rsz_1curious_mind_group-101-min 2

Derri Burdon


Is curious about...

I am curious about learning and the role culture has to play in education.

A qualified teacher, Derri previously worked for Bolton Council’s Educational Improvement Service where she was responsible for leading a number of high profile school improvement initiatives including: Find Your Talent, Inspiring Communities, Bolton UFA and Sunflower Clubs.

Derri is a ‘sandgrown-un’ Lancashire Lass with Irish roots. School wasn’t her favourite place as a child but despite this (or likely because of it) she is passionate about improving learning outcomes for all children, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. In her current role, Derri is driven by the passionate belief that rather than attempting to ‘close the gap’, we should be filling it brim-full with enriching and inspirational cultural and collective experiences that the most fortunate families take for granted.


Nicola Howell

Director Of Finance & Operations

Is curious about...
Where creative thoughts come from?

Nicola oversees the Curious Minds finance function (accounts, payroll and admin), human resources, communication & marketing and digital information.


Caz Brader

Director Of Cultural Programmes

Is curious about...
The whereabouts of half her sock collection.

Caz sets the direction for, and leads the team to deliver, Curious Minds’ major programmes - most notably the Bridge programme.


Jude Bird

Head of Education, Leadership & Research

Is curious about...
Why we can’t see wind-only its effect.

Jude leads on key cultural education programmes for Curious Minds including SLICE with Teaching School Alliances, Academy Trusts and cultural organisations. She works across all phases of education from early years to higher education with a particular focus on research, evaluation and teacher development.


Kelly Allen

Head of Innovation & Inclusion

Is curious about...
Where her cat stole the cookie from, that she brought in through the cat flap.

Kelly leads our programmes that focus on children and young people that are less likely to engage and makes sure that our work is inclusive. She also leads and initiates new pieces of work that take us off the beaten track.


Hannah Baldwin

Senior Manager For Partnership & Place

Is curious to know...
Where creative thoughts come from?

Hannah is working with partners across the North West to develop and promote exciting opportunities for children and young people to explore, connect and celebrate their artistic talent and achieve appropriate recognition and accreditation, especially in the form of Arts Award and also through the Creative Employment Programme.


Stewart Parsons

Partnership & Place Manager

Is curious about...
The improvement of the future self in children and young people.

Stewart supports the development of Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) across the North West region, brokering relationships between arts, cultural and education stakeholders. He also supports libraries and start up arts organisations to develop their cultural offer to children and young people.


Sarah Elder

Partnership & Place Manager

Is curious about...
Change – how and why it happens, and what we can do to make it happen.

Sarah is part of the Partnership and Place Team and supports the development of cross-sector Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) across the North West. Sarah has worked in museums for many years and keeps Curious Minds connected to the museum and heritage sector.


Louise Hesketh

Partnership & Place Manager

Is curious about...
How she can expand time to enable her to read all her books.

Louise is one of the team taking care of Local Cultural Education Partnerships across the region, connecting people and places. She will also be linking in with Music Education Hubs.


Stephanie Hawke

Senior Manager: External Funding & Policy

Is curious about...
Art, heritage, identity, culture, taste…

Steph oversees the management of external funding bids on behalf of Curious Minds, and she also makes sure that the team stay up-to-date with the latest developments in policy.


Emma Bush

Senior Programmes Manager

Is curious about...
How people see the world differently.

Emma oversees a number of areas within the Bridge Programme, including Artsmark, Arts Award, Cultural Education Challenge and the Quality Principles.


Holly Ball

Curious Futures Manager

Is curious about...
Dreams…what do they mean?

Holly looks after our strands of work around employability and careers for young people. These programmes include Trailblaze, Young Associates and the Creative Employment Programme.


Teresa East

Arts Award Manager

Is curious about...
How everything works… from machines, technology to plant science.

Teresa works with partners across the North West to develop and promote Arts Award to ensure children and young people have access to the national qualification at all levels in our schools, youth groups and cultural organisations.


Sue Blackburn

Finance and Operations Officer

Is curious about...
How the world will look in 20 years.

Sue manages the daily financial operations. She also manages the organisations IT requirements and provides HR support to the Director of Finance and Operations.


Dave Muir

Digital and Information Officer

Is curious to know...
How the arts and creativity can ‘equip’ our young people with skills to adapt to an ever changing world.

Dave is responsible for the Culture Hubs website, the Curious Minds e-bulletin, and the creation of in-house design work. He's also responsible for the CRM system and in developing reporting systems to assist the team in programme planning.


Andrew Stewart

Senior Contracts & Reporting Officer

Is curious about...
If Apple start making cars will they have windows?

Andrew oversees the issuing of any new contracts or grants, including the monitoring of how they progress, and he also assists with reporting across the various programmes that Curious Minds are engaged in.


Shirley Bailey

Executive Assistant

Is curious about...
the gaps in between things; what we don’t say. Or do. There’s so much to consider...

Shirley’s the first point of contact for all-things-Derri, our CEO. She supports Management Team, Exec Team and our board of Trustees.


Hanna Lambert

Programmes Administrator

Is curious about...
How the arts can be our universal language and how this helps us learn about other cultures as well as our own.

Hanna is responsible for providing all of the administrative support for Artsmark, Arts Award and the Director of Programmes. She also works closely with the Events Apprentice to coordinate Curious Minds events.


Joe Umpleby

Events Coordinator Apprentice

Is curious about...
What colour is a mirror?

Joe helps to provide effective administrative support service to the organisation including dealing with invitations and response, booking venues and catering, particularly in relation to supporting events and training.


Sally Gorton

Senior Communications Manager

Is curious about...
How we all survived pre-Google.

Sally oversees the planning and delivery of Curious Minds marketing and communications activity. Her role covers a range of work linked to how we communicate with education providers, arts and cultural organisations, opinion formers and the wider public.


Siobhan Garrigan

Marketing & Communications Officer

Is curious about...
The concept of an infinite universe.

Siobhan holds the day to day communications and external messaging Curious Minds. Her duties include managing the website, social media, ebulletins and the Curious Minds brand.


Matthew Wilde

Blaze Project Manager

Is curious about...
The art of improvisation and the relationship between creativity and leadership.

Matt oversees the Blaze project which works across Lancashire to develop the next generation of cultural producers and artists. Curious Minds is currently incubating Blaze to become an independent company at which point Matt will take on the official role as Director.


Claire Sharples

Cultural Citizens Programme Coordinator

Is curious about...
Absolutely everything - but little for very long in isolation. Give me the big picture every time.

Claire coordinates the national pilot for the Cultural Citizens Programme in Liverpool and Blackpool; working to support the 10 participating schools and local Culture Coaches to ensure that the 200 young people taking part gain the most from their experience and that all the learning is captured and shared.


Laura Ferguson

Cultural Education Leadership Manager

Is curious about...
Things I haven’t experienced, places I haven’t been to, foods I haven’t tried.

Laura works on the development and delivery of our flagship leadership programmes: SLiCE (Specialist Leaders in Cultural Education) and the Cultural Education Leadership Programme for emerging leaders.


Briony Thompson

Artsmark Manager

Is curious about...
The shoes on our feet, the places we’ll go, the people we’ll meet, the things we don’t know.

Briony works with partners across the North West to develop, promote and support the delivery of Artsmark as part of the Cultural Education Challenge.