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The Trustees direct NYAT and make sure it continues to fulfil its mission.

Jo Cottrell

Jo is an independent arts manager and consultant with 25 years experience of working in the cultural sector in a variety of fundraising, marketing, and event management roles. Jo holds a Masters in the History of Art from Birkbeck College, University of London, where she is continuing her research as a PhD candidate. She regularly shares her passion for art as a volunteer guide for TATE galleries. Jo is also a trustee of the Hackney Empire, Hackney Empire Preservation Trust and the Antony Dale Trust, and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Joanna Kennedy (Chair)

Joanna practised as a solicitor in central London for 30 years before taking up the role of Chief Executive of the anti-poverty social welfare advice charity Z2K, from which she retired in March 2017. Apart from her concern for social justice, Joanna’s other passion is theatre in all its forms. She has chaired two theatre companies, Headlong and the Unicorn and currently sits on the Boards of two emerging companies, Theatre Uncut and Circumference. She is also a trustee of a small arts funding body, the Arts Patron’s Trust. Joanna is currently studying for an MA in Theatre and Performance at Queen Mary University.

Gemma Lloyd

Gemma is a producer and occasional casting director in film and theatre. She also works as an actors’ agent and runs Act Up, the back bone to all of her work: an organisation that promotes art in its many different fields. She is passionate about making the arts accessible to more people, particularly those at risk of offending and has worked with two great charities to enable this to continue, The Reasons Why Foundation and The Copenhagen Youth Project. She has also worked with Kids Company, Barnardos and St Mungos. Recently she has set up and co-owns Love Art, a creative space in Tooting Market that runs art classes for children and adults, houses a print gallery and a mini shop that sells beautiful things, when she has time she also makes jewellery. For further rummaging on Gemma have a look here –

Nancy Wilde

Nancy Wilde is an Executive Coach CPCC, ACC working with both private and corporate clients. She is also co-owner, shareholder and investor in a number of successful businesses within the design, furniture and construction industries, with offices in both London and Dubai. Nancy is chair of the Grant-Giving Committee.

Denise Holle

Denise Holle is a finance professional with over 20 years’ experience in development banking, investment banking and social investment.  Most recently at Numbers for Good, she provides business and financing advice to social enterprises across sectors including health, employment and homelessness and has supported commissioners and investors in developing social impact bonds.  Denise has served on the boards of several youth charities prior to becoming a trustee of NYAT.  She is passionate about social equality, theatre and family.

Afolabi Alli

Afolabi is an actor & former National Youth Arts Trust bursary recipient. Having trained at the Bristol Old Vic, he has most recently worked with The Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC. An alumni of the National Youth Theatre; Afolabi has performed, assisted and been an ambassador for the organisation.

Jeremy Laight

Jeremy is a global marketing director with over 20 years’ experience of marketing major international companies. A member of the Marketing Society specialising in brand strategy, digital marketing and communication, he has worked across banking, healthcare and logistics sectors. He has a deep belief in purposeful marketing and has consulted on several ‘not for profit’ causes, as well as acting as a volunteer mentor to help build skills and confidence in the unemployed. As a devoted father, he has seen for himself how the performing arts can uniquely enrich, inspire and connect the lives of young people.

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