Douglas Hunter, Co-director

Formerly an award-winning painter Douglas has been with Equal Arts for 18 years. He enjoys combining grass roots activities alongside long-term strategies to provide creative opportunities to older people.

Alice Thwaite, Co-director

For the last 25 years Alice has been developing the creative ageing field and managing over 300 projects. She has been invited to speak all over the world to share best practice and the importance of enabling older people to have access to high quality, creative experiences.

She is the North East arts representative on the Creative Health and Wellbeing Alliance and supports the All Parliamentary Party Group on Creative Health.  Alice is a Churchill Fellow and spent 5 years advising the Baring Foundation/Churchill Trust arts and older people programme.

Jos Forester-Melville, HenPower Programme Manager

Jos has worked with Equal Arts for nearly 20 years after knocking on the door when she graduated from Northumbria University's Community Arts Degree.

Initially writing plays and making films about older people's memories, Jos took up the role of HenPower Programme Manager in 2012 and now has more photos of older people with chickens and art work than her own children!

Dawn Giles, HenPower Associate - Bristol

Having spent 20 years working as a producer, curator and arts organiser, Dawn returned to her art practice. She is responsible for initiating and develivering new HenPower projects in Bristol and is a trustee of Wunderbar, an arts organisation based in Newcastle.

Lindsey Grieves, HenPower Associate - South Tyneside

Lindsey teaches art, pottery and craft workshops for adults and children alongside providing meditation and mindfulness training for various organisations and groups. She works at a number of care settings in Gateshead and South Tyneside delivering HenPower.

Joanie Crump, Family & Volunteer Lead

Joanie has worked for almost 20 years as an Arts Manager in a variety of Creative Production and Project Management roles. She was drawn to Equal Arts by the magical combination of creativity and hens.

In her spare time she directs Hartlepool Folk Festival and is an Artistic and Quality Assessor for Arts Council England. 


Helen Moore, Grants Programme Manager 

For over 12 years, Helen worked in various roles within the public sector including Relationship Manager for Arts Council England and as Director of Education and Engagement at Live Theatre.

Her role with Equal Arts sees her develop and deliver the organisational fundraising strategy supporting HenPower to take place in care settings across England.

Debbie Oladapo, Finance officer/administrator

Debbie is a business graduate responsible for finance-related activities including preparing documents for audit, producing finance reports and assisting in managing budgets.

Hannah Wood, HenPower Associate - London

Since graduating in dance and performance, Hannah has been exploring Asia. Her work with Equal Arts sees her deliver creative sessions with a focus on movement, story-telling and music.