The Staff and Board of Collective Encounters would like to bid a heartfelt, and fond farewell and thank you to our Chair of the Board of Trustees, Professor Bill Chambers who has stepped down after 9 years in the role.

During his tenure Bill has led Collective Encounters from a small start-up organisation to an established concern. Collective Encounters is part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio and has an international reputation in the fields of applied theatre and theatre for social change. Of his time with Collective Encounters Bill said, “It has been a real privilege to be Chair of Collective Encounters for the last nine years. Their work is vital, inspiring and important to both the arts sector as a whole and the communities it serves. I have many great memories of our productions, and am grateful for the years of enjoyment, satisfaction and insight I have experienced whilst chairing this wonderful organisation”.

Bill will stay in touch with the organisation: he’s s recently been appointed as Collective Encounters’ inaugural patron. Maria Hornsby MBE will join Bill as one of the first patrons of Collective Encounters.

Graham Whitham is to succeed Professor Bill Chambers in the role of Chair. Graham has been involved with Collective Encounters for three years. Prior to his position as Senior Policy Advisor on UK Poverty at Oxfam he spent six years leading on Save the Children’s UK poverty and research work. Graham is an expert in poverty measurement, the labour market, welfare reform and the ‘poverty premium’ and is also a founder member of Greater Manchester Poverty Action and an advisor to the University of Manchester’s and London School of Economics’ Inclusive Growth Unit. The Staff and Board are delighted to welcome Graham to the role of Chair.

“I am delighted to have been appointed as chair of Collective Encounters. I have been on the board for the last three years, and seen how the organisation uses theatre and creativity as a tool for tackling some of the most important political and social issues of today. I am very much looking forward to leading Collective Encounters through its next stage of development”.