New roles at Woodbrooke

03 November 2021

Much has changed for Woodbrooke over the last eighteen months. The coronavirus pandemic presented challenges but also opportunities that have reshaped the work of our Learning & Research Team. In response to these changes, including some staff changes, we undertook a review of the team over the summer of 2021 which included a consultation on the skills and gifts of staff and the needs of the organisation. We are pleased to be able to share with you the outcome of this process.

We have created two new roles within the team: Deputy Head of Learning & Research and Head of Communications. These roles replaced a temporary role and an existing role. Following an internal application and interview process, these roles will be filled by Alison Richards and Jon Martin.

Alison Richards joined us on a temporary contract as Programme Development Manager earlier this year to help support us in managing the changes in our work and responding to a reduction in capacity within the Learning & Research team. Alison brings a wealth of experience in adult education, quality assurance, and senior leadership. As of 1 November, she has ceased her previous role and started as our new Deputy Head of Learning & Research.

Jon Martin has served as our Communications Manager for the last 2 years. He brings a depth of expertise in communications, particularly within a Quaker context, and has played a key role in developing Woodbrooke’s communications and shaping its response to the pandemic.  As of 1 November, he has also ceased his previous role and started as our new Head of Communications.

Both Alison and Jon will form part of the Learning & Research management team at Woodbrooke alongside the Director, Head of Learning & Research and Head of Finance & Compliance. All Learning & Research team staff have taken part in the review of our work and roles and we have clarified responsibilities and are changing some working practices over the next few months.

As of 1 November 2021, these are the new roles within the Learning & Research Team at Woodbrooke:

Timothy Ashworth – Programme Tutor
Beccy Berridge – Learning & Research Administration Manager
Sandra Berry – Director
Simon Best – Head of Learning & Research
Ben Pink Dandelion – Programme Leader – Research
Rhiannon Grant – Deputy Programme Leader – Research
Jon Martin – Head of Communications
Tracey Martin –  Programme Coordinator – Peace and Social Justice & Climate Crisis
Stuart Masters – Programme Coordinator – History & Theology
Carl Philip -Learning & Research Administrator
Alison Richards – Deputy Head of Learning & Research
Mark Russ – Programme Coordinator – Worship & Spirituality
Lynda Scotson – Learning & Research Administrator
Kevin Smith – Head of Finance & Compliance
Rachael Swancott – Programme Coordinator – Community

This list does not include all staff working across Woodbrooke, in particular the library staffing which we will be reviewing in 2022.

In addition to these staffing changes, Woodbrooke Trustees have also created a new Learning & Research Committee to better link with staff in the Learning & Research Team. This will help to shape our learning and research work so that it remains effective and continues to meet the needs of Friends.

We hope that Friends can appreciate the amount of change that Woodbrooke is undergoing, and we hope you will uphold us as we move forward. It may take time for people to establish their new roles and we may need to temporarily reduce our activity at the start of 2022 in order to do this and to ensure the wellbeing of our staff.  So much has changed and continues to change and we are actively working on how we can best work together. We are confident though, that these changes will help us to better reflect the learning needs of Friends and the challenges within the wider world, enabling our Learning & Research Team to continue our mission to foster the vital ministry of Friends worldwide.



  • The changes within the Learning & Research Team have been managed through informal consultation and voluntary changes
  • The cost of the Learning & Research Team to Woodbrooke remains close to the resourcing budgets prior to the review
  • If you want to support Woodbrooke you can do via donating as an individual or a Quaker community, find out more at:
  • To see staff profiles, including Associate Tutors and Associate Academics see:

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