STEP Directors and Advisors

 Board of Directors:
Chair – Andrew Dewdney
(Professor of Media, London South Bank University)
Vice-Chair and Secretary – Martin Ridley
Treasurer – Chris Lawrence
(Administrator, London Drama)
Board - Adam Annand (Associate Director, Creative Learning, London Bubble Theatre Company)  )

Advisory Group:
Suzy Smith
(Executive Director, Theatre Peckham)
Coral Flood (Arts Manager, Southwark Culture Service)
Nina Birch (EYFS/KS1 Steering Group Manager and Senior Literacy/Drama Consultant, Southwark Children’s Services)
Cath Greenwood (Learning and Participation Director, Unicorn Theatre)
Savirti Patel (Southwark Community Projects Manager, Shakespeare’s Globe)

Bekah Jones (General Manager, Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company)

Aditi Kapoor (Counsel, Reed Smith)
Sarah Nunn (Learning Consultant, Shakespeare’s Globe and Director of Programmes, Creative Elements & Partners)
Lucy Williams (Post-16 Progress Leader and Drama Teacher, The Charter School)
Rebecca Benjamins (Creativity Coordinator, AST for Creativity, Bessemer Grange Primary School)
Huw Tiplady (Drama Coordinator, Grange Primary School)
Beccy Allen (Creative Learning Producer, Half Moon Young People's Theatre

Andrew Dewdney (Chair)
Andrew is a Professor of Media and a Research Director at LSBU. His main expertise lies in strategic development, having worked in the public and voluntary sector for over thirty years. He has a wide knowledge and understanding of new media, education and community arts. He is a Board member of the Digital Arts Development Agency and previously chaired the Arts Council's Photography Panel. Until recently he was Head of the Academic Department of Arts, Media and English at LSBU.

Martin Ridley (Vice-Chair)
Martin’s role as vice-chair is to look to help develop the strategy and roadmap for the organisation, input into the Business Plan and provide due diligence around STEP’s P&L. Martin has a keen interest in how STEP can support government and local initiatives through the Council and other local charities to provide opportunities to young people from disadvantaged environments. Martin’s input will help STEP to develop its communications plan. Martin’s background is in IT, Business Development, Innovation and Strategy working in Telecommunications Industry, before which he was a teacher in a London comprehensive for three years. Martin has recently completed a Masters Degree in International Relations, which covered such topics as Human Rights and the International Political Economy which are of great interest to him.

Christopher Lawrence (Treasurer)
Chris has been involved in the teaching of drama and supporting teachers of drama for 40 years. He now organises Drama INSET and the sale of Drama books as Coordinator of London Drama, the Professional Association of Teachers of Drama in London. As a resident of Southwark and a Trustee of Southwark Arts Forum and The Blue Elephant Theatre, he brings to the STEP Board an awareness of matters of governance of Arts Charities in this borough. He has been actively involved with STEP since its very beginning and is now a Director of STEP serving it as Treasurer.


Adam Annand (Board)

Adam is the Associate Director for Creative Learning at London Bubble. He has worked in the combined fields of theatre and education for over 25 years, predominantly in South East London.


Suzy Smith
Suzy is Executive Director of Theatre Peckham with responsibility for strategic, operational and financial management. She has extensive experience of audience development, fundraising and developing performing arts education and training in the community and has regular contact with local young people, families and schools.  She has previously worked in arts funding and theatre costume.  Theatre Peckham has hosted STEP since April 2007.

Rebekah Jones

Rebekah is currently the General Manager of Jasmin Vardimon Dance company. She has wide experience of running both dance and theatre companies in both London and the South East as a manager and producer. Her company background offers the Board an insight into how small arts companies work and how they can benefit from STEP's work. She has a deep understanding of the Arts Council and the subsidised arts sector.

Coral Flood
Coral, Southwark Council's Arts Manager, oversaw the strategic development of STEP from its inception in 2003 to the transition of STEP from a Council-run programme to an independent organisation in 2007. Coral has a theatre and performing arts background, with a particular focus on youth theatre and an MA in Arts Management. She has extensive experience of fundraising, project management and audience development and essential knowledge of the arts and cultural sector in Southwark. Her role on the Advisory Board is to provide support and advocacy and act as a strategic link into the Council both within the context of the Council's core priorities and in promoting and developing partnerships in the wider cultural context where the Culture Service is a key partner.

Nina Birch
Nina has 20 years experience in teaching and managing in inner London. She has been a Lead Teacher, a Literacy Consultant and an Intensive Support Consultant prior to joining Southwark as the borough’s Early Years and Key Stage One Steering group manager and Senior Literacy Drama Consultant. She is now a freelance literacy and drama consultant. Her interest and passion has always been in Drama and how drama techniques and approaches can be used to enhance the learning of all children across all key stages. She has worked on drama literacy projects in Y1, 2,3 and 4 across the borough. She has an MA in Arts Education (Drama) and prior to class teaching, worked in theatre in education.

Catherine Greenwood
Cath is Learning and Particpation Director at the Unicorn Theatre responsible for particpation work supporting the theatre’s artistic programme throughout the year. She aims to open up the resources of the theatre to young people as creators of theatre and drama as well as informed audiences. Cath’s experience as a project manager, creative programmer and arts practitioner will support STEP in the development and implementation of a festival that meets the needs of children, young people and the adults who work with them.

Savitri Patel
Savitri is Community Projects Manager at Globe Education. Sam Wanamaker, the founder of Shakespeare’s Globe passionately believed that the theatre should be rooted in its community and in the power of the arts as a force for change to transform communities. This inspires all of the Globe's work; that Shakespeare and the Globe should extend beyond the building, beyond schools and into the streets and homes of Southwark.

Aditi Kapoor
Aditi is a trainee solicitor of major City law firm, Reed Smith. Aditi will use both her legal knowledge to assist with STEP’s legal, tax and general commercial issues. 

Sarah Nunn
Sarah has 20 years experience in the fields of Education, Drama and Museums. Following her Masters, 'Creative Arts in the Classroom' with Kings College University & Shakespeare's Globe, she became a freelance consultant in 2006. She is currently the Learning Consultant for Globe Education at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and Director of Programmes at Creative Elements & Partners. Her 'Legacy of Empire' is published on the 'Who Do We Think We Are' website. Last summer, she was the keynote at the ‘Uplifting Shakespeare’ conference in New Zealand and she recently presented at the ‘Shining Lights – Resilient Communities’ conference, Tate Modern.

Lucy Williams
Lucy began her teaching career at Deptford Green School as drama teacher moving from there to set up the drama department at The Charter School in 2001, building a successful and high achieving department from scratch. For the last five years she has been Head of Creative and Performing Arts at The Charter School and is now taking on the role of PGCE Pathway Leader for Drama at Central School of Speech and Drama. She has been a lead teacher of The Creative and Media Diploma for Southwark LEA and is a visiting lecturer at The IOE. Lucy has worked in close partnership with a wide range of Southwark theatres and schools.

Rebecca Benjamins
Rebecca is a teacher at Bessemer Grange Primary School in Camberwell. She currently works with Year 6 but has previously taught Years 2, 3 and 4. She has been a class teacher for eight years. Having grown up in Southwark she knows the borough well and understands what it has to offer. At Bessemer Grange she is responsible for art, music, drama and dance. For the borough she is an AST and works closely with other schools and teachers one day a week to share her creative skills.

Huw Tiplady 
Huw is a Reception teacher at Grange Primary School, on Tower Bridge Road. He is also the school’s Drama Coordinator, a role which sees him working with Southwark arts organisations to ensure high quality arts provision for the children at school. He trained as a professional actor at Rose Bruford College and worked as an actor for five years. His passion for working with the very young was developed when he worked for theatre companies such as Quicksilver Theatre for Children and Theatr Na N’og. He is a keen supporter of the arts, particularly in Southwark.

Beccy Allen
Beccy, Producer (Creative Learning) at Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, was previously Creative Director of STEP for four and a half years. She managed STEP’s strategic development in that time including solidifying STEP’s influential role in the arts and education sector in Southwark. At Half Moon Beccy leads on youth engagement and schools’ participation as well as extending Half Moon’s partnerships with local and national arts organisations and other partners. Beccy brings to the Advisory Board her knowledge of STEP’s journey to where it is now but also offers support based on Half Moon’s expertise in the Theatre for Young Audiences sector and creative learning programmes for very young children and disabled teenagers.