Hello! Here’s a little bit about me….
I have worked on a diverse range of participatory cultural and built heritage projects over the years, ranging from musical heritage, faith buildings and corner shops to the preservation of a pottery, ‘Capability Brown’ landscape, public swimming baths, jewellery manufactory, housing estate, and a coffin furniture factory. Each has been unique and full of interesting and creative people and outcomes. I especially enjoy working on schemes that tackle dereliction and giving new futures to historic buildings; it is so rewarding being part of the solution!
I live in Birmingham and love the the city’s industrial heritage and the social history that brings it to life. My real interest and passion lie beyond the bricks and mortar itself though, and I thrive on finding ways for people to learn about, be inspired by, get involved with and simply enjoy the heritage of places. For me there is nothing better than creating opportunities for people to gain access into buildings which have lain empty for years, or go ‘behind the scenes’ during conservation work.
As a consultant I work strategically, but always from a grass roots community perspective. For me it is really important that a wide range of voices are heard in any public consultations to meaningfully inform and shape plans and projects. I have a lot of experience in the actual hands-on delivery of projects, including those funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and this lends itself to ensuring that programmes of community engagement activity are realistic, bespoke to the local area and communities, appealing and achievable.
As a community enthusiast I am always looking for ways to bring people together through shared experiences and activity. I run a social enterprise called Woolly Mammoth Stitch Works CIC with the talented Tina Francis. We create large-scale collaborative tapestries that increase people’s wellbeing and connectedness. In my spare time I am a community organiser with Birmingham More In Common, and I run a community cinema called Stirchley Open Cinema.
Please visit my portfolio page for a summary of my projects and consultancy work over the last few years.
You can connect with me in the following ways:
T: 07793 075737
… and here are a few nice things people have said about me…
Director of Fundraising, Ruskin Mill Trust
“Suzanne has a fantastic reputation for her enthusiasm, dedication, inspiration and ability to deliver. We found all these qualities to be not only true but exceeded in every expectation. She is a pleasure and delight to work with and her networking skills are second to none. We were also extremely impressed with how Suzanne recruits, manages and looks after an enthusiastic team of volunteers. I cannot recommend her highly enough. What a dynamo.”
“I’ve worked alongside Suzanne a number of times. We worked together to help Stirchley Baths win a substantial Heritage Lottery Grant, we worked again when I was on the board of Birmingham Conservation Trust and Suzanne was working there. Her energy, imagination and commitment to involving real people in real heritage is frankly un-rivalled. Her capacity to make many things happen is extraordinary and her desire to do things that are fresh and human and exciting remarkable. Work with her, but expect to find it bracing, in a good way!”
Here is a lovely BLOG POST written by Jenni, a former trustee of Birmingham Conservation Trust, all about her experience working with me, written as a parting gift on my departure.
Community Rights Mobilisation Manager, Department of Communities & Local Government
“Suzanne was an exceptionally hard working and committed member of [English Heritage] staff. She worked above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that every project was delivered to the highest possible standard. The investment she made into every community engagement project showed great results as she built up such strong relationships with the individual participants and partners with whom she worked. She is committed to the idea and practice of enabling the marginalised and disenfranchised to have equal access to participating in culture, and produced creative, original projects which gave people a voice to have their say on their heritage. Suzanne always made the hard work of real community engagement look easy and put her boundless energy into everything she did.”
Cultural Engagement Consultant
“Suze is a force to be reckoned with, I have rarely worked with someone who is so consistent in delivery. I had the pleasure of working with Suze both as a colleague and then subsequently as a job- share at English Heritage and found her endless energy, enthusiasm and can do attitude a joy to work with and a great asset. When taking on a project she always manages to maximise every opportunity, with a no nonsense down to earth attitude, meaning that she is quickly liked, trusted and respected by those she works with. I miss working with Suze and would have no hesitation in recommending her for any community engagement project or consultancy work.”
Equality, Diversity & Human Rights Lead/Charity Trustee/ Public Speaker
“I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Suzanne in relation to ongoing work to develop a £multi-million Heritage Lottery Fund bid to improve the visitor offer for Delapre Abbey, Northampton. Suzanne and I worked to organise a series of tours and discussion sessions with multi-disability, LGBT, diverse communities, older people and youth groups and volunteers from the community. Suzanne demonstrated great competency and sensitivity to the needs of the project and the wide range of people being engaged, adapting each session to meet particular needs and people left saying what an excellent experience they’d had. Suzanne was a pleasure to work with and I’d be delighted to work with her again in the future.”