Staff and Trustees


Nancy Stridgen


David Williams

David Williams joined LEAN as its Treasurer in 2012. He went to Cowbridge Grammar School, Cwmtawe Comprehensive and – less successfully – University College Cardiff before embarking on a career in the civil service in 1981. He has worked in a Benefit Office, the Department for International Development, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and helped set up the Marine Management Organisation before its move to Newcastle upon Tyne. In this time he has helped prevent fraud, saved a few million pounds, and helped a number of good colleagues deliver more than they expected.

David left the civil service in 2011, first to supervise some much-needed building work at home, and then to find a new challenge. As an occasional – if unskilled – artist, qualified accountant and internal auditor, David has learned the value of creativity, method and quality. LEAN’s mission to enhance the creativity and personal qualities of the people it touches appealed to him. Therefore he has accepted the role of Treasurer to use his knowledge of risk management and financial control to help LEAN prosper.

Jak Berry

Jak Berry is Manager for Instrumental and Vocal Music at Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service (THAMES). Jak manages a team of over 100 tutors delivering weekly instrumental and vocal lessons, works closely with the Borough’s primary, secondary and special schools to ensure wide access to music provision, delivers training, teaches woodwind in schools and conducts youth ensembles. As part of his role, Jak heads the Borough’s Saturday Music Centre, providing progression and performance opportunities for almost 200 young musicians. Jak moved to Lewisham from Lancashire 13 years ago to study for a BMus at Trinity College of Music.

Maria Turley
Maria Turley is an arts consultant and producer with expertise in evaluation, strategy, fundraising, partnership and project development. Recent clients have included Sound Connections, Music for Youth, and Gabrieli. She is also a Senior Manager for Children and Young People at Arts Council England. Since 2000 she has developed and delivered learning and participatory programmes, particularly with children and young people, and working for a range of organisations including Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Dalcroze Society, and the Royal Opera House Creative Partnerships programme. Maria was an Arts Council England Relationship Manager for six years, working with music education and young people’s delivery organisations in the London region. She was a senior manager for Lewisham Music (the Music Education Hub lead organisation for Lewisham), and Director of Learning and Participation for Spitalfields Music, steering delivery of their acclaimed programme of community engagement activity. She managed the Royal Philharmonic Society Award winning Sound Inventors programme on behalf of the SPNM (now part of Sound and Music). Maria is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a trustee of Girls Rock London.  
Veronica Jobbins MBE

Untill the end of July 2020 Veronica Jobbins was Head of Public Engagement at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she directed the Learning and Participation programme and lectured in Dance Education.

She originally trained as a specialist dance teacher at London College of Dance and Drama before teaching for over 7 years at Sydenham Girls School. Following a year studying for an MA at Laban she became an advisory teacher with the ILEA PE Inspectorate, working in schools across London. She then became Co-ordinator for Performing Arts at City and Islington College, Sixth Form Centre teaching a range of courses including GCSE, A Level and BTEC, before moving to Laban in 1996.

Veronica Jobbins has taken an active interest in promoting and developing dance in schools throughout her career and was instrumental in the formation of the National Dance Teachers’ Association in 1988, of which she was Chairperson until 2008. She regularly writes for dance and arts journals and presents at conferences in the UK and abroad, serving on a number of dance, arts and education panels and working groups concerned with youth dance and dance in the curriculum as well as being actively engaged in research projects.

 Special interests in Dance and the arts in education include:

  •  Place and role of dance in the school curriculum
  •  Arts education policy /curriculum development
  •  How dance and the arts contribute to health and well-being for people of all ages 
  •  Dance artists working in education / community sectors 
  •  Training of teachers, community workers and dance artists for work in schools/colleges
  •  Continuing professional training of teachers and community dance workers
  •  Access and progression for young people in dance


Annys Whyatt
Admin and Finance Officer

Annys is a theatre-maker and facilitator originally from Bristol and now based in South London. She completed her undergraduate degree in Drama and Performance achieving a first class degree and later trained with The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Since moving to London, she has worked with a number of theatres and companies such as: The Old Vic, The Bunker, The Space Theatre and The New York Theatre Workshop.

 She has spent the last year working at The Old Vic with their Education and Community team. She worked alongside the team helping to plan and run workshops and events for young people and the local community based in Southwark and Lambeth.

Annys is particularly interested in working with the benefits the arts can have on the elderly community. 

Jane Hendrie

Jane Hendrie has a BA (Hons) in Arts Management and has been the Manager of Lewisham Education Arts Network (LEAN) for nine years. During this time Jane has managed arts education projects and events, published five editions of LEAN’s annual arts education journal: Created and offered training, support and advice to teachers and artists in the borough. She is committed to supporting schools and other organisations increase the range and breadth of creative opportunities offered to children and young people in Lewisham. Through LEAN she has managed five arts education projects for Deptford X, organised whole school creative professional development for teachers, ran artists training (with partners), delivered annual Artsmark training for teachers, undertaken research and monitoring and evaluation, facilitated a youth arts network and managed a range of large scale arts education projects. Jane is probably most proud of the success of ‘Speak Out’; a collaborative project that brought teachers, speech and language therapists and drama organisations together to tackle speech and language development needs in Lewisham children. Over the last nine years Jane has represented the voluntary and community sector and arts sectors at a number of partnership boards, fora and advisory groups locally and capital wide. She is currently a member of Lewisham Strategic Partnership Board, chaired by the elected Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock.

Natalie Clarke
Programme Manager

Natalie has a long background in outdoor events and festivals management and came to LEAN initially as the coordinator for Lewisham Live Festival in 2016. She has continued to work on each festival as well as leading on LEAN's creative careers programme, and more recently heading up school’s consultations on behalf of the Borough of Culture team. Nat has always been interested in working on projects for young people and champions the importance of youth voice throughout. Nat also recognises the importance of the arts in supporting mental health and wellbeing, she is a registered mental first aider and currently completing a diploma in Youth Counselling.


Bea Denton


Bea is an Academic Advisor and Artist Educator whose experience and interests are focused in FE Art and Design Access and Progression programmes, helping young people develop a creative practice in preparation for successful applications to undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She has substantial experience of teaching and curriculum development in Pre-Foundation, Foundation and undergraduate courses in HEIs in the UK, including Central Saint Martins and London College of Communication. Bea is an External Moderator for the UAL Awarding Body. Until recently, she was Head of School of Preparation for Higher Education at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB). Further afield, she set up the first Foundation course in Latin America at Escola Britânica de Artes Criativas (EBAC) in São Paulo, Brazil, and lead student portfolio development projects and CPD workshops for tutors in Shanghai and Hangzhou in China. Bea was a trustee on the board of Deptford X for 10 years until 2015. She has a studio practice in Fine Art, photography and printmaking 

Dearbhaile Nairn

Déarbhaile initially moved to London from Ireland to pursue a music degree, which was shortly followed by an MA in Creative and Cultural Industries at Kings College London. She fell in love with music education during her time as a Producer for Music for Youth. Music for Youth is a national arts charity that provides young people with performance and progression opportunities. During her time at MFY, she produced festivals across England, Scotland and Wales and large-scale events such as Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. Following on from that, she became Artist Development Manager at Southbank Sinfonia overseeing the professional development of top conservatoire graduates- many of whom now occupy leading seats in prominent orchestras around the world. Déarbhaile is currently Projects Manager at Trinity Laban where she delivers a wide portfolio of music education projects.


Emma Webster
James Thomas

James Thomas studied music at Goldsmith College and York University and has worked in music education since 1986. He is an experienced teacher, community musician and trainer whose work encompasses a range of sectors: primary, secondary, post-compulsory and community education. James has worked as a session musician and arranger and as musical director/composer for several theatre productions and community projects. He was director of the Lewisham Academy of Music and led his own Latin Jazz band “Fusion Blue” for 6 years. In 2003 James was appointed Head of the Lewisham Centre for Young Musicians and has taught at The Conservatoire since 1993 and leads on their partnerships and community projects. As a trainer, James has devised and led professional development courses and workshops for musicians and teachers, music services and community arts providers. He has also taught on teacher training courses and arts-based vocational training programmes.

Lisa Stubbs

Achievements in Lisa’s career include establishing a pipeline in BAME applications into the Creative Industries by setting up progression agreements with drama schools and Universities; leading a grade one department at Lewisham College in dance, drama, music and production arts for 10 years; Project Lead on a new theatre build at London South East Colleges Greenwich Campus; lead the delivery of first Access course in Production Arts in partnership with Rose Bruford College; member of UAL development panel for level 3 Music and Performing Arts; External Verifier for Btec; managed Creative Apprenticeships in partnership with London Theatre Consortium; created an Employer Board in SE London for work experience for all creative curriculums; continued professional practice as a performer and actor.

Lisa is currently working at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance as Special Project Manager. This work includes recruitment of students who are care leavers, BAME and first generation to H.E.