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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 Programme Co-ordinator 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.

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 - Programme Manager

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!

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. 

Ruth

Ruth

Ruth Nicholson - Volunteer 

I began volunteering with MID in 2012. My involvement has included creating the online archive of recorded music from community exchange projects and other music-making workshops (found on the 'Music' tab on the website), helping to run the social media accounts, and occasionally assisting music workshops in immigration detention centres. I work freelance as a pianist, and also play the violin in a few bands. In 2016 I completed my MA in Music in Development at SOAS; my dissertation looked at possibilities for conflict transformation via the medium of collaborative music-making, with Israeli and Palestinian teenagers in Jerusalem.

Imogen

Imogen

Imogen Flower - Volunteer

I am working with MID as an office volunteer, having just completed an MA in Music in Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 2016/17. I am interested in MID’s work because of the value placed on the arts, the belief that music can be a platform to help migrants and refugees express themselves, and that it has the potential to alter negative public perceptions of people in detention. 

I am also working as a researcher and publicity officer with ‘Sex Worker’s Opera’, a charity using musical theatre to challenge stigma around sex work and to legitimise sex workers’ voices in public, giving them the opportunity to influence political change.

I am an old-school baroque recorder player but love listening to lots of different kinds of music, so I am always excited to hear the outcomes of MID’s projects!

Sally

Sally

Sally Jaquet - Volunteer

I work as a volunteer in MID's office and as a workshop assistant - therefore getting to experience the work we do in the detention centres as well as understanding how it's organised behind the scenes! I have also just finished a Masters in Music in Development where I focused on how music projects can dismantle a sense of "othering" in local communities.

I am passionate about the impact that music has on people and how it creates, consolidates, and consoles communities - locally and globally. I think the work that MID does is incredibly innovative and important and am excited to be a part of the team!

I have worked for Oxfam, VSO and a variety of smaller NGO's in the past - as well as being part of numerous music groups and education work. I'm a singer and love to belt out harmonies in a big choir!