Curious Minds is supported by a Board of Trustees who give their time to share their diverse skills and experience from across a range of sectors including arts, education, heritage, youth and other public services, and business with our organisation.

The Board plays an important role in shaping the strategic direction, quality and sustainability of our work.

From time to time we advertise Trustee vacancies via our website and social media channels, although interest may be registered at any time via


Kathy McArdle

Appointed December 2023

Vice Chair

Jonathan Robinson

Appointed September 2018

Alicia Smith

Appointed January 2022

Having worked for Liverpool City Council for almost two decades, Alicia boasts an impressive track record in commissioning and producing large, world-class, cultural participation programmes. She was part of Liverpool City Council's award-winning 2008 European Capital of Culture Bid team, and went on to deliver a range of ground-breaking ‘08 participation projects which were hailed as best practice by the Arts Council and Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Of all the projects she’s worked on, she’s most proud of ‘Portrait of a Nation’ – a national project exploring young people’s identities, and the ‘Sgt Pepper at 50’ celebrations in 2017. She also led on the participation and education programmes for Liverpool's three Giant Spectaculars, in 2012, 2014 and 2018. Thousands of local people were involved in the events, as both performers and writers.

Alicia is passionate about bringing creativity to our communities and supporting local people to thrive through the arts.

David Wearing

Appointed December 2018

David has worked at Kelsall Primary School for 14 years where he was integral to achievement of its outstanding Ofsted judgement. During that time he has been successful in securing Teaching School status for the school which was designated in cohort 2. Now Principal of Kelsall Primary, he established and directs the growing work of the Teaching School Alliance, working closely with CWAC (Cheshire West and Chester) local authority whilst maintaining and improving Kelsall Primary.

He sits on the CWAC Education Improvement Board and is a member of the CWAC Local Cultural Education Partnership. His main areas of expertise lie in developing leadership at all levels and he is passionate about developing Teaching & Learning in all curriculum areas; particularly integrating the Arts into a broad and balanced curriculum offer. As a SLiCE David works alongside a range of cultural organisations to develop creative connections to benefit the pupils and staff in his own school and beyond.

Mustafa Hassan

Appointed January 2022

Mustafa is a Psychology graduate, with a passion for mental health and community based initiatives. He brings extensive experience of working within the private mental health sector and deep knowledge of community funding to the Board.

Mustafa is Area Youth Lead for North, Central & East Manchester (Manchester City Council) and works on developing partnerships and helping to enhance organisations that provide services to and for young people. His interests include sport, healthy wellbeing and community integration.

Samira Al-Obaidi

Appointed July 2020

A mum of 2 young boys living in Bolton and passionate about the benefits of culture, especially in regard to improving outcomes for children and young people, Samira has worked in the external funding and partnership field in Local Government for 17 years. She has built good relationships locally, regionally and nationally and feels privileged to have worked on some ground breaking pathfinders/pilots.

Outside of work and family, Samira has a particular interest in heritage and social justice, and supports a number of charities close to her heart. She was Mayoress of Blackburn with Darwen for 2 years and describes it as an an honour to visit various organisations in that role and see fantastic projects in action in her home town.