Meet the team

Staff team

Lisa Gagliani, Chief Executive

Kate Ball, Head of Arts & Grants

Hannah Griffiths, Operations Manager

Kerry Tindall, Programmes Manager

Joanne Rigby, Project Support Assistant

Nicola Ward, Programmes Coordinator

Elaine Sheldrake, Community Connector


Lisa Gagliani MBE, Chief Executive

Lisa GaglianiLisa is Chief Executive of Independent Arts, overseeing all aspects of the charity’s management, marketing and fundraising. She reports to the trustee board.

Lisa has many years of senior leadership experience in similar sized charities, having been Chief Executive of Explore, The Childhood Trust and Bright Ideas Trust. Prior to that she was Chief Executive of Kingston Chamber of Commerce.

Lisa and her husband, himself a professional landscape painter, moved to the Isle of Wight in 2017 from Surrey. She is a trustee of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. She has two grown up sons and is also mum to two small dogs.

In 2015, she was awarded an MBE for services to young people and small businesses.


Kate Ball, Head of Arts and Grants

Kate BallKate led Independent Arts for 10 years as Manager, then CEO, and in December 2019 became Head of Arts and Grants for the charity.

Prior to joining Independent Arts in 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, Operations Manager

Hannah GriffithsHannah joined Independent Arts in October 2015 as Project Manager. She became Operations Manager in November 2019.

She has a strong desire to help her local community which is part of the reason she was drawn to working for Independent Arts.

Hannah's background is in heritage, working for the National Trust, Royal Museums Greenwich and 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.


Kerry Tindall, Programmes Manager

Kerry TindallKerry joined Independent Arts in 2015. She oversees our busy Workshops for Wellbeing programme and is involved in delivering many aspects of the charity's work.

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.


Joanne Rigby, Project Support Assistant

Joanne RigbyJo joined Independent Arts in 2017 as Project Support Assistant to oversee workshops for the Time & Tide project, pairing local history and the arts to bring opportunities for older and socially isolated people to engage with cultural pursuits.

Following the completion of Time & Tide, Jo is now supporting the delivery of our Changing Spaces and School Ties projects.

Jo has considerable experience of working with older people in a residential care setting and in the community, with much of this achieved on the Isle of Wight. She has a first-class honours degree in Fine Art and a keen interest in art, music, being outdoors and keeping fit.


Nicola Ward, Programmes Coordinator

Nicola WardNicola joined the Independent Arts team in Autumn 2018. She has 20 years’ experience working for a variety of companies and organisations in an administrative capacity, from the local College to the Welsh Assembly. Nicola values the opportunity to be able to use her skills and experience to make a positive contribution towards to the community through the Independent Arts charity.

Nicola was brought up on the Island, moving away to study and work in Wales before returning in 2007. She loves Island life and in her spare time can usually be found somewhere close to water (if not in it) or walking one of the Island's many footpaths. Nicola enjoys creative pursuits and is a firm believer in the benefits of Tai Chi, Yoga and cake. Pictured on the left (wearing the glasses and hat).


Elaine Sheldrake, Community Connector

Elaine SheldrakeElaine was delighted to join the Independent Arts team in January 2020 as Community Connector for the Newport area, where she will be supporting the inclusion in the community for those at most risk of isolation and loneliness.

Passionate about the Island and the challenges our most vulnerable, marginalised residents can face, she has considerable experience working with a wide range of ages and abilities, encouraging involvement and supporting aspiration within the housing sector and other charity organisations.

Outside of work, she has a keen interest in reading, yoga, walking and travel.



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.

Jodie Jones (Vice-Chair)

Dr David McMullen

Helen Osborne

Ben Rouse (Treasurer)

Geoff Ruck

Wendy Varley (Chair)


Jodie Jones MInstF, Trustee (Vice-Chair) & Director

Jodie JonesJodie has over a decade of experience as a professional fundraiser. In that time, she has raised tens of millions for charities and causes globally. Jodie is passionate about organisational and team development. Over her career she has used that energy to deliver 1-2-1 coaching programmes and group training courses as well as to set up a new charity in the USA. Most of all she enjoys working with organisations that are trying to start-up or scale-up.

She joined Independent Arts as a trustee in 2018 as she was impressed by the team's focus on supporting the most vulnerable people on the Island with impactful and cost-effective programmes.

Born on the Isle of Wight, Jodie came back here in 2015 to see how she might use her skills and experience to support initiatives at home. When not working for or volunteering with local charities, Jodie can be found walking around the hills on the Island’s south coast.

Dr David McMullen, Trustee & Director

David is a retired GP on the island. He joined the board of trustees in May 2013.


Helen Osborne, Trustee & Director

Helen joined the board in December 2013. She chairs Older Voices, a group enabling older people on the Isle of Wight to meet regularly to talk about what concerns and interests them. She is also a trustee of Pan Together, a community hub for residents of East Newport.

Ben Rouse, Trustee (Treasurer) & Director

Ben RouseBen 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. 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 Ruck, Trustee & Director

Geoff RuckGeoff 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 Varley, Trustee (Chair) & Director

Wendy VarleyWendy 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 2009. She is proud to support a charity whose work is so valuable to the Isle of Wight community.





Carol Martys, Patron and founder

Carol Martys

Carol was the 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.

Read Carol's account of the early years of Independent Arts.




Edana Minghella, Patron

Edana Minghella

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.”


Honorary legal advisor

Tony Holmes