Kate Ball, Chief Executive
Hannah Griffiths, Project Manager
Kerry Tindall-Guignard, Workshops Coordinator & Project Assistant
Evie Downer, Project support intern
Kate is Chief Executive of Independent Arts, overseeing all aspects of the charity's management and fundraising, and liaising with the trustees.
Prior to joining Independent Arts in October 2009, Kate enjoyed a successful career in the media industry. She began her career in Brighton and then relocated to London, working in a range of media roles, leading to management roles with Mosaic Films and Jeremy Isaacs Productions.
Kate returned to the Isle of Wight in 2003, where she worked at the local college as a lecturer in Media. She has also travelled extensively, visting various countries including Poland and Cuba, and in 2005 she volunteered as a Tsunami Relief Worker for three months.
Hannah Griffiths, Project Manager
Hannah joined Independent Arts in October 2015 as Project Manager to work on the Creative Futures and SingAbout projects. She has a strong desire to help her local community which is part of the reason she was drawn to this role.
Her background is in heritage, working for the National Trust, Royal Museums Greenwich and most recently as a Heritage and Training Consultant. She has also worked as a volunteer on a number of museum and community projects and has helped set up the Anxiety Café on the Isle of Wight to help individuals isolated by their anxiety to meet new people.
When she is not doing any of the above, she can be found eating good food or reading a good book and occasionally in the gym.
In Autumn 2015 Kerry joined Independent Arts as the Workshop Co-ordinator for our busy Workshops for Wellbeing programme and the icreate project, having moved to the island in April 2015. In January 2016 she also took on the role of Project Assistant to work on the SingAbout and Creative Futures projects.
Kerry worked for many years on the mainland for the National Trust managing a busy events programme which included exhibitions and community-based events. Most notably Kerry worked on the Oral History programme which collected stories across the nation to be stored in the national archive.
Kerry has also worked for the Arts Therapy and Resource Trust, a small independent charity based in Wiltshire that placed artists and art therapists within residential care homes across the South West.
Kerry has a degree, and a masters degree in the arts. She is a qualified care worker, having worked in community care, and is passionately committed to the benefits of art. and art therapies for the wellbeing of those in long-term residential care.
Evie is our Project Support Intern, helping the office to run smoothly, completing administrative duties, answering the phone and assisting with various workshops.
Before joining the team, Evie had a variety of jobs including retail and care. She has a degree in Fine Art and enjoys many crafts such as knitting, crochet and card-making. She also has a keen interest in small animal care and currently owns three guinea pigs, two rabbits and a hamster.
Evie has lived on the island her whole life, apart from the three years she spent at university.
As Independent Arts is a limited company as well as a charity, trustees are also directors. Their strategic role is voluntary and unpaid. Please contact us if you are interested in supporting Independent Arts by becoming a trustee.
Wendy Varley (Chair)
David has been a Trustee of Independent Arts since August 2016 and is currently the General Manager for the National Trust in the Central Chilterns AONB. A resident of the Isle of Wight, David has a background in managing heritage and conservation projects, developing volunteer initiatives and working in the charity sector.
Having moved to the Island at a young age, David left to study at university and worked on the mainland before returning in 2008 to take up a role with English Heritage. This included two years as the Visitor Operations Manager of Carisbrooke Castle and a further two years as Operations Manager at Osborne House, where he worked on a number of major projects. Following this he became the Head of Operations and Commercial at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the South Coast’s most popular heritage attraction, before joining the National Trust in 2015.
David has a keen interest in music, exploring the Isle of Wight and the arts, all of which made him want to join the board of Independent Arts to support the work of the charity.
Prior to retiring, Jim was manager of a local housing association and has been professionally involved in the management and delivery of social care to vulnerable people for some years. Jim has a personal and professional interest in memory loss, whatever the cause, and in what can be done to assist and support any person with such a condition. He became a trustee of Independent Arts in May 2011.
David is a GP on the island and joined the board of trustees in May 2013.
Helen joined the board in December 2013. She also chairs Older Voices, a group enabling older people on the Isle of Wight to meet regularly to talk about what concerns and interests them.
Ben has been a trustee of Independent Arts since June 2010. He runs a financial planning business in Newport, Rouse Ltd, and is currently the Chairman of the Central Southern England Branch of the Institute of Financial Planning.
In April 2017 Ben was appointed High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight, for the year 2017-18.
Ben has had a varied career. Prior to becoming a financial planner, Ben worked as a dispatch rider and in security, though the closest he now gets to physical combat is in persuading his 40kg German Shepherd Tony to visit the vet. He also worked in the wine and fine food trade, culminating in opening Benedict's Fine Wines and Delicatessen with his father in 1985 and one of his life goals is to visit all the First Class growth Claret vineyards.
Outside work he is an avid sportsman, and takes part in rugby, clay pigeon shooting, sailing, walking and skiing and at some point in his busy life wishes to row across an ocean. He also loves cooking.
Geoff has worked in IT all his life, starting as an apprentice with British Hovercraft, then joining IBM and Plessey before moving to a local housing association. During this time he has followed the development of computers from valve-driven monsters requiring purpose-built rooms to the micro-processors of today. His particular interest is in contingency planning and disaster recovery.
He is the Chairman of Brading Town FC as well as a member of the Isle of Wight FA. In his spare time he can found on his boat at Shalfleet or playing golf at Freshwater.
Geoff joined Independent Arts' board of trustees in June 2014 and is pleased to be supporting the charity.
Wendy moved to the Isle of Wight with her family in 1998 after working as a features editor and journalist in London, contributing to women's magazines and national newspapers. She currently works for her family's website development business and continues to write in her spare time.
Wendy has a keen interest in the arts, education and social care, which was what motivated her to become a trustee of Independent Arts in January 2009. She is proud to support a charity whose work is so valuable to the Isle of Wight community.
David Harris, Patron
David was Chair of Trustees of Independent Arts between 1992 and 2005. He worked with the National Spar Group and is now retired. He lives in Hampshire.
Carol Martys, Patron and founder
Carol was the original founder of Independent Arts, which became a registered charity in 1987. She became its first Director, and remains a patron.
After leaving the Isle of Wight, she spent a number of years abroad and now lives in Haslemere, Surrey. She is a published writer, and honorary Chairman of Operations for Opera South.
Edana Minghella was born and grew up in Ryde, and now lives in Brighton. She trained as a mental health nurse at the Maudsley Hospital, graduated in Sociology and Psychology from Brunel University, and went on to complete her doctorate in Mental Health in 2001. She gained extensive policy, research, and service development experience over the years, and eventually became national Head of Mental Health at the Audit Commission. In 2005, she set up an independent consultancy, helping health and social care to develop and improve, always with the person using services at the centre. She has developed a particularly keen interest in dementia, co-writing the government’s dementia commissioning strategy, writing award-winning papers and presenting at the National Dementia Congress.
At the same time, Edana has always pursued her creative talents and she has been writing and singing jazz for several years. She co-wrote several episodes of the TV series, Doc Martin, with her brother Dominic, and facilitates writing workshops in Italy. She is also an established jazz singer. Her first album, Still On My Feet, was dedicated to her brother, Anthony, the Oscar winning director and writer, who tragically died in 2008 at the age of 54.
Edana became a patron of Independent Arts in September 2015, and says: “I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to be a Patron of Independent Arts, especially as both my wonderful brother, Anthony, and mother, Gloria, were keenly involved. Independent Arts exemplifies everything that is close to my heart. Improving health and wellbeing of older people through the creative arts is a perfect combination of my interests. I very much look forward to carrying on the family tradition of being an ambassador for this brilliant Island charity that clearly brings joy and connectedness to local older people.”