, curly hair - sits with her hands clasped in front of her. She wears a long sleeved striped top and navy dungarees. She smiles happily a the camera.

Sabrina Garner

Fundraising Administrator

With a monstrous appetite for poetry, prose and pentameter, Sabrina has an affinity for the written word and is in constant awe of the transformative power writing has on the lives of children and young people. She has a background in creative writing, primary teaching and administration experience gained through working in the charity sector. Sabrina is thrilled to be part of the Ministry of Stories team and is dedicated to furthering the fundraising work of the charity as well as indulging in copious amounts of the Thickest Human Snot.

Rowan - a white woman with a fringe and half blond, half brown hair - site with her hands clasped in front of her. She wars a multicolour long sleeve top and smiles happily at the camera.

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 admin and operations. 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 best young writers.

Regan - a black man with dark twists hair - sits with his hands folded in front of him. He wears a dark jumper with white writing on it and a white collar. He smiles happily at the camera.

Regan Jordine

Retail Team Leader

Relatively new to the world of monsters, Regan hopes to be able to support London’s monster population by offering them the finest supplies Igor has to offer. Monstrously managing our volunteer shopkeepers – he’s closing the gap between the human and monster community – one step at a time. When not working in Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, Regan loves listening to music and discovering new songs. He also writes, produces and performs music across London – aspiring to one day inspire the youth of London. Regan works Tuesdays – Fridays in our Hoxton store.

Lina is a white woman, with shoulder length brown hair and a fringe. She wearing large glasses, a shopkeepers apron and has been photographed holding a shop product. She is smiling broadly.

Lina Šuplinska

Retail Assistant

Lina is a spirited adventurer hailing from the enchanting city of Riga, where she developed a fascination for the fantastical and the bizarre. During a journey abroad, she stumbled upon the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies and immediately felt a kinship with its quirky charm. Volunteering there, Lina immersed herself in the world of monsters and magical creatures, learning the ropes of retail with enthusiasm and dedication. Now, as a full-fledged Retail Assistant, Lina brings a touch of Baltic charm and a wealth of international flair to the shop, ensuring that every visitor leaves with a smile and a sense of wonder.

Maya is wearing a grey headband and is smiling gently, in our Leadenhall Market pop-up shop.

Maya Rogers

Retail Assistant (freelance)

Maya is an old hand at helping in the shop, having volunteered for two years as a shopkeeper before formally joining the team. She loves introducing customers to Wells our Invisible Cat and her favourite thing is to offer small monsters a complimentary cockroach with their purchase. Her aspiration whilst studying international relations is to continue working for charities, eventually in a fundraising role. In her spare time, Maya enjoys walking her dog Willow, who can be found mostly howling at the moon, and making spookily-scented vegan candles, some of which you can enjoy in the shop!

Claire stands smiling in from of a height chart depicting different monsters, the height marker indicates that they are a vampire. They have long blue hair tied up in a bun on top of their head, they're smiling at the camera with fake fangs poking out of their mouth. Claire is a white person, wearing a striped brown and white shirt and rimless glasses with lenses shaped like love hearts.

Claire Dutton

Retail Assistant (freelance)

Claire began their journey teaching in schools before embracing sticky and terrifying creatures of all sizes and species. Being lured in by casual volunteering, she became bewitched by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies and has now become part of the furniture. In their free time Claire enjoys supplying the Ministers with baked goods and pretending to be different monsters playing TTRPGs. Claire particularly enjoys helping gremlins choose sweets and introducing unwitting humans to the monstrous way of life.

Ed Cornish sits smiling in front of grey background

Ed Cornish

Art Director | Ministry of Stories (freelance)

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. Ed supports us a few days/month.

Alistair Hall 1

Alistair Hall

Art Director | Hoxton Street Monster Supplies (freelance)

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. Alistair supports us a few days/month.

Michaela Greene Chair

Michaela Greene

Chair, Ministry of Stories

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; Treasurer, 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.

Philip Watkins sits facing the camera in a relaxed manner wearing A yellow tie, white shirt and blue suit.

Philip Watkins


Philip is a Partner at international law firm, Withers, and a senior practitioner in corporate and commercial law, with particular emphasis on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, sophisticated private equity transactions, takeovers, strategic investments, joint ventures, restructurings, refinancing, buyouts and exit strategies.

Philip advises corporates, family offices and private equity investors both in the UK and internationally, across a wide range of industries. His expertise spans the media and telecommunications, retail, hospitality and leisure, education, luxury brands and fashion, technology and financial services sectors.

For close to 25 years Philip has developed an active charity practice and has considerable experience advising high-profile UK charities and not-for-profit organisations including The Roundhouse Trust, the Design Museum, The Saturday Club Trust, the Creative Industries Federation, Blood Cancer UK and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

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.

Indigo Williams

Indigo Williams


Indigo is a writer and Head of Youth Programmes at the Baytree Centre. She has held a range of roles across schools, charities and cultural organisations over the past ten years, including originally working for Ministry of Stories as Business Development Manager for our schools programme. Indigo joined the Ministry of Stories as a trustee in 2022. She was one of the first of six trained Spoken Word Educators in the country. Indigo has taught poetry in English lessons and devised creative initiatives across secondary and primary schools to improve engagement and literacy. She is a believer of magic and is deeply passionate about the power of writing for young people and is a member of our Business & Programme Sub Committee.

Inua Ellams

Inua Ellams


Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer and founder of: The Midnight Run (an arts-filled, night-time, urban walking experience.), The Rhythm and Poetry Party (The R.A.P Party) which celebrates poetry & hip hop, and Poetry + Film / Hack (P+F/H) which celebrates Poetry and Film. Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in his work, where he tries to mix the old with the new: traditional African oral storytelling with contemporary poetics, paint with pixel, texture with vector. His books are published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches, Penned In The Margins, Oberon & Methuen. Inua has been a patron for Ministry of Stories since we founded in 2010 and joined the Board in 2023.

Rebecca Hossain

Rebecca Hossain

Director of Hoxton Street Monster Supplies (Chair)

Rebecca joined Hoxton Street Monster Supplies as a Non Executive Director and Chair in 2019. Currently Director of Commercial and Operations at Sir John Soane’s Museum, her previous roles include at the Design Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate, and Farrow & Ball. Her passion is making money for a good cause inspired by her first job at BRAC in Bangladesh.

Deborah sits side on to the camera, talking and gesturing with her hands. Deborah is a black women, wearing glasses, with long straight hair and a fringe. She is wearing a colourful brown, orange and green dress.

Deborah Efemini

Director of Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Joining Hoxton Street Monster Supplies as a Non Executive Director in 2023, Deborah brought with her an extensive background in community-led place making, marketing and economic development. With a career defined by launching and managing award-winning community food markets and pop-up stores, Deborah has honed her skills in profit-for-purpose projects. Deborah’s impressive track record spans over two decades, where she has orchestrated unique initiatives and her vision for Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is grounded in a deep understanding of what it means to create vibrant, thriving communities where purpose-driven endeavours flourish.

Vidal Meric

Vidal Meric

Director of Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Vidal’s passion is unlocking the potential of individuals and groups through a combination of deep learning and deep connection. He does this in his day job as COO of IVY with organisations around the world, but also tries to bring the same mindset to all his interactions. Prior to joining IVY, Vidal was COO of Kano Computing, a quirky group of technologists dedicated to reorienting young peoples’ relationship away from consumption and toward creation through innovative hardware-software experiences like the Kano Computer Kit, the Harry Potter Coding Kit, & Kano World, a “Github for kids”. Vidal became a Non Executive Director for Hoxton Street in 2023.

Duncan Kilty

Duncan Kilty

Expert Advisor (Business & Programme Sub Com)

Duncan is currently Deputy Head at Henry Maynard Primary School in Waltham Forest. 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 from the Board in 2022, he is proud to continue to support as an Expert Advisor.

Gerard Darby stands smiling at the camera in front of a Hoxton Street Monster Supplies height chart. He wears a grey jumper and silver rimmed glasses.

Gerard Darby


Gerard has a background in grant assessment and grant making and work works for several foundations and grant-giving organisations. He has a Masters in Creative Thinking and runs workshops on fostering imagination and creative thinking in colleges in London. He is a Fellow of both the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and was the first recipient of the RSA’s Onians Creativity Fellowship. As well as volunteering as an expert advisor on the finance and fundraising committee, he is a regular writing mentor with Ministry of Stories’ community writing programme on Saturdays.

Nicole Gurvidi sits smiling at the camera. She wears a grey jumper and black rimmed glasses.

Nicole Gurvidi


Nicole has worked in primary education in Tower Hamlets for the last 20 years.  She currently works for Tower Hamlets Education Partnership as the primary curriculum lead for English.  Nicole is known for her commitment to ensuring high-quality teaching and learning of spoken language, reading, and writing for all young people.  She achieves this through overseeing English central training and development; supporting and delivering in-school school improvement; and developing English Subject Leaders borough-wide.  From the moment she stepped into her first classroom, Nicole has been making books with young people.  The list is wide and varied but at the heart is children’s voices and their love of writing, telling and sharing stories, and being successful.

Shân Maclennan

Shân Maclennan

Expert Advisor (Business & Programme Sub Com)

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 served as a Trustee between 2018 – 2023 and on her retirement from the Board, has moved into the role of Expert Advisor for our Business and Programme Sub Committee.

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 sits smiling with her hands intertwined on a white desk. She is wearing a deep purple and white patterned top with a purple head wrap.

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.

Maheni sits behind a white desk smiling broadly up at the camera. She is black with a buzzcut hairstyle and is wearing two pairs of big earrings. She also has a lip piercing and is wearing blue eyeshadow. Maheni is in a colourful, striped rugby shirt.

Maheni Arthur


Maheni is a poet, freelance writer and facilitator from South East London. As a poet and performer, her work explores what it means to be human in an ever changing and confronting world, drawing on her own personal experiences and understandings of relationships, identity, womanhood, mental health and social culture. Maheni has been part of Stockroom theatre company’s writers room since 2021, co-writing for theatre productions around the UK. Maheni was a participant of the Ministry of Stories’ Writing Facilitator Trainee Programme.


Zoe sits with their hands clasped smiling at the camera. She is a white woman with short curly hair, gold hoop earrings and a watch on her right wrist. They are wearing a lilac purple t-shirt and light blue denim dungarees.

Zoe Callow

Writing Facilitator

Zoe is a writer, theatre-maker and facilitator. Their favourite things to do are telling stories with young people and writing for live performance. Alongside this, she writes and researches games for interactive theatre company Coney, deputy edits Noises Off magazine for the National Student Drama Festival, and most recently co-produced Rooted In, a day of creativity and climate action for Gate Theatre. They are proud to be a facilitator and access worker for Half Moon Theatre and the Young Coneys. Zoe was a participant of the Ministry of Stories’ Writing Facilitator Trainee Programme. 


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.

Michael Crowe sits with his hands folded on a white desk. He has short, styled black hair with flecks of grey above his ears. He has a short beard and is wearing a black jacket over a brown t-shirt.

Michael Crowe


Michael is a writer, artist and teacher based in London. His most recent book, An Attempt to Exhaust a Place in Grand Theft Auto was published by Studio Operative. Michael’s work (covering video, sculpture, text) has been exhibited at LACMA, St Gallen Switzerland and Le Plateau, Paris. He has given talks internationally, most notably at the New Museum NY and the BFI, London. He teaches creative writing at Grasmere Primary School with “Spaghetti Club,” which was voted “Best 10 Exhibitions in UK/Ireland for 2020” by Frieze Magazine.

Bronia Evers has 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.

Becky Large 1

Becky Large


Becky is a creative facilitator in schools and the community. She loves co-creating opportunities to imagine, tell, write and share stories through the use of drama. Becky spent 25 years as a primary school teacher going on lots of adventures with incredible children and their families. She has extensive experience of supporting young people who have English as an additional language and advocates continually for inclusive education. Becky recently completed post graduate studies in theatre for community and education, with a particular interest in the connection between the arts and well-being.

Jaime has short brown hair that is longer at the back. They are sitting with their hands clasped, smiling at the camera. They are wearing a green and yellow stripy t-shirt with a large black knitted vest over the top.

Jaime Lock


Jaime is a poet, playwright and screenwriter from the Isles of Scilly. Their poems have been published in fourteen works, Impossible Archetype, Signal House Edition, and the anthology Cornish Modern Poetries by Broken Sleep Books, among others. Jaime was a BBC New Creative and is a recipient of the FylmK Award and The Squint Playwriting Award 2023. Jaime has a special interest in demystifying poetry and finding play in their workshops. Jaime was a participant of the Ministry of Stories’ Writing Facilitator Trainee Programme and can’t wait to continue building their creative facilitation practice.


Theresa Lola 

Theresa Lola 


Theresa is a British Nigerian poet and writer. In 2018 she was awarded the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her debut poetry collection ‘In Search of Equilibrium’ was longlisted for the 2021 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. Theresa has held poetry teaching residencies at places such as the Wellcome Collection, Bethlem Museum of the Mind and St Paul’s Cathedral. She was the 2019/2020 Young People’s Laureate for London, and was a writer in residence at a secondary school. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from University of Oxford.

Michael sits smiling broadly with his hands intertwined on a white desk. He has short, dark brown hair and a short beard. He is wearing a light blue, short sleeved shirt.

Michael Mann


Michael is a published children’s author in the UK and US and a primary school teacher. His debut, Ghostcloud, is a magical adventure for ages 9+ and was one of Waterstones best children’s books of 2021, as well as a Guardian pick and a BookTrust book of the month. He was a winner of SCBWI’s Undiscovered Voices 2022, a London Writer’s Award, and has a 1st class degree in Social Anthropology. He’s half-Indian and passionate about diversity in children’s literature, and can be found playing board games when he’s not busy losing his wallet.

Linden K. McMahon

Linden K. McMahon

Writing Facilitator

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.

Michelle McMahon 1

Michelle McMahon


Michelle is a director, writer/maker and actor, working across different forms of storytelling – from devised work, to live literature, scripted plays, and stories for audio and digital platforms. She has taught, tutored and worked with young people in a variety of contexts  – from primary school students through to under/post graduates – online, in person, and through schools and community groups. She worked with The Children’s Literacy Charity community programme, designed for children living in Westminster, and delivered storytelling workshops on short form video for communications’ charity The Media Trust in schools and community organisations across London and Essex.

Joanna Pidcock 

Joanna Pidcock 


Joanna is an Australian essayist, librettist and theatre maker based in London. She writes primarily about nationhood and identity through the lens of landscape and horticulture, and also does land-based work as a grower. Joanna has been involved in theatre projects with the Globe, the Schaubühne, the Barbican Centre, and the Hampstead Theatre, and has written two chamber operas. In 2019 she represented the UK as the British Council Young Artist Delegate to the prestigious Séminaire en Avignon residency, as part of the Avignon Festival. She was shortlisted for the 2021 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize.

Donna Powell 1

Donna Powell


Donna is a multi-disciplined performer who has gained several years of experience as a singer, rapper, actor and spoken word artist. Originally hailing from Birmingham they have now lived in Hackney for 13 years and consider themselves a Londoner. Through the delivery of their own song, rap and poetry workshops they have so far taught over 4,000 children and young people with 100% positive feedback.

Laura Rae

Laura Rae


Laura is a Poet and Creative Facilitator from Hull. Laura moved to London to complete her MA in Applied Theatre from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and has worked with Hull Truck Theatre, the National Literacy Trust, several London theatres and Mousetrap Theatre projects, where she is a creative associate. She has delivered drama and creative writing projects in various settings including schools, day care centres, homeless activity centres, colleges, prisons and theatres.

Autumn Sharkey sits with their hands intertwined and a big smile on their face. Autumn has short brown hair with a fringe dyed bright blonde. They are wearing a white shirt with a black pattern on it.

Autumn Sharkey

Writing Facilitator

Autumn is a creative facilitator, writer and poet. They’re particular interested in the ways that creative writing can be used to help people talk about the things that matter to them – from working with young carers to write performance poetry about financial literacy, to running intergenerational LGBT+ storytelling workshops and building immersive experiences to engage families in the climate change conversation. Autumn recently completed an MA in Education & Creative Writing at Goldsmiths and is a Bridport Prize shortlisted writer, with poetry published regularly across independent media.

Laila Sumpton 

Laila Sumpton 

Writing Facilitator

Laila is a poet, editor, performer and educator who works with schools, hospitals, museums, galleries and charities on a wide variety of poetry projects. Laila fearlessly co-edited the Monster Travel Guide series on sale in Hoxton Street Monster Supplies with fellow Ministry writer Sandra A Agard collating creative work from the Writing Labs and leading workshops on international monsters! She leads teacher training sessions specialising in diversifying creative writing practice and on how to explore history through poetry. She co-founded Poetry Vs Colonialism – an arts and education organisation who help learners of all ages unravel the histories of empire creatively.

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 Wagner has red hair in tight curls and is wearing a red stripy t-shirt with gold jewellery. 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.