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Trustees

Waltraud Pospischill

Val was born in Austria and came to the UK in 1982. She trained under R. D. Laing and lived as a research student in a Philadelphia Association therapeutic community, combining being near to her partner with doing a practical for her MA. Since that time Val has taken up numerous voluntary posts, which she hopes will improve social provisions, mainly for the most disadvantaged people. She is a keen artist, poet and writer – with experience working alongside the Koestler Trust in their initiatives. Val is also a South West ambassador for Outside In

Mike Findlay

Mike is a senior communications professional and freelance writer based in Scotland. His interests include mental health, equality and social justice. He has worked for over 18 years in various communications roles within health, higher education, social justice and the arts in both London and Glasgow. He has a postgraduate in journalism from Birkbeck, University of London and a COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills from the University of Strathclyde. Mike is passionate about communicating and writing about issues related to social justice and mental health and well-being. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeFindMedia

Shaun Clarke

Journalist and author, Shaun writes widely about current events and cultural developments. He has worked alongside Ujima Radio, BBC, DMAK UK and other national publications to cover a wide range of issues.

In addition, Shaun has compiled two poetry and spoken word collections by disadvantaged authors across the UK, both titled ‘Lyrically Justified’.

Tom Burgess

Tom lives in Bristol, his work usually focuses on the environment, play and transformation. He is currently Head of Activities at Marlborough College School of English and Culture. Tom writes poetry and has a blog.

He first encountered Arkbound when they helped him to publish his collection of poems titled Paint Yourself. Since, he has found their ethos resonates with his own and has a particular interest in using poetry writing workshops to support individuals and communities. Writing to confront and articulate problematic narratives as well as engaging in the retelling and molding of positive stories through self expression.

Amanda Thomas

Amanda has had a successful career as a freelance writer for 20 years. In that time she has taught in prisons and written for TV as well as for the big screen.  Her writing has taken her to many places including the USA and Bahrain and Italy. 

She started her career writing short stories for women’s magazines although nowadays she is more involved in writing scripts both for business and for the entertainment industry and writing biographies for many different clients.  She also gives talks about the opportunities offered in freelance writing.

Eilidh Akilade

Eilidh lives in Glasgow and is currently studying English Literature at the University of Glasgow. She has been published widely, with articles usually covering topics such as race, mental health, sexuality, and body image. Eilidh is passionate about social issues and seeks to empower marginalised voices through her work.

Soffi James

Soffi has achieved a Masters in English Literature from the University of Exeter, and has always had a passion for all forms of the written word. Starting her career in publishing, working in both legal and academic publishing as a researcher and production editor, Soffi now works in PR and marketing across a wide range of sectors. Her interests are aligned with Arkbound's own ethos; words are not only a tool for self-expression, but a vital instrument for creating connections, building self-esteem and breaking down boundaries.

People

Dr Jamie Nixon

James is a PhD graduate from the University of Glasgow who looked at the relation between American politics and broad cultural responses in the Obama era. Chapters of his Masters and PhD research have been published by Penn State University and Illinois State University, and he continues to write pieces for websites such as Mumble, as well as his own blog. James is particularly interested in contributing to managing and publishing texts from a diverse variety of disadvantaged authors, and helping give voice to a range of overlooked, pertinent societal issues.

Ellie Potts

After completing an internship, Ellie has continued to work for Arkbound alongside studying Creative and Professional Writing at the University of the West of England. Ellie is a keen environmental and social activist with particular interests in mental health awareness, intersectional feminism and sustainable tourism. Previously, she has been involved in the charitable sector helping to run craft classes for disabled people and assisting at a local community centre in a deprived area of her home town.

Matisse Lefebvre

Matisse has recently graduated from a Joint Honours degree in English Literature and History at the University of Glasgow. She wrote a dissertation about the national narratives in Kazuo Ishiguro's novels and also studied literature, cinema and social sciences for 2 years in Paris. Based in Glasgow, Matisse is coordinating the Creative Writing Mentoring Programme and Power of the Pen project. 

Jenna French

Jenna graduated with a degree in psychology and counselling and went on to study her masters to become a relational counsellor in Glasgow. Jenna is very interested in mental health awareness and has worked within the prison service for 4 years. Jenna wants to help people become better at expanding their skills and mindset and is currently coordinating the Writing Within Walls programme.

David Onamade

David’s primary interest is racial equality in the UK, a field he had dedicated all his working life until recently – partly to pursue his interest in writing. His single-poem collection about the toppling of Edward Colston was published in August 2020. David is helping to get unheard voices, such as those most adversely impacted by COVID-19, into print.

Tasmin Briers

Tasmin is a Belfast-born, Glasgow-based Graphic Designer. Having studied Communication Design at the Glasgow School of Art, she has focused her practice on book design since graduating her MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier. 

Tasmin has experience with designing the covers and interiors of multiple book titles, with a keen eye for detail and love of experimentation with new creative concepts.

Patrons

Anthony Hopkins CBE

Anthony is an acclaimed actor, director, composer and producer who started his career in theatre, going on to star in several award winning films. He was knighted in 1993 for services to the arts and has been involved with extensive philanthropic work for various causes, including young people, the environment and rehabilitation. He maintains an interest in literature, supporting equal access and participation for people of all backgrounds. 

Jane Hatton

Jane is a disabled social entrepreneur who founded Evenbreak in 2011, an award-winning social enterprise run by and for disabled people that helps employers attract talented disabled candidates through a specialist job board. Jane is widely published in this field, including “A Dozen Great Ways to Recruit Disabled People” (2020). Jane is also on the executive board of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative, was ranked 7th on the Shaw Trust Power 100 ‘Britain’s Most Influential Disabled People' list in 2019, and has won a number of other inclusion awards.

Eoin Mclennan-Murray

Eoin graduated from London University and joined the Prison Service in 1978 on their graduate scheme. He has worked in 10 different prisons, three of which as governing governor. He was President of the Prison Governors' Association for 4 years before retiring from the Prison Service in 2015. Since retirement he has acted as Chair of trustees for the Howard League for Penal Reform and an advisor to the Justice Select Committee, as well as other charities. 

Lucy Watts MBE

Lucy is a disability activist, patient leader and social entrepreneur who endeavours to improve care and support, enhance quality of life and increase equality of opportunity for people with disabilities, impairments, chronic illness and life-shortening conditions. Lucy founded the Palliative Care Voices network to improve access to palliative care in the UK and globally. Lucy was awarded an MBE in 2016 at age 22, in 2019 she was named 9th most influential disabled person in Britain and in 2020, is a top 100 finalist on the Digital Leaders 100 List.

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