Natalie Melton, Creative Director of the Crafts Council and Michael Smith, Founding Director of Cog Design will join the Board in November 2021.
With People United’s agenda of radical, change-making kindness more crucial than ever, our new Trustees will play a key role in the organisation’s strategic and creative development, including supporting our current creative programme, Futures of Care.
Janice McGuinness, People United CEO said: “We are delighted to welcome our new Trustees to the People United team. Natalie and Michael bring compassion, creativity and a unique set of skills to the team and are both dedicated to furthering People United’s mission to broaden access to the arts and to champion radical kindness within our local communities and beyond”.
Meet our new Trustees
Natalie is the Creative Director of the Crafts Council, a role she has held since January 2019. Prior to that she was Co-Founder and Managing Director of The New Craftsmen, a business which curates, commissions and sells craft with a strong narrative and distinct aesthetic.
Her career has been spent working in the creative industries, with a focus on supporting creative individuals, emerging businesses and developing ambitious partnerships to reach new audiences.
Natalie is a regular media commentator and is a passionate advocate for the power of craft to uplift, enrich and transform society. People United is her first Board appointment.
I’m a passionate advocate for the transformative role of the arts in society and have been inspired by the rigour and thought that underpins People United’s work with local communities to promote kindness through creativity. I’m proud to be joining an organisation whose purpose is more critical now than ever before. Natalie Melton, People United Trustee
Michael founded the digital design agency, Cog Design in 1991. The company is centred around a belief in the power of culture to shape people’s lives.
For more than thirty years Michael has worked with high profile cultural sector clients throughout the UK, including national orchestras, large-scale touring companies, producing theatres, disability arts champions and internationally renowned choreographers.
Michael is a frequent commentator on design, empathy and sustainability, in the press and as a guest lecturer. He is a regular mentor at University of Greenwich and University of the Arts London.
He is a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and has recently finished a five-year tenure as Trustee and Executive Chair with the National Campaign for the Arts.
I’ve long admired the exceptional, human-centred work done by People United. In a world where words can be cheap, it is unusual to find a charity taking action and using radical kindness to make such a positive impact in people’s lives. I am delighted to be joining the team as a Trustee. Michael Smith, People United Trustee
Two further Trustees will join the Board soon and will be announced in due course.