We Don’t Settle is committed to working with communities of empowered young people who are minoritised by society, systems and structures. We cultivate creativity, embrace cultures, and we live and breathe heritage.

We aim to positively impact the communities of young people who don’t want to settle for the status quo. We champion sustainable change as opposed to tokenistic attempts, by approaching everything we do in co-design with young people.

Our work revolves around giving young people the platforms to tell their stories. This may be through events and creative commissions, providing spaces for skills development, and supporting their social action projects by funding their ideas.

We are determined to shift the power balance by facilitating spaces for young people and organisations to co-design new youth engagement structures that contribute to systemic change. 

OUR

VISION

Young people who are minoritised by society, systems and structures, feel empowered and encouraged not to settle.

OUR

MISSION

To amplify unheard voices, and platform untold stories through arts culture and heritage.

OUR

VALUES

CULTURE AND STORY-TELLING

This is our foundation. We harness the power of art and creativity to celebrate communities. We create opportunities and platforms for young people to tell their stories to the people who need to hear them.

BELONGING AND INTERSECTIONALITY

We create safe and inclusive spaces where people feel comfortable expressing themselves. We use our leverage and influence to give young people a seat at decision-making tables.

BEING RESPONSIVE AND INTENTIONAL

We listen and echo. We are alert and tailor our programmes to young people’s responses to world events. We consult with young people to ensure that our work and approach are authentic.

MEET

THE

TEAM

We Don’t Settle is run by a young and vibrant Birmingham-based team, our Board of Directors, and our Youth Steering Committee of young leaders. Our culture is filled with inspiration, laughter, care and support for each other.

ANDREEA CHELARU

General Manager 

Passion for managing teams and contributing to social justice. Loves animals and the works of Frida Kahlo. Romanian sense of humour.

Eugene Thabo Hilton

Community and Content Manager

I freeze time with my camera (photographer). Lover of creativity and art. Proud African.

Sachin Kumarendran

OPERATIONS LEAD

Comedian, artist and Office Coordinator. Sachin has a degree in physics, a Golden Retriever, and likes watching the old episodes of the Simpsons that came out in the ‘90s

Nompumelelo Ncube

Freelance Creative Producer

Images are my thing, storytelling is my passion, fashion is my DNA. I’m a photojournalist obsessed with representation and alternative truths.

YOUTH

STEERING

COMMITTEE

Elania Hunt

Environmental activist and music lover, always keen for a boogie and  try very hard to keep my houseplants alive.

David Adesanya

Mathematician. Baker. Design nerd. Speaks Mandarin with the mandem. Razor sharp strategist, Sunrise runner and a member of the Dimples gang / DSS.

Sanne Chiza Blanco

Spanish and Ecuadorian. In love with everything art related, going to concerts and socialising.

Amirah Harvey-Head

Social scientist with an arts background, loves photography and crochet as well as a lover of tattoos and body modification.

Pavani Konda

Freelance social media manager and marketer, who’s also a writer and content creator. She’s Penguin Random Houses’ top 24 shortlisted for their 2023 Write Now Programme, We Are Pocc’s 2023 Artist In Residence for her poetry and 64MillionArtist’s creativity champion 2024.

She likes travelling, coffee shops, languages and meeting different kinds of people. Pavani is deeply curious about understanding why we all do what we do, all of which she works on translating through her creative practice. You can find her on her socials @herpoetryplaylist.

BOARD

OF DIRECTORS

RACHEL NOEL

CO-CHAIR

Rachel is an experienced learning curator and cultural leader building community through art, ideas and public programming. Guided by equity, liberation and social justice Rachel has been developing Young People’s Programmes across Tate Britain, Tate Modern and locally, nationally and internationally since 2014. 

CHRIS SUDWORTH

CO-CHAIR

Chris Sudworth is Director of Artistic Programme at Birmingham Hippodrome, where he has worked since 2017. He leads on stage programming, produced work, commissioning and artist development activity; and oversees access, Learning & Participation. 

ISOBEL WILSON-CLEAR

BOARD DIRECTOR

Isobel is a values-driven and outcomes-focused communications and engagement strategist and manager. She designs, delivers and evaluates communications strategies and plans to build common ground, promote positive attitudes and behaviours and encourage the uptake and use of research in the UK and overseas.

SHAID PARVEEN

BOARD DIRECTOR

Shaid is a qualified solicitor who has extensive experience working in both the private and public sector, prior to moving into Higher Education, teaching law on undergraduate and postgraduate courses. In recognition of her achievements, Shaid was awarded the Legal Academic of the Year at the national Women in Law Awards 2021. 

GEORGIA HASELDINE

BOARD DIRECTOR

From Sheffield and now based in east London, Georgia is an artist, researcher and public engagement practitioner. She is currently Curator of the V&A East Storehouse (opening 2024), a radically reinvented collections store that will offer visitors unprecedented access to the V&A’s collection of art, design and performance as well as offer a behind-the-scenes encounter with the museum, its services and activities. 

IAN HUGHES

BOARD DIRECTOR

Ian was formerly Finance Director at the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, where he was responsible for all Corporate Services including Finance, HR, Technology, Legal. He retains an advisory role with the Fund and supports a number of other organisations in developing their approach to Finance and related matters. 

RACHEL NOEL

Co-chair

Rachel is an experienced learning curator and cultural leader building community through art, ideas and public programming. Guided by equity, liberation and social justice, she works toward a future where everyone, particularly young people minoritised by systems in society, can see themselves reflected in art around them – in our local communities, public spaces, museums and galleries.

Rachel has been developing Young People’s Programmes across Tate Britain, Tate Modern and locally, nationally and internationally since 2014. As Convenor, she has led the programme since 2019. Co-developed with Tate Collective Producers – a diverse collective of 150 young people aged 15-25 – the programme includes large-scale lates, workshops, performances, community art commissions, and experimental in-gallery spaces. Rachel also co-leads Tate Collective, Tate’s youth arts scheme of 130,000 members under 26.

Embedding practices of care and equity in her work, Rachel leads strategy and organisational change projects, including anti-racism work, organisation-wide careers and mentoring programmes and supporting young people, emerging artists and cultural producers to take up space in the galleries and local communities. From September 2022, Rachel is looking forward to moving into the Head of Programmes and Partnerships role for Tate Learning, and developing her leadership journey on the Clore Fellowship programme, as a 2022 Excellerate Fellow. 

Chris Sudworth

Co-chair

Chris Sudworth is Director of Artistic Programme at Birmingham Hippodrome, where he has worked since 2017. He leads on stage programming, produced work, commissioning and artist development activity; and oversees access, Learning & Participation. Previously, Chris was Executive Director of The Old Rep Birmingham, and the first Creative Director of The Core at Corby Cube: opening and establishing a venue with young people and communities at its heart, developing new work and partnerships nationally and internationally. Prior to that, he was a freelance director and producer, led a national young people’s leadership programme for Arts Council England and convened an international youth leadership summit for Contacting The World Festival. Chris is a member of the More Than a Moment core working group, championing a more equitable arts and culture sector in the West Midlands and beyond. 

Isobel Wilson-Clear

Board Director

Isobel is a values-driven and outcomes-focused communications and engagement strategist and manager. She designs, delivers and evaluates communications strategies and plans to build common ground, promote positive attitudes and behaviours and encourage the uptake and use of research in the UK and overseas.

She is currently Head of Communications and Engagement (Business Engagement and Research Strategy) at the University of Birmingham. Isobel is passionate about the importance of learning and education, increasing access to opportunity and amplifying young people’s voices in decision-making.

She has previously been a trustee for Birmingham Civic Society (2018 – 2020), a member of Beatfreeks’ Youth Steering Committee (2017/2018) and Vice Chair of Development in Action – a youth-led global citizenship charity (2014 – 2016).

Shaid Parveen

Board Director

Shaid is a qualified solicitor who has extensive experience working in both the private and public sector, prior to moving into Higher Education, teaching law on undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Currently, Shaid is a Senior Teaching Fellow and Employability Lead at Aston University and works with stakeholders and prospective employers to enhance employability outcomes for students. She teaches Legal Skills, Business and Contract law.

Shaid has represented the interests of lawyers and clients at both a national and local level in her capacity as a member of the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee and as a current member of the Birmingham Law Society Council, Chair of the Race , Ethnicity and Cultural, Heritage (REACH) subcommittee and member of the Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. In addition, Shaid is a school governor and sits on the Governance Committee.

Shaid is passionate about empowering young people and has combined the disciplines of the Art and the Law to provide young people with a voice, as she led on organising a spoken word competition through REACH, with the winner securing work experience with an international law firm. Shaid has undertaken research which has focused on the student voice and spoken at a number of national conferences.

Shaid has a proven track record of working with Executive Teams to address issues of EDI and widening participation proactively, with positive outcomes.

In recognition of her achievements, Shaid was awarded the Legal Academic of the Year at the national Women in Law Awards 2021. 

Georgia Haseldine

Board Director

From Sheffield and now based in east London, Georgia is an artist, researcher and public engagement practitioner. She is currently Curator of the V&A East Storehouse (opening 2024), a radically reinvented collections store that will offer visitors unprecedented access to the V&A’s collection of art, design and performance as well as offer a behind-the-scenes encounter with the museum, its services and activities. She previously led The Question of Clay research project with Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates where through a series of collaborations she set up a temporary brickworks and performance space in east London as well as instigated a community-led research and making project in Stoke-on-Trent reimagining Wedgwood’s anti-slavery medallion. Before this she worked at National Portrait Gallery and Queen Mary University of London, where her work as an art historian of protest won her several awards. 

Ian Hughes

Board Director

Ian was formerly Finance Director at the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, where he was responsible for all Corporate Services including Finance, HR, Technology, Legal. He retains an advisory role with the Fund and supports a number of other organisations in developing their approach to Finance and related matters.

He is a Non-Executive Director of The Oversight Trust (formerly Big Society Trust) who are the supervisory body of the four organisations delivering funding solutions from the funds for good services under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts scheme.

Prior to 2015, Ian was Finance Director for BBC News Group responsible for National, International and Local and Regional news services.

Ian is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. When not working Ian has interests in the theater and music and mountain walking.