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We are governed by a Board of Trustees who act in a voluntary capacity to oversee the management of Your Trust.
The Board set and pursue the vision, mission and values of the organisation, ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations, and supervises the Chief Executive.

Roger Platt (Chair)

Roger’s was a Director and Senior Consultant at Joanne Platt Associates, where his responsibilities included; company secretary, financial management, project planning, and project management and development.

He has had an extensive career in local government as Head of Tourism Service, where his responsibilities extended to tourism information, box office and merchandising, heritage consultation and liaison with English Heritage both nationally and regionally in respect of community engagement and securing external resources.

Janine Partington (Vice-Chair)

Janine is as a Senior Lecturer in Sports Development at Leeds Beckett University, Carnegie Faculty.

Previous to this, Janine worked for RoFTRA (Rochdale Federation of Tenants & Residents Associations) where she had responsibility for the management of community sport projects, young people’s projects and health initiatives targeting social housing estates across Rochdale Borough.  Janine has been passionate about sport since being a child eventually ending up basing her professional career in the industry.

She is enthusiastic about culture more broadly, specifically music and also art and heritage. She has qualifications at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in sport and management, and has over 15 years of work experience in the sport industry.

Janice Allen

Janice Allen is Headteacher of Falinge Park High School, Rochdale.

The school is committed to community partnerships and works closely with many local place-based organisations within the voluntary and charitable sector. The school is also partnered with organisations such as Citizens UK and Robert F Kennedy Foundation and has a strong pupil voice programme who work alongside British Futures and Peace Foundation. Janice sits on the GM Race and Equality Panel, GM #Beewell, Well Schools Trust, Education team of GM VRU and represents Secondary Heads on Rochdale Safeguarding Panel and Complex Safeguarding. 

Gillian Bishop

Gillian is an experienced and highly skilled leader working across the public and charitable sector over the past 25 years. She has extensive experience of leading large organisations through change, improvement and transformation within the context of austerity and public health challenges such as the current covid-19 situation.

Gillian has held Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive positions in local government with responsibility for strategic financial planning and core corporate services. She has also been Chief Executive of a large Charitable Leisure & Culture Trust and of private sector led organisations.  

Gillian is currently Chief Executive of North West Employers. She is also part of the NHS Test & Trace Team, in two roles as the Regional Convenor for the NW, and as Director of Regional Partnership Teams, working to create an effective gateway between national and local government.  

Gillian is a qualified Executive and Team coach and an experienced facilitator of senior teams and Executive Boards. She also holds roles on community boards, using her skills and expertise to support local activities and organisations. 

Steve Cooke

Steve is an educator, writer, broadcaster, magistrate and director of ‘all across the arts’ with 30 year’s teaching experience and a MA. He has since delivered workshops and events with thousands of young people.

Steve chaired the Rochdale Legal Advice Project, and is Vice-chairman of Rochdale Law Centre.

He was a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2012 Olympic Truce Stakeholders’ Group which met regularly in Whitehall and a guest speaker at the Olympic Truce Signing Event in Westminster Central Hall where he addressed Ambassadors from around the world.

Chris Davison

Chris is a Manager in the Deal Advisory team with accountants KPMG.

Having trained with the firm as a Chartered Accountant, Chris has subsequently progressed to become a licensed Insolvency Practitioner, typically advising firms who encounter financial or operational issues that need to be resolved, often within high pressured timescales. Working across a range of sectors in both the public and private sector, Chris’ recent assignments include advising a North West NHS Trust regarding cash management and cost reduction plans and the restructure of a national high street retailer.

Prior to life in professional services, Chris studied Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University and was a national level swimmer and latterly coach at Rochdale Aquabears.

David Gelsthorpe

David is Curator of Earth Science Collections at Manchester Museum where he leads exhibitions, decolonisation work, teaching, public programmes and facilitates research on the collection. David has a PhD in palaeontology, but enjoys all aspects of museum work. He first got to know the Trust when working as a partner on the Dippy on Tour exhibition and programme.

In addition, he is a trustee of the Natural Science Collections Association (a national charity that promotes natural science collections and those who work with them) and a panel member for the Arts Council England Accreditation Panel.  

Julia Heap

Julia is Assistant Principal Finance & Corporate Development at Hopwood Hall College where she is responsible for a range of activity including Finance, HR & Payroll, MI & IT and Marketing and Admissions.

Julia is a fully qualified and full member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and has worked in the public sector in various finance roles for nearly 20 years, mainly in Local Authorities.

In addition she has a keen interest in promoting and playing an active role in the community and has been a trustee of her local pre-school; chair of the before and after school committee and a PTA member along with other volunteering roles in local sports clubs.

Celia Makin-Bell

Celia is Managing Director of Attitude is Everything, a national charity which aims to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to music and live events.

Prior to this she delivered senior management roles for organisations including Arts Council England, Manchester-based SICK! Festival and Liverpool Philharmonic.

She also worked for 15 years as a cultural consultant and trainer specialising in interim management, research and evaluation, fundraising, organisational development, business planning and project management for the not for profit and public sectors.

Mohammed Sawar

Mohammed is the Chief Executive of the Multicultural Arts & Media Centre (MAMC).

Mohammed founded this organisation in 1987 in the Rochdale borough and has over this period strived to deliver high quality arts for mental health, media training and festival work.

He has a lifelong commitment to the development of training, arts and culture, as a way of raising a person’s health and wellbeing and creating a positive life affirming attitude to our borough. Mohammed has a passion for music, and previously was Music Teacher/Arts Co-ordinator at Cleveland Arts where he has responsibility, as Arts Development Co-ordinator, to develop arts residencies and cultural activities in schools, community centres and colleges and to organise international tours and the Rochdale Mega Mela.

Anne Taylor – Woodward

Anne was Assistant Borough Solicitor at Rochdale Borough Council and was involved in the formation of Link4Life.

She subsequently became Head of Business Partnerships and was responsible for the management of outsourced council services and for the council’s Procurement and Facilities Management Services.

Prior to leaving RBC she was Head of Service Remodelling, leading a team which undertook option appraisals of different methods of delivering council services. She is a qualified solicitor and a member of the Law Society.

She is a member of her GP’s practice Patient Participation Group She has worked in the public services sector since leaving full time education and is passionate about the need to deliver high quality, effective and efficient public services.

Martin Walker

Martin has had a long experience of sport, arts and leisure activities, alongside extensive experience of working in the public sector, as a local authority employee.

He is a regular participant in sport, including formerly playing regular league cricket, and now competing in many runs from 5K up to marathons. He was a volunteer as a ‘Games Maker’ at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London, working as part of the international team.

He has experience of working on sports development, including developing the concept, funding, design and delivery of Heywood Sports Village

Councillor Rina Paolucci (Conservative)

Rina is a Conservative Councillor on Rochdale Borough Council; she is the Shadow Portfolio Holder for Planning, Development & Housing.

She has worked within the health sector for a number of years and brings this knowledge and expertise with her for the benefit of the organisation. Rina is passionate about the provision of quality leisure, arts, heritage and cultural services to the residents of the borough.

Councillor Peter Rush (Labour)

Councillor Peter Rush

Peter is a Labour Councillor on Rochdale Borough Council and is Chair of Heywood Township.

Peter is passionate about Heywood living there for 50 years and has been involved in sport having played for Rochdale Hornets football club before becoming chair, and now he continues to be an ambassador for them.

Councillor Sameena Zaheer (Labour)

Sameena is Labour Councillor on Rochdale Borough Council.

If you have any queries regarding our Board or you wish to contact them, please click here to contact Company Secretary Andrea Pardoe