Meet the Board
Diane joined as Chair in 2017, bringing a background in HR and Arts Management. Diane has an MA in Strategic HR and Policy and has been a Magistrate in London for several years, hence her particular interest in Safe Ground’s preventative and community work. Alongside her role at Safe Ground, Diane is a Trustee of Crown Simmons Housing, Trustee of Pentabus Theatre Company, and Director of Building 15 Management Company. Diane worked as a management consultant and has worked in the arts, private and voluntary sector, until recently also owning a hotel in New Zealand for many years.
A board member at Safe Ground since 2014, Deanna is a poet; writer, performer, and facilitator. Writing and performing commissions include; ‘Bigger Than Sport’ (Sports Personality of The Year BBC1), ‘Black History Matters’ (BBC SPORT 2020), ‘Psychobitches’ (SMALL GREEN SHOOTS), ‘Ode to Summer Infant Duo’, Keats 200 (KEATS HOUSE MUSEUM). She has facilitated poetry for over ten years and more recently has begun to adapt, design, and deliver long term and intensive programs. She delivers two university poetry modules; Writing for Performance with Benjamin Zephaniah at Brunel, and Poetry and Public Engagement with Alyson Hallett at UWE, and is poet tutor at School of Communication Arts.
Grace joined Safe Ground in 2017 and is currently studying for an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science at the LSE. Grace has around five years of experience in civil society roles, recently as the Policy and Research Manager for the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, managing the Power Sharing Project which explored lived experience in social change and campaigning, and before that for NPC, a think tank and consultancy for charities and funders. She has experience in research, consultancy and policy in the not-for-profit sector, with a particular focus on the criminal justice system and social change.
A board member since 2017, Laura Lines is a Funding Manager at the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, an independent grant-maker funding in the arts, children and young people, the environment and social change. Laura also co-convenes the Association of Charitable Foundation’s Criminal Justice Network and is on the steering group of the Corston Coalition. Laura is also a trustee for the Coutts Foundation, since 2019. Laura has extensive experience as a funding manager across a range of social issues in one of the largest UK funders.
Joining the Board in 2019, Jason Smith works as a development coach for young people in the care of local authorities, based in residential housing for young people in crisis. Alongside his experience as a community support worker, Jason is an award-winning poet and facilitator and has previously supported Safe Ground through his performances at The National Theatre, The Roundhouse, Stoke City’s Bet 365 Football Stadium, Tate Modern, The Royal Festival Hall, and a number of BBC radio productions. Jason is an alumni graduate of Family Man, having taken the programme in 2008.
A board member since 2019, Richard is an entrepreneur, problem solver and networker with an excellent set of commercial skills currently put to use in a Covid safety equipment business. Richard has a long history of involvement in community and prison programmes including his support of the Prison Phoenix Trust. An avid writer and performer, Richard has performed at Safe Ground events at The National Theatre, The Roundhouse, St. Ethelburgers Centre for Peace and Reconciliation; and has presented with Safe Ground to students at Warwick University and The International School (Geneva). In 2011 Richard participated in both Family Man and (unusually), Fathers Inside.
Jess Genevieve Bailey
Before moving to the UK for a research fellowship at the Wellcome Collection, Jess Bailey taught college classes inside the San Quentin Prison for the Prison University Project. Jess joined Safe Ground in 2019 and is a PhD candidate in the history of art completing a concurrent degree in medieval studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Jess is writing a dissertation about the visual cultures of premodern gunpowder, masculinity, and gendered violence. Her research engages the history of medicine, disability studies, and feminist critical theory.
Jon works as a site supervisor in the construction industry. As a team leader and responsible officer for Health and Safety on site, Jon takes his position very seriously. Describing his working class background as fundamental to his development, Jon has a clear and robust analysis of his own life and changes. Jon took part in Fathers Inside in late 2018, leaving prison shortly afterwards and maintaining his relationship with Safe Ground. Jon is a father and a beekeeper.
Currently working as an EC and Institutional Donor Grant Audit Manager at PKF Littlejohn LLP, UK in the Not for Profit Division, Tatheer is a certified Chartered Accountant and Fellow Member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She has over 10 years of work experience in the field of audit and not for profit sector, including working at Ernst & Young Pakistan and United Nations Development Programme Pakistan. She is a graduate of SZABIST Pakistan with a MSc in Development Studies while majoring in public policy and climate change.