Our board members come from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, bringing expertise and experience to CAN.

Board of Directors

Community Arts North West Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (number 1400213) and a registered charity (number 277135).

Our Board of Directors is legally responsible for the activity of the company and members are elected each year at our Annual General Meeting. Our board members come from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, bringing expertise and experience from the cultural sector, business world and voluntary sector.

We are proud of the contribution our board members make to the development of the organisation through their commitment, hard work and expertise.

Board members:

  • Martin Hazlehurst is the CAN Chair and former National Manager of the National Care Advisory Service and founder and Director of A National Voice, a user led organisation representing children in care and care leavers.
  • Katie Hall is CAN’s Treasurer and a Director of Slade and Cooper Accountants.
  • Dr Peggy Mulongo is a Cross-Cultural Mental Health Practitioner with 15 years’ experience of working with Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in the UK.  She is the co-founding member of NESTAC, a Refugee Community Organisation (RCO) which has been addressing the socio-cultural and wellbeing needs of the African population, primarily in Greater Manchester, since 2003. Peggy is expert in delivering cross-cultural psycho-social therapy to refugees and asylum seekers from diverse ethnic backgrounds, especially women and young girls who have experienced mental distress relating to Violence Against Women and Girls, such as that associated with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Peggy is a national Lead UK FGM Consultant, Mental Health Lecturer and Campaigner. She initiated the FGM Programme Support our Sisters (SOS), a BJM Award-Winner 2015; the Guardian Project in 2016 to support children and young girls victims or at risk of FGM; and more recently in light of the COVID-19 breakdown, Dr Mulongo launched the Ear for You Project, a regional therapeutic helpline to support the emotional needs of the BAME population severely affected by the pandemic. Peggy holds a MSc in Advanced Nursing Studies with a focus on mental health and culture. She also holds a PhD in the same field from the University of Salford. She is the Head of Health & Wellbeing at NESTAC, and a Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing and Practice at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
  • Rajesh Patel is a Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Metropolitan University in Youth and Community-Work. His teaching and research interests include: creativity in education, working with BAME communities, and partnership-working. Rajesh attained a Doctorate in 2015 in Reflective Practice where the use of creative research methods formed a major part of his work. Previously Rajesh has worked as a Volunteer, Worker and Senior Manager in the Youth and Community Sector, across the North West and West Yorkshire. For three years he worked as the North West Manager for CAPE UK where he gained experience of fundraising, business-planning and advocacy. Rajesh first came into contact with CAN as a young person in a music-project for Black communities in Tameside thirty years ago.
  • Maya Sharma is a Collections Access Officer at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre, where she works with a rich and varied set of collections all relating to Black, Asian, ethnic minority and migrant heritage.  Previously, she worked for the Audience Agency, helping cultural organisations understand and diversify their audiences as well as embed learning and engagement in their activities. She has also worked for the National Lottery Heritage Fund and for the Oxfam Routes to Solidarity Programme, supporting BME women’s organisations in the North West. She has a long track record of working with seldom-listened-to and often-marginalised communities and their organisations, as well as pushing for more meaningful diversity work within mainstream organisations.
  • Lesa Dryburgh is a coach, facilitator, trainer, project manager and communications consultant in the cultural, educational and not-for-profit sectors. She founded her own small business in 2002 and works nationally and internationally. Clients have included: British Council in Batumi, Georgia, and Singapore; Contact, Manchester; Clore Leadership Programme; Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; National Theatre Wales and the University of Salford amongst many others. She works collaboratively and values a combined approach to explore and achieve goals. Lesa is a Clore Fellow; International Member of the Association for Coaching (MAC) and Fellow of The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA). She lives in Manchester, sings in a community choir and feasts on arts and cultural events.
  • Gurdeep Thiara has worked in community engagement within Manchester’s cultural, voluntary and charity sector for over 20 years. Gurdeep currently works for Refugee Action, with refugees arriving into Greater Manchester. Prior to this she led on outreach and education projects at the People’s History Museum and the Manchester Museum, with people and groups from the region’s diverse communities including schools, community centres and mental health charities. Gurdeep has used arts, sport and education to promote health, wellbeing and social change. She has experience in project management, training development, group-work facilitation, events management and partnership work.
  • Cllr Tim Whiston has been a Councillor for Sharston ward in Manchester since May 2019.  As well as being a Councillor, he studies English Literature at Manchester University.  Tim also substitutes for the Manchester Council member of the GM Combined Authority Arts and Culture Board.