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."
Amby has joined OYAP Trust from April 2015 as General Manager (maternity cover). From May she will be working on financial and team management, strategic funding and planning, and organisational development plans.
In the last few years she has worked for Chipping Norton Theatre (Head of Operations), WestOxArts (Gallery administration), is currently also organising support events for the 2015 Cowley Road Carnival and delivering a fortnightly voluntary Art Club for older people in residential homes.
Amby brings skills in project management, financial management, strategic planning, organisational and human resources management. She is also a keen practical artist.
Carmen joined OYAP Trust in March 2015. She completed both her BA (Hons) in Fine Arts and PGCE at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. Following her studies she has worked and volunteered in various art organisations and museums across London and the Oxfordshire region, focusing on art education and creative community engagement projects. She has worked with a variety of age groups within galleries, schools and museums.
Her passion lies in collaborative arts practices and creative interventions within the community and hopes to share her enthusiasm with the youth of Bicester through exciting, engaging and meaningful creative practices. Her current role within the OYAP Trust is as Project Coordinator.
Sajeela joined OYAP in October 2016, and is busy getting to know our financial systems and getting used to the range of our projects and the busy life at OYAP Towers, and will get back to you with a more detailed biog when her head has stopped spinning. Saj comes from Aylesbury and is a young Mum with two little ones, under the age of five! She probably gets more peace at home than she does at OYAP Towers!