Creative Lives’ board members talk about the passion driving their valuable contribution to the organisation’s governance – and what the roles gives them in return.

David Bryan CBE, Creative Lives’ Chair, shares his view: 

Being a part of Creative Lives has been tremendous. I am an admirer of the work that we do both through our projects and initiatives. Each one enables ordinary people who are passionate about living find an opportunity to express themselves and in some instances discover that which brings them joy. 

I’m particularly proud of our relentless drive to find better ways to amplify the invaluable work that is done by small groups, who are not seeking to build big structures but provide the energy that makes places have value and history. 

The diversity of the board, in all its rich manifestations, has been essential. When I was approached to be Chair, it was after I had assisted the organisation to open a dialogue with people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. This was an enjoyable process of sharing and learning that culminated in mutual respect and a relationship that for several who took part in that process continues with them becoming board members. As with all the board members, those from diverse ethnic backgrounds brought skills, experiences and insights that made them equal contributors.

As a black Chair, I was drawn by the warmth of the board members from across the nations. It was the case when I joined and continues to be the case today, fostering a sense of shared humanity and demonstrating that appreciation is evident at Creative Lives. 

Covid has not diminished our determination to make a difference. In fact, I think we spoke more to each other through adapting our meetings and creating board updates/briefings to both reduce long board meetings and enable us to create space to discuss ideas and think aloud.

We are continually striving to improve what we do and how we do things going forward, we have had setbacks with some of our ambitions and valuable learning. And as we continue to transform the organisation we will make bolder ventures. 

Our meetings in person are great and still slightly strange, seeing the whole person, but fundamental. Nonetheless the positive relations developed makes coming together an endeavour worth making the time to do.

After 30 years of Creative Lives (formerly Voluntary Arts), it is crucial that we do not become complacent and self absorbed and seek new opportunities to improve the quality of everyday life. 

David works as a management consultant within the voluntary and public sectors, has been a member of Arts Council England’s national council, and lectured at Goldsmith College amongst many other positions. He is also currently Chair of Battersea Arts Centre, Director of Dunraven (School) Educational Trust and was appointed to the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm by the Mayor of London.



Helen Keatley, Wales Convenor

“Accessing opportunities to be creative is a fortune. Luckily, I have had many. This is why I am delighted to have become a trustee with Creative Lives – a role that enables me to support a great organisation that effectively helps others to also discover those opportunities to be creative, too.”

Helen has worked in both the public and private sector, as well as running her own business. She has held positions at the National Trust and the City and County of Swansea Council, and currently works at the Wales Audit Office.

Leanne Rahman, Trustee

It is an honour to be a part of the Creative Lives family; a team of passionate people who support and encourage everyday creativity and advocate its benefits among our nation-wide communities.

Leanne joined the Creative Lives board in December 2020. She has worked as a project manager, trainer, and arts and events coordinator in Cardiff, specialising in audio visual, performance arts and diversity.

Pauline Tambling CBE, England Convenor

“Being a trustee is always a valuable experience as it develops skills and knowledge beyond the day job. As a trustee of Creative Lives I feel part of a community that is promoting everyday creativity all over the country as well as meeting interesting people and learning new things all the time.”

Pauline has worked in various positions in the arts and creative industries since 1983, including Chief Executive of Creative & Cultural Skills. She set up and ran the Royal Opera’s Education Programme and has held senior roles at Arts Council England.

Jill Miller OBE, Scotland Convener

I see creativity as being essential to people’s health and well-being, community cohesion and to developing a positive economy, so am delighted to be part of a board that has this as its core purpose.

Jill has extensive public and voluntary sector experience, with specific interests in creativity, inclusion, engagement and wellbeing. For many years, she was Director of Cultural Services at Glasgow Life. 

Tom Doyle, Republic of Ireland Convener

“One of the things I particularly admire about Creative Lives is its commitment towards building and sustaining communities. In my role as a trustee, I find myself continuously inspired by the breadth and depth of the collective engagement across the organisation towards everyday creativity. And as much as I inform, I am also informed, thereby challenging and motivating my own practice within the creative arts.”

Tom joined the Creative Lives’ board in November 2020. He is a freelance musical director and lecturer, accomplished pianist and répétiteur.  Tom has worked with many renowned Irish singers, as well as ensembles such as Irish Youth Opera and Cork Operatic Society.