The DfC Committee
John Dean – Chair
John Dean is a journalist and the director of Darlington-based Inscribe Media, which specialises in journalism and public relations. He writes on subjects including Information Technology, science, business/e-commerce, industry, criminal justice, the arts and the environment. He has done work for publications as diverse as Retail Newsagent, The Sunday Telegraph, Police Review, Farming in the North, The Northern Echo and Darlington Today.
John is also a crime novelist with ten novels published by Hale and has been a creative writing tutor at Darlington Arts Centre for a number of years.
Matt Roche – Secretary
Matt works for a non-departmental public body and manages over 30 staff. Previously to this Matt worked in the community engagement and regeneration field, which included providing capacity building support for community groups, co-ordinating community consultation, as well as distributing and managing regeneration funding. Matt has also had paid employment in the mental health field and for a national cinema chain.
Matt has a wide range of voluntary work experience including being the director/chair of a community arts organisation (with paid staff), founding and being chair of a tenants and residents association (whose activities included youth provision and the opening of a community shop), as well as being the member of a Parochial Church Council and a Deanery Synod. He has an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and is a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner.
Heather Carter – Volunteer Coordinator
Heather has worked for over thirty years in the NHS with the last five as an NHS Board Member, both in an Executive and Non-Executive capacity. She has experience of running large organisations and the governance requirements to do that safely. Her experience has been gained by working in multi-disciplinary teams and working closely with patients to ensure services are fit for purpose. She is now semi-retired and works in a voluntary capacity for a Darlington charity which supports homeless and socially excluded people.
She is a member of Darlington for Culture and believes the town needs Arts and Culture to flourish so it can enrich and improve the lives of all the people who live in it. She firmly believes that it is essential to retain the Arts Centre as a hub for Arts and Culture, until and if a suitable alternative becomes available. Her role as Volunteer Co-ordinator has consisted of setting up a sub group to support and recruit volunteers, and is endeavouring to recruit volunteers across the whole spectrum of Darlington society.
Yvonne Preston – Visual arts and events officer
Yvonne has a very rich arts and teaching background having a Fine Art BA and PGCE. She is a Freelance Artist and has run her own business for the past 12 years.
Yvonne is involved in teaching and facilitating many Art forms, planning, designing, delivering and evaluating workshops and projects. Working in the community, with and through the Arts Centre, in Open Arts Studio, schools, Youth Services and other organizations catering for all ages. Through all her work Yvonne aims to use the arts to promote creative thinking, improve self esteem and raise awareness.