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Our staff and volunteers

Our staff and volunteers

Music In Detention operates with a small, dedicated team of staff and volunteers based in our Central London office.  In addition MID’s work in Bedford is managed by a Producer based locally in the community.

John

John

John Speyer - Director

I have been Director of Music In Detention since 2008.  Before that I ran a community regeneration organisation in Sheffield, which provided a variety of services to help excluded and vulnerable people improve their lives, and before that I was a primary school teacher and Deputy Head.  I enjoy the challenge of developing programmes to tackle complex problems.  As a volunteer I’ve worked to promote human rights and challenge extremism and xenophobia.  Music has been an essential part of my life since childhood, I sing in a choir, and one of the joys of working for MID is the fantastic range of music it brings me into contact with.

Gini Simpson - Arts Development Manager

Gini is responsible for developing MID’s artistic processes and public events, to move MID toward being a bi-lingual arts and social justice organisation.

When, she’s not at MID, Gini works with The Sick of the Fringe, developing arts and health based programmes with user / patient groups and is co-founder and Director of Un-Age an intergenerational start up programme based in Hackney. Gini is Chair of the Media and Networked Arts Organisation, Furtherfield, sits on the board of the Live Art Development Agency and is an industrial adviser to the Queen Mary University of London’s Media Arts and Technology Doctoral Training Centre.

Previously, Gini was Managing Director for Phakama, a youth led theatre organisation, Head of Learning and Participation at the Barbican Arts Centre,and managed Business Development for the Arts and Creative Industries at Queen Mary University of London. From 2003-08, Gini was Head of Media Arts at SPACE in Hackney, an art/technology unit. Before this she worked for advertising agency BMP DDB (Interactive) as Design Director. She worked in interactive television during its inception and on some of the first on-line galleries in New York City.

Gini is an artist who has exhibited internationally. She worked in Shoreditch in the early 90s, curating and producing Live Art in emergent venues. She is interested in Civil Rights activism, and works as part of Mental Health Civil Rights Movements as often as she can.

Zoe

Zoe

Zoe Burton - Programme Manager

My professional background is in delivering a range of services for vulnerable people, asylum seekers and refugees in particular, including separated children. I worked at the Refugee Council for several years where I ran the drop in day centre service and developed residential weekend programmes for asylum seeking teenagers. My background in the arts (theatre & dance) meant that I strove to establish participatory arts projects alongside practical and emotional support for clients attending the centre.  I studied Family Therapy with the Tavistock Clinic and am a qualified TEFL teacher.

Prior to working in the voluntary sector I worked for a documentary film production company after graduating with a degree in Theatre Studies with Language & Literature. 

I worked for MID in 2012, and again in 2014 on maternity cover contracts, and am delighted to now be staying with MID on a permanent basis.  It’s great to see the organisation continuing to develop, broadening the scope of its work thanks to the dedicated team and board of trustees. 

Liza

Liza

Liza Figueroa-Clark - Communications & Public Engagement Mananger (currently on maternity leave)

I joined MID in 2007 and have been Programme Manager since 2008.

My interest in MID’s work comes from my background: my father was a political prisoner under the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, who was given refuge in the UK. I grew up listening to Victor Jara, a Chilean singer-songwriter detained and later killed by the military junta. Whilst imprisoned, Jara sang for his fellow detainees to maintain morale, and wrote a song which was smuggled out to tell the world about what was happening.

I feel it is important to get the voices of those detained in Britain out, both to empower them, validate their creativity, and to challenge the dominant dehumanising narrative about migrants and refugees.

I have a keen interest in social justice, and the experiences of migrants. I have worked with asylum seekers and refugees as part of a human rights advocacy course and as a case worker for Latin American women escaping domestic violence in the UK, later serving on the charity’s Management Committee. I have also worked as a journalist, researcher, interpreter, and translator of academic publications and other materials.

I have lived in Russia, Chile and Venezuela, and my languages include Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. I have two young children who keep me very busy!

Lizzy

Lizzy

Lizzy Jewell - Communications & Public Engagement Manager (maternity cover)

I'm a marketing and communications specialist with a background in the charity sector. I have worked with both national charities and local community projects, helping them to tell their stories with confidence, and showcase the work they do. I am passionate about supporting people who are vulnerable or overlooked for any reason to speak out and make their voices heard.

Throughout my career I've stubbornly refused to specialise in any one area, so I'm used to working right across the marketing and communications spectrum, and well versed in everything from digital copywriting to events, graphic design to strategy development.

When I'm not at Music In Detention, I work freelance with other charities and not-for-profits: I'm part of Zoe Amar Digital, a social enterprise and collective of digital leaders which helps charities and nonprofits to improve their confidence in and attitudes to digital.


Katie

Katie

Katie Bruce - Programme Co-ordinator

I am the Programme Co-ordinator at Music in Detention and have worked for the organisation since 2013, first as a volunteer and then appointed to my current position in April 2014. I was drawn to the organisation through my passion for music and belief in the important role of the arts to effect social change.

In 2015 I completed a part-time MA in Music in Development at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), where my final dissertation looked into the complexity of evaluating participatory arts programmes.  Alongside my part-time role at MID, I work part-time as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Streetwise Opera, a role which I took on towards the end of 2015.

As a musician, I am a classically trained flautist but enjoy playing all sorts of different music from around the world and currently play in Sundanese Gamelan Degung ensemble Sekar Enggal and a Cuban big band. As a volunteer I have worked with Counterpoints Arts and have volunteered as an ESOL teacher for young refugees and asylum seekers living in West London.  

Jih-Wen

Jih-Wen

Jih-Wen Yeh - Producer for Bedford MID

Jih-Wen joined Bedford MID in 2015, and brings with her a wealth of experience having trained in dance, worked as project manager of Chinatown Arts Space and is also Artistic Director of Step Out Arts. Jih-Wen has also been delivering workshops for Music In Detention for several years.

Usman

Usman

Usman Khalid - Communications & Marketing Volunteer

I am working with MID 1 day per week as Comms & Marketing Volunteer to gain more experience while completing my MSc in Marketing Communications from Birkbeck University of London. As an ex detainee and a refugee, myself, I have a keen interest in working in this sector where I can try to bring some real and practical change in lives of other refugees and detainees like me. I am also ambassador of Refugee Week and worked in the same capacity with Counterpoints Arts from January 2018 til July 2018. I was actively part of Refugee Week 2018 by working on Marketing campaigns including social media as well as doing public speaking. I am also part of Freed Voice Group at Detention Action and involved in public speaking at different events including speaking in house of commons in front of an audience of secretaries of MPs. I always cherish the idea of togetherness and community. Working together I am sure, one day the world will be better place.