The Trustees

David Kidney – Chair

David’s working life has been in three distinct parts: first, as a solicitor in Staffordshire. Secondly, David was elected Member of Parliament for Stafford in 1997. Thirdly, and most recently, he worked in public health, including the Chief Executive of the UK’s Public Health Register for over seven years. A Labour MP for 13 years, David helped establish the Climate Change Act 2008 and was a government minister in the Department for Energy and Climate Change where he contributed to the UK’s preparations for the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. David has an abiding interest in politics and history and is delighted to have joined the Trust. He also chairs a health technologies cluster in the West Midlands and supports fundraising for St Paul’s church in the Jewellery Quarter, which is where David lives.

Kate Organ – Vice Chair and Company Secretary  

Having graduated from Birmingham University in Drama and French, Kate has worked in the cultural and charitable sector all her career, initially as an actor and director in theatre, arts in education and community arts and then a programmer of theatre, dance and live literature. She was Drama Officer and Director of Performing and Combined Arts at West Midlands Arts/Arts Council England in the 90’s and 2000s. For the past 20 years she has worked as a freelance consultant for many arts and charitable organisations across the UK, including a decade as Arts Adviser to the Baring Foundation. She is currently Chair of the Birmingham-based Feeney Trust, is a member of the Advisory Council of the Churchill Fellowship Trust and is herself a Churchill Fellow, having researched the role of the Arts in Japan particularly in the context of an ageing society and regeneration and is a practising Coach and Facilitator.

Deidre Mattison Treasurer

Deidre was born in Liverpool but has lived in Birmingham for many years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in International Law, both from the University of Birmingham. She is a Chartered Accountant and spent thirteen years with major accountancy firms before joining a US based technology company as European Controller. She specialises in European Finance and now works with multi-national companies on European financial issues. She lives in Moseley and has a number of voluntary roles with local organisations.

Phillada Ballard

Phillada is a historical consultant specialising in buildings, landscapes and gardens. She has built up a considerable knowledge of Highbury and the Chamberlain family through many years of academic and on-the-ground research. From 1984-90 she worked as a curator at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and was in charge of the Chamberlain Museum at Highbury. She has been an advisor to Birmingham City Council on the Highbury landscape and was responsible for the landscape appraisal of Highbury Park. Phillada is the author of several publications on Birmingham landscapes and was the editor of the Victorian Society’s recent book on Birmingham’s Victorian and Edwardian Architects.

Phillada Ballard

Dr Derren Cresswell

Derren grew up in a semi-rural coal mining town in the East Midlands and moved to Birmingham in 2012. Prior to retuning to academia to complete his PhD in geology, at the University of Birmingham, he worked in a variety of roles minimising and mitigating the impact of humans on the environment. More recently Derren has focused his work on linking community perspectives of environmental issues to the contemporary environmental research agenda. He is passionate about balancing different perspectives and contributions to the sustainability of urban landscapes. Derren is trained in broad-based community organising and works closely with Citizen UK (Birmingham).

Cllr Philip Davis

Cllr Davis represents the nearby Billesley Ward on the City Council (BCC).  With 30 years local government experience, he is the BCC Heritage Champion and immediate past Chair of the Trusts & Charities Committee, which holds the Highbury Estate in trust for the citizens of Birmingham. Philip is a former English Heritage Commissioner and was Founder Chair of the Local Authorities World Heritage Forum (LAWHF). He is a director of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust.  An employment relations specialist by profession, he has held posts in the voluntary sector and as chairman of an NHS Trust.

Phil Davis

Martin Straker-Welds

Martin has a strong interest in creativity and learning. This springs from his work as a teacher in London, followed by a decade in Birmingham’s School Improvement Advisory Service. He served Moseley as a ward councillor for eleven years until May 2022.

His key commitment to the service of children, families and communities includes:

Promoting the importance of the creative arts and good mental health, in the run up to the annual creative festival to be hosted by Birmingham starting in 2023

Collaborating on a network of support for young people to provide mentoring, counselling and advice in an uncertain future

Highlighting the needs of biodiversity in a changing climate and environment

Martin’s interests include creative writing, community engagement and conservation as well as protecting native birds and endangered species like hedgehogs.

Louise Hothi

Louise is an Environmental and Town Planning Manager at HS2 Ltd and manager of HS2’s £40M community fund. She has an interest in fundraising and environmental developments.

Indi Deol

Indi Deol is the Founding Director of DESIblitz, the UK’s largest online British Asian magazine. He is also the director behind Aidem Digital CIC, a Social Enterprise and digital media agency, and is dedicated to empowering projects that generate a positive social impact.

Indi is also a board member of Culture Central, the collective voice of the cultural sector in the West Midlands, and is involved in the West Midlands Combined Authority Cultural Leadership Board. Indi is also on the advisory board for Aston Business School, and is a consultant for BFI Film Audience Network.

Katharine Perry

Born and raised in Birmingham and the Black Country, Katharine has worked in the charitable sector for many years, specialising in arts and fundraising events in the Midlands, as well as nationally and internationally.

She is passionate about working with the local community to create innovative and exciting projects accessible to everyone and is currently a Director of Urban Herbs Ltd and Spring Arts CIC, both of which are based in the Black Country and champion horticultural well-being projects that work with local schools and community groups.  

Shilpa Amin

Shilpa is a highly motivated and results-orientated professional with over 10 years of unique experience of delivering projects in the public and private sector. Shilpa has a proven track record of delivering outputs to time, scope and budget in complex matrix environments through effective collaboration, inclusivity and influencing stakeholders at all levels.