Helen has been Director of OYAP Trust since 1998. She specialises in devising arts projects that are irresistibly engaging to reach the most vulnerable young people, and in mentoring emerging young artists at the start of their careers in participatory arts. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and at London University, and for many years pursued a career as a theatre director, specialising in youth and community theatre. She was artistic director of youth and community theatre at Spring Gardens Arts Centre, and founded the Wycombe Swan Youth Theatre, where she remained for nine years as Artistic Director. She is experienced arts consultant and trainer, and is at the heart of developing and growing national initiatives, such as the English Youth Arts Network and the Arts Awards. In 2012 and 2014 Helen worked for Artswork, delivering training and facilitating learning for the Singapore National Arts Council. She is a Board member for Nocturn Dance.
"I am passionate about investing in the early careers of young artists and arts managers, so that they can go on to great things in future and create new opportunities for themselves and for the cultural communities they live in. It’s been a privilege to work with these young leaders, to bring their excitement and passion closer to the heart of OYAP Trust, and to allow their ideas to influence the choices we make as an organisation."
Donna joined OYAP Trust in September 2017 as Finance Administrator and takes over as General Manager from January 1st 2018. She handles financial, compliance, team and building management, and supports fundraising and programming initiatives.
In the last few years she has worked for Pegasus Theatre, Oxofrd (Head of Operations),
and has trained as an Accountant.
Nicki joined OYAP Trust in July 2018, though she had been working with us for several years as a freelance artist. Nicki brings enthusiasm for alternative arts-based education programmes and focusing on increasing the reach of our work.
Kiera joined the gang in July 2018, having been involved with OYAP before as a volunteer and trainee. She works particularly with the Youth of Bicester and is developing the LGBTQ Action Team, as well as supporting the programme as a whole.