About Who we are Staff Claire Sharples A Manchester-made boomerang, Claire has worked with social, educational and creative projects across UK, Europe and Asia, always returning to the North West. Claire has focussed on the wider social contexts and holistic impacts of cultural and creative practices since undergraduate study (Visual and Material Culture, Kingston University), working in participatory documentary and community media and when completing her master's degree in 2017 (Malmö University), during which she focused particularly on the role of creative cultural exchange in an inclusive public sphere. Prior to joining Voluntary Arts England, Claire has worked in communications, coordination, research and evaluation roles across the public and cultural sectors. This has included sector support, working with Creative Europe Desk UK (British Council, Arts Council England, British Film Institute), Curious Minds, coordinating the national pilot of the Cultural Citizens Programme in the North West, as well as ongoing evaluation consultation for projects such as Cast's 'Social Seats' project and Collective Encounters' 'Above & Beyond', 'Centre for Excellence in Participatory Theatre' and 'Women in Action' programmes. Claire supports a number of local community projects that address social inclusion and community wellbeing, including community cultural spaces, gardens, language and befriending initiative and brings this experience and commitment to her role with Voluntary Arts.