Meet Our Trustees

Anna Disley, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Anna Disley, Chair of the Board of Trustees, GLOW NEWCASTLE

I am Executive Director, Programme and Impact at New Writing North where I oversee all the creative programmes and work as part of the executive team to identify and implement the organisation’s strategy. 

My background is in work with young people and communities, having joined New Writing North 20 years ago to set up and lead  this strand of the organisation’s work.  I am an experienced fundraiser, arts leader and board member.”


Kathryn Nicholson, Treasurer to the Board of Trustees, GLOW NEWCASTLE

I am a qualified Chartered Accountant. Having qualified whilst at PwC, I moved to working in industry and now have over 25 years’ experience working for companies from large corporates to SME businesses spanning manufacturing, IT help desk, health care, hospitality and commercial property sectors in senior finance roles.

I have also contributed my accountancy/ finance skills learned in paid work to local not for profit organisations through voluntary roles and trusteeships including being part of a team to set up The Hearth arts centre in Horsley, as Chair of my children’s First School PTA, and latterly at Queens Hall Arts in Hexham as Trustee and Chair of the Finance of Risk Committee.

I am excited to be joining the Board of GLOW NEWCASTLE having enjoyed arts and music all my life, as a child learning the flute and participating in a wide range of music and arts activities at school, and now as part of Uplifted women’s singing group. I hope that I can be part of creating a thriving, impactful organisation that helps children in the North East have a positive experience of the arts.”


Rob Adams, Trustee

Rob Adams, Founding Trustee, GLOW NEWCASTLE

“My name is Rob Adams and I am Head Teacher at South Gosforth First School and a Specialist Leader of Education.

I have worked in education for over 20 years and I believe that my role working with children and families is a real privilege and something which I am really proud of.

During this time I have seen first-hand how much partnering with cultural and arts-based organisations can benefit and enhance the lives of our young people. I believe that working with creative agencies should not be seen as an ‘add on’ to curriculum provision, but it should lie at the very heart of it, acting as a tool for enrichment, expression and engagement. Working in this way really helps to bring learning to life and make the experiences of our children memorable and meaningful.

It is for these reasons that I am a founding board member of GLOW! as I am passionate about strengthening and expanding these links between education and cultural organisations across Newcastle and beyond, in order to ensure that as many of our young people as possible can experience high-quality, arts-based provision which will develop their individuality and unique point of view about the world that they live in.”


Gary Wright, Trustee, Glow-Newcastle

Gary Wright, Trustee, GLOW NEWCASTLE

I have been in my current role as Director of School Improvement at Prosper Learning Trust since September 2023.  I work across five specialist schools across the North East in three local authorities; three of which are in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – Thomas Bewick School, Mary Astell and Newcastle Bridges School, including the hospital schools.   

Prior to this role, I was a primary Headteacher for 10 years in Sunderland.  The school was in an area of significant deprivation and I opened two additional resource units for ASD and SEMH.  We worked heavily with Sunderland Culture to extend and embed arts and cultural links through our curriculum. As a result of the programme’s success, I have delivered CPD locally and nationally to school leaders.  I was also a founding member of the Sunderland Cultural Education Partnership and went on to co-chair the group. 

Arts in education is a personal passion and previous career (as a musical theatre actor in the West End, London fringe, across the UK and internationally).  As an advocate for arts and culture, I am excited about becoming a trustee of GLOW and support the excellent work we do to shape the arts and culture journeys of the young people across Newcastle-upon-Tyne.”


Sue Scott

Sue Scott, Trustee, GLOW NEWCASTLE

I am a sociologist with a background in Research with children and young people, especially in relation to gender sexuality and risk. I have been a professor at Stirling and Durham Universities, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Keele and Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at Glasgow Caledonian.

I am now semi-retired and currently a Guest Professor at Newcastle University and Visiting Professor at the University of Helsinki. I have been a Trustee of the British Sociological Association and of The Ouseburn Trust. In the past I have worked as a researcher in Community Development and have undertaken evaluations of a number of public and voluntary sector initiatives.

That all sounds a bit dry, but it does mean that I have lots of organisational and teamwork experience as well as strategic and project development and delivery. I have a strong commitment to positive and inclusive opportunities for young people and feel that this is especially important in relation to the Arts – both for their own sake and for the life skills and experiences which such involvement engenders.

I am currently compensating for my own missed opportunities through singing with Mouthful Voices and membership of Carte Blanche women’s creative writing group.”


Stephanie Whitehead

Stephanie Whitehead, Trustee, GLOW NEWCASTLE


I am a communications and marketing professional with a passion for people and storytelling. I love, and truly believe in engaging and involving stakeholders (our people) in decision making. This helps to ensure that what we do is needed and can make a positive impact.

I’m big on organisational culture too! I like to be involved with organisations that are honest, compassionate, community and impact focused. My career therefore has spanned over 25 years working in the not-for-profit sectors including the arts, education, health and social care charities. My ‘day job’ is working for St Oswald’s Hospice as the Head of Communications and Marketing. I love my work and often feel very lucky that people trust me and my colleagues to help them to tell their stories and talk about their experiences.

Arts and culture has always been a part of my life. I truly believe in the power of the arts and cultural sectors to be able to inspire, educate and help shape people’s lives. I believe this, as I feel I lived it!

It was because of arts funded theatre in education opportunities (and three great school teachers of Drama, English and Music) which inspired and shaped many of my life and career choices.

I am passionate about supporting causes that are dear to me. I am thrilled to be joining GLOW NEWCASTLE as a Trustee. I am looking forward to helping the charity to make a difference to other children and young people’s lives in Newcastle, and beyond.”

Jane Dube, Trustee

Jane Dube, Trustee, GLOW NEWCASTLE


“I am head of a one form entry primary in the inner west of Newcastle – Hawthorn Primary School. I have worked in the inner west of Newcastle for over 20 years and have had the opportunity to be a part of three very different schools.

I trained as a teacher in Scotland and went on to teach in Zimbabawe for over ten years before moving to the North East.

In a previous role as Art Coordinator, I was able to make connections across a range of cultural venues through the Cultural Ambassador Programme lead by Jeanne Hale. I am lucky to work with Jeanne in my current role; she is my chair of Governors.

Hawthorn is an In Harmony school and we have close links to The Glasshouse (previously Sage Gateshead). Through this work, I have seen first hand the impact that the Arts can have on children and thier families. I am passionate about developing links between cultural organisations and schools to ensure that all children have access to the same opportunities.”


Gemma Johnson, Trustee, Glow-Newcastle

Gemma Johnson, Trustee, GLOW Newcastle

I have over 20 years’ experience in HR, ranging from big corporations like Northern Rock (I’m showing my age) to day one startups. I currently work as the Head of People and Safeguarding at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music.

Why Glow Newcastle? I’m a creative at heart. I believe that all young people should have an opportunity to engage with arts and culture. So much so that way back in 2003, when I graduated from Northumbria University with a BA hons. in Drama, my dissertation was called “educating the curriculum” and explored how arts and culture (with a drama focus) could help primary school children with confidence, social skills, and exploration of subjects that maybe confrontational in a safe way.

I genuinely believe that exposing young people of any age to arts and culture, through visiting venues, immersing them in creative workshops, attending concerts etc can have a profound impact, and I am delighted that in my role as a board member I get to be part of an organisation that exists to do just that.

Vee Pollock, Trustee, GLOW NEWCASTLE

In my day job I am Dean of Culture and Creative Arts at Newcastle University, and a Professor of Art and Place. I have a long-standing interest in arts education, particularly issues of inclusivity, and I believe strongly in the importance of cultural and creativity for children and young people.

At the heart of much of my work is collaboration and I am experienced in nurturing complex partnerships. I hope to bring these passions and skills to support GLOW NEWCASTLE as it works to widen and enable opportunity and experiences.

I sit on the advisory board of the Cultural Learning Alliance and I also support new arts organisations seeking to grow, particularly in rural contexts. I spend the little free-time I have mostly on a bike, running, or undertaking slightly bonkers endurance challenges.”

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