Project Evaluator wanted, deadline 30 June 2014

We are looking to appoint an external Project Evaluator to work with our team to deliver the Maintenance Co-operatives Project Evaluation Strategy.  The timescale is from July 2014 to December 2016 (estimated 3-5 weeks’ work over three years) and the deadline for proposals is 30 June 2014.  Proposals (maximum 4 sides of A4) should detail how you would go about delivering the project’s Evaluation Strategy, and include an outline of your or your company’s background, similar projects that you have worked on, details of who would be carrying out the work and two references. You can find the Evaluation Tender and the Evaluation Strategy on our website home page  or email Sheila Christie, the Project Administrator, on

A virtual cup of tea with the project team

One of the exciting and challenging aspects of this project is that all team members are based in different locations round England, so meeting up as a team requires planning and a lot of travel time.  However yesterday we held our first virtual team meeting, using Google Hangout to get 9 people together for 45 minutes  – we could all see and hear each other on-screen, have a cup of tea while we chatted, and no-one had to move a step from their offices.  We’re all part-time, with different working days and patterns throughout the week, so it can be difficult to get the whole team together at any one time.  However yesterday, despite initial technical hiccups, we managed a meeting to ask questions, exchange views and move us forward in setting up Maintenance Co-ops in 5 regions.  Here’s to our next virtual cup of tea next month.

Team Maintenance Cooperatives ready to go

October was a hive of activity for the fledgling Maintenance Cooperative project.  With the green light from the heritage Lottery Fund Sara, Matthew and latterly me as the new Project Manager, embarked on a nation wide recruitment drive which has seen the core SPAB team grow by nearly a third.  With all the staff appointed and due to start before Christmas this is the perfect time to introduce the new team:

Kate Streeter, Project Manager
Kate comes to the project from Burgh House and Hampstead Museum where she has been Manager for nearly six years. She trained in Archaeology and Anthropology and later in Heritage Management. She has worked with a number of publically open historic buildings and is well versed in maintaining them with limited resources and the invaluable help and support of volunteers. Kate co-founded London Shh (Small Historic Houses), a collective of historic houses working together to address the common challenges that they face, and is now very much looking forward to working with the Maintenance Cooperatives team to launch this new project.

Sheila Christie, Administrator
Sheila has been working at ICOMOS-UK (International Council on Monuments and Sites UK) as Office Manager, helping the organisation fulfil its role as adviser to UNESCO on UK world heritage sites.  She has over 10 years’ experience as an administrator on a variety of projects outside the heritage sector, before which she worked in the voluntary sector and in publishing. She has spent many of her holidays for the past 20 years clearing ivy, leaves and moss from a traditional French stone house, barn and bread oven.  She will be based at the SPAB offices in London, and is looking forward to getting started on a new project and providing the admin support for the team as they start to set up the maintenance co-operatives.

James Innerdale, Technical Officer
James is an Architect specialising in the repair and conservation of historic buildings in Cumbria, and the Yorkshire Dales. He was awarded the SPAB Scholarship in 1996 and subsequently worked as the Society’s Northern Officer for a number of years which at the time included both casework and manning the technical advice line. Having returned to architectural practice James has continued to be involved with the SPAB, being a corresponding member of the technical panel and member of the voluntary casework panel. For those regular readers of the SPAB Magazine James is also the resident cartoonist. James is particularly excited by the opportunity to provide help, advice and training through the Maintenance Co-operative Project.

Stella Jackson, Lincolnshire Project Officer
Stella joins the team from English Heritage, where she has worked in the Designation Department since 2005, although she was recently seconded to the Government Advice Team as Places of Worship Adviser, which whetted her appetite for the work that the Maintenance Cooperatives team will be involved with. Stella is also undertaking a part-time PhD at the University of York, looking at the values attached to local heritage sites. She is particularly looking forward to working with and developing the skills of local volunteers.

Alaina Schmisseur, North East Project Officer
Alaina has been working in archaeology and conservation across the United Kingdom and Europe for the last decade.  She trained as a professional conservator and holds an MA in Medieval Archaeology.  Alaina is excited to be working on the project as she believes that the greatest chance for the future advancement and continuation of heritage protection is dependent on establishing strong support from local communities. She is most looking forward to supporting and encouraging local groups in their efforts to protect the future of their heritage buildings.

Kate Andrew, Herford and Worcestershire Project Offcier
Kate has spent most of her career in museums, maintaining curatorial responsibility for geology collections in addition to working in senior management roles. She is fascinated by the history of natural science in the late eighteenth to mid nineteenth century and the explosion of interest in collecting.  Kate was County Curator of Natural History based at Ludlow Museum from 1995 to 2002 and Principal Heritage Officer for Herefordshire from 2002 to 2012.

Colm O’Kelly, South West Project Officer
Colm trained as a Landscape Architect and is currently studying for an MSc in the Conservation of Historic Buildings.  He has spent the last thirteen years as a Project Manager for Heritage Lottery funded projects, all involving the conservation and adaptive reuse of listed buildings. He is particularly looking forward to working with the rest of the team and partner organisations to support those involved with historic places of worship to “Stave off decay by daily care”.

Susan Manson, Cumbrian Project Officer
Sue Manson has worked for environmental and conservation organisations, latterly the Friends of the Lake District, on a variety of projects with community and voluntary groups helping to deliver environmental and built heritage projects. Sue was attracted to the co-operatives project by the prospect of helping share knowledge between community groups in a SPAB related way and is looking forward to building on the work of the Faith in Maintenance project. Likes walking, beekeeping, bell ringing and old buildings.

We are all enthusiastic to get started on the project, which will really get going in the New Year.  Watch this space for news and updates on our activities.

Excited to be involved!

The National Churches Trust is very pleased and excited to be so closely involved in the new Maintenance Co-operative Movement project.

The Trust has a long history of working with places of worship, and encouraging good and proper maintenance, particularly through our grants programmes. We hope that through our direct contact with churches, chapels and meeting houses, and through our close relationship with local churches trusts across the UK we will be able to strengthen the project development by drawing on a wide range of experience, from a variety of areas.

To find out more about the Trust and the local churches trusts we work with please visit our website or our facebook page.