Valerie Monti Holland (Chair) and Creative Enabler
Valerie Monti Holland is a facilitator, trainer, mentor and coach. Following her M.A. in Applied Theatre (University of Manchester) and a diploma in Sociodrama and Action Methods, Valerie has worked across the public, private and voluntary sectors and has extensive experience working with people of varied abilities. She currently works in three main areas: the Criminal Justice System, Public Health and in Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Her highly successful workshops use action based methods such as Forum Theatre and Sociodrama to enable participants to build confidence and self esteem in order to progress from their current situation, particularly surrounding employment issues and training needs. These methods underpin all of her work with people as well as form the foundation for the Flower 125 Health Programme, an award-winning public health promotion programme for children and young people of which she is a co-author.
Valerie is Director of Left Luggage Creative. Ltd, and a Director at Creativity for Change. Clients in her portfolio include the Children and Young People’s Public Health Team at Sheffield City Council, the Hallam Centre for Community Justice at Sheffield Hallam University and the Cleaver Company International in Boston, Massachusetts.
Maryann Quinn (Secretary) and Creative Enabler
Maryann Quinn is a business coach, facilitator, trainer and mentor. She has helped more than 150 businesses start up and develop throughout Sheffield in her position at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. Fostering excellent relationships with local entrepreneurs, government agencies such as BERR (Business Education Regulation and Reform) as well as working closely with SENTA, Maryann has been at the centre of brokering opportunities for self-employment.
A powerful and honest speaker, Maryann has brought high profile politicians to work alongside her, including Harriet Harman as Keynote speaker at a London conference whilst in her role as Equality and Diversity Manager for Women into Work and Caroline Flint in her role as business and enterprise coach. Her championing of women especially has resulted in an increased confidence in women accessing employment and self-employment advice, guidance and skills development.
Maryann is a founder of HOPE, a support group for people who have experienced loss through a fire or road traffic accident, which she set up in collaboration with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. She initiated three Loud and Proud equality groups in primary schools in Sheffield and contributes to several BAME (Black and Asian Minority Ethnic) fora.
Jo Wilkinson (Finance) and Project Manager
Jo Wilkinson has 16 years’ experience of managing multiple large scale projects, project development and bid writing as well as partnership development and management. She is passionate about working with people and organisations to develop creative projects to address social, economic and cultural change in people and communities.
Jo Wilkinson is founder of Creativity for Change, a community interest company specialising in using creativity as a tool to engage with disadvantaged groups across all communities, in order to raise aspirations and build confidence and self-esteem, empowering people to make positive decisions about their lives.
She has been successful in securing funding to deliver skills development programmes in Women’s Prisons and women’s support organisations which have included self-employment, transferable employability skills, confidence and self-esteem and personal resilience. It is this experience that led to the idea of filling a current gap in provision by setting up a Development Agency specifically for women and young girls.
Linda is currently a PhD researcher at Nottingham Trent University researching systems change for adults with multiple and complex needs. Prior to this she spent 10 years as a senior Research Manager at the Hallam Centre for Community Justice at Sheffield Hallam University where she was involved in over 40 evaluations and research projects across the criminal justice sector. These have included research for government (Ministry of Justice, Dept for Work and Pensions), grant funding organisations (Barrow Cadbury Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation) and research in prisons, probation services and VCS organisations. Much of her research has included specific elements around women and women in conflict with the law: for 2 years, she was Project Manager for the evaluation of the Transitions to Adulthood programme which included projects with a specific focus on diverting young women from the criminal justice system. She has also led on a rapid evidence assessment of gender responsive approaches as part of the evaluation of a gender responsive programme for at risk women.
Her other research interests include the development of practical outcome measurement tools and indicators; systems for capturing knowledge and good practice and collaborative and partnership working. Prior to joining Sheffield Hallam University, Linda held senior roles in research and information management in a range of private sector organisations, including Chief Knowledge Officer for an investment bank and Principal Consultant and Global Knowledge Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers.