Simon Bull - Chief Executive
A founder member of Vita Nova Simon initially acted in 'Scratchin' the Surface' for its first year. It was quickly and clearly evident that the short term project was having a beneficial impact on both the young people in the audience and on the volunteers, Simon realised it had to continue, at that point he started to funraise, build and develop the company.
Simon's previous experience in business and finance is a great asset to Vita Nova. He also gained experience while working in a treatment centre, at EDAS where he developed the Poole Aftercare in the Community Service and through Counselling training.
Gemma Alldred - Artistic Co-ordinator
Gemma is a theatre maker and community arts practitioner. She holds a BA and MA from York St John University where she studied Performance. Whilst in York she co-founded and ran, Converge, a unique partnership organisation delivering educational arts opportunities to people with who use mental health services and successfully led Out of Character Theatre Company as Artistic Director, creating and touring original productions locally and nationally.
As a director and performer, Gemma will bring her knowledge and training to Vita Nova as a theatre company, as well as her experience of working across differing arts disciplines to develop a wide range of workshops and arts events, engaging the local community.
Stephanie Bell - Administrator.
Originally from an art and design background, Stephanie became involved in the voluntary and community sector whilst on maternity leave in 2000 and found an ideal niche to utilize her skills. Widely travelled with work experience ranging from potter to barmaid to crime prevention and many in between (some not for public consumption!), she is enthusiastic about working for Vita Nova and hopes to bring some fresh ideas and working practices to the table.
Dave Walker - Project Worker
Dave was a volunteer with Vita Nova for over two years prior to being employed by the organization. His background is in Human Resources.
Sean Aita - Chair of Trustees
Sean has a masters degree in performing arts and over thirty years experience of working in professional theatre. He has performed with the National Theatre, appeared in leading roles in the West End, spent a number of years working in regional repertory and had featured roles in both film and on television.Read more on Sean Aita
Mark Harris -Vice Chair of Trustees
Having worked for approaching twenty years as a Chartered Surveyor, with the past 11 spent living in Bournemouth, Mark has in recent years also started his own business as a freelance film maker and photographer. With a particular interest in documentary projects and working with community stories and groups, he made a short film for a local project involving those in recovery, and this led him to now having a particular passion to combine his skills in the creative arts with those in addiction and recovery. He also spent 15 years as a Trustee of a charity working in the Middle East, 8 years of which were spent as Chairman.
Julian Thompson - Treasurer (Trustee)
I am a Chartered Surveyor and Housing Specialist who was Head of Housing at one of the major London based multi-national Consultancies till 2008 when I set up a small practice specialising in affordable housing, an area in which I have 30+ years' experience. I have also served as a Board Member of a Housing Association and as a Trustee of a local church based charity where my wife and I head up the outreach to those in recovery from addiction, an area where we have worked for over 25 years. My extensive business experience and outreach to those in recovery attracted me to offer my time to Vita Nova
Valerie Jolliffe - Trustee
I was in the retail industry with my own Ladies Fashion shop from 1978 until 1989 when I became a Partner with my husband in the manufacture and selling of Fireplaces. I did all the administration for the business including buying materials, bookkeeping and running the shop and of course hiring and firing staff as required. In 2001 I was President of Soroptimist International of Bournemouth when I met Sharon Muiruri with members of Vita Nova and was happy to be able to support the group as our Charity for three years. This association has continued since then and we help each other out from time to time. I feel privileged to be a Trustee of this worthwhile organisation.
Ted Taylor - Trustee
Ted was a Youth worker for many years, building up positive relationships, enabling young people to improve their potential, confidence, self-esteem and negotiating skills.
He is also a former Councillor, representing the people in the Kinson South Ward, an important role in listening to peoples issues and finding solutions together and was Mayor of Bournemouth 2005/6.
In 2011 Rosa graduated from the University of Glasgow with BA (Hons) in English Language, specialising in Sociolinguistics and Phonetics. She has sinced moved back home to Bournemouth to gain experience in the Charity sector, looking to develop a career working with vulnerable young people. Read more...
Peter Symons - Trustee
Professional Artist since gaining a BA at the Slade School of Art UCL in 1980. Since then he had also achieved a PGCE (HE) and a Fine Art MA at Wimbledon School of Art (UAL). More recently he has become the course leader for the BA (Hons) Animation Production course at the Arts University Bournemouth.
Read more on Peter Symons
Sharon asked a group of seven recovering addicts to make a play with her about drug awareness for young people. The end result was Scratchin’ the Surface (1999). As a result Vita Nova was founded in the same year. Sharon then co director of Bournemouth Theatre in Education (BTIE) went on to be Vita Nova’s Artistic director.Read more...
Nell Leyshon - Writer in Residence
Nell Leyshon's first novel, Black Dirt, was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and shortlisted for the Commonwealth prize. Her plays include Comfort me with Apples, which won an Evening Standard Award, and Bedlam, which was the first play written by a woman for Shakespeare's Globe. She writes for BBC Radio 3 and 4, and won the Richard Imison Award for her first radio play. Nell was born in Glastonbury and lives in Dorset.Read more...
Jane, Simon, Libby, Jason H., Dan, Andrew, James, Paulo, Bernadette, Steph.
Web Site Credits: Dan, Paul & Alan