Staff Profiles

This page features most of our office based staff.  We also have several amazing members of the team across other areas of the business including - housekeeping; catering; security, and the outdoors team.

Meet Our Staff:

Peter Seed:  Operations Director
I began working at Ushaw in 1981 with responsibility for Buildings and Facilities which developed into responsibility for the wider estate and also finances. I was involved in the eventual closure of the seminary in 2011, and the subsequent reopening from 2014.  With our highly capable and dedicated staff and volunteers, I look forward to the challenges to come in continuing the revival of this amazing place. Outside of work I'm devoted to family including four grandsons, I'm beyond playing cricket now but I'm still an avid watcher!


Jonathan Ward:  Commercial Director

I've worked at Ushaw for 6 years, following a career in the retail and commerce sectors. My favorite part of Ushaw is the St Charles Borrowmeo Chapel - it's beautiful, and I enjoy the peace and tranquility. 

Originally from Manchester, I now spend my spare time walking and enjoying the landscapes and features of the Durham Dales countryside.


Lucy Jenkins:  Director of Culture & Heritage

I've worked in the arts and museums sector for almost 30 years.  I love the abundance of detail at Ushaw from carved stone sculpture to decorative tiles which show hundreds of years of craftsmanship and skill.

Away from work I like exploring the beautiful Teesdale landscape, watching films and eating cake.


Bev Robinson:  Director of Estates & Projects

Before joining the team, I had worked on a range of estates and buildings, from vibrant university campuses to a volunteer led run self-build cinema. As Director of Estates, my favourite areas of Ushaw are the old and derelict spaces, suspended in time and yet with such exciting potential for renewal.

When I’m not working (and not in lockdown!), I love to travel and explore other cultures and landscapes.


Yvonne Wilkinson:  Marketing Manager - Commercial Team

I've spent the majority of my career working in the travel and tourism sector across a variety of roles. My favourite object at Ushaw was the amazing animatronic eagle which was the star of the Nerve Rack Exhibition in 2019!  

My passion is animals - especially UK native ponies; South American camelids; Rhinos and all types of pets ...and I love dragons too!  Wildlife conservation and caring for the environment is a priority.

Mark Nixon:  Front of House Manager - Commercial Team

After training to be a Chef, I moved to sunnier climates where I worked around the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Portugal as a singer for 7 years.  I still put my experience in singing and food to good use managing our catering operation and Music Programme at Ushaw. 

Outside of work I enjoy family time with my partner and two sons, live music and football if I get the chance! 


Shelley Agar:   Business Development Manager - Commercial Team

I am really excited to see Ushaw change and grow and am really proud to be part of it all. Even more so because its local to where I live and part of my own history and heritage.  The older I get the more sentimental I become and now fully appreciate the fabulous treasures of Durham, especially the Historic Main House at Ushaw and its stunning grounds.  

My passions are my dogs and family and I love to read, walk and cook.


Sanjay Gidda:   Digital Marketing Assistant - Commercial Team

I worked in a marketing role within the culture and heritage sector for 5 years prior to working here.

At Ushaw, there are so many fascinating elements, but my favourite would have to be St. Cuthbert's Chapel as I find it totally breath-taking.

In my spare time, you can catch me watching/playing sport, listening to music or binge watching a tv series on Netflix!  

Harry Collinson:  Administration Assistant - Commercial Team 

I've worked at Ushaw for several years, and developed a keen interest in the history of the site and the local area. My favourite space in the Ushaw buildings is the Reading Room, as it is home to an ever-changing selection of books to enjoy.  

At home, I enjoy enjoys playing video games and watching movies.


Claire Marsland:   Curator - Curatorial Team

My work involves looking after the heritage collections at Ushaw, and I'm also studying for my PhD on Catholic material culture, focussing on some of Ushaw's historic objects. My favourite place in Ushaw is the Lady Chapel especially when the sun shines through the stained glass windows highlighting all the vivid colours. 

At home I enjoy cooking, reading and I'm on a lifelong quest to find the perfect coffee.


Andrew Heard:  Collections Officer - Curatorial Team

I have over 30 years’ experience in the art world. This has encompassed work at auction houses, public museums and galleries and online. My favourite painting at Ushaw is St Francis Blessing Assisi after François-Léon Benouville. In addition to my work at Ushaw, I write the Emmabella's Alphabets books.

David Elwood:  Education Officer - Curatorial Team

I have taught in museums and heritage venues for 7 years, with a couple of years out to become qualified as a teacher, and also to teach English as a foreign language in Daejeon, South Korea. My favourite things at Ushaw are the beautiful statues of the saints hidden in the rafters of the theatre.

I likes dinosaurs, new socks and songs about feelings.


Pam Lovell:  Volunteer Coordinator
I look after our fabulous team of Ushaw volunteers. Everyday at Ushaw is different and exciting, there are always new things to discover from the awe inspiring architecture in the chapels, the history within its walls and the seasonal changes in the gardens, If I were to pick a favourite spot it would be sitting in the gardens drinking a cup tea from the cafe.  

When not at Ushaw I enjoy walking my dogs, looking after my many animals and being in my garden.


Marlize Boyle:  Finance Assistant 

I'm originally from sunny South Africa but have lived in England for the past 22 years. It is therefore no surprise that my favourite part of Ushaw is our fabulous garden areas! 

True to my roots I love the great outdoors and enjoy going camping or for walks with my family whenever I get the chance.


Joe Burnitt:  Finance Assistant

Before joining Ushaw I worked for one of the larger energy companies for over 12 years.  My favourite thing about Ushaw is the architecture and style of the buildings both indoor and out.

At home I enjoy playing and teaching music. 


Ruth Chittenden:  Community Engagement Officer

I have over 15 years experience working with children, young people and community groups. I particularly like the wooden animal sculptures at Ushaw, and there's nothing better than sitting on the bench beside the 'badger'  enjoying the view of the house, chapels and gardens. 

I am Mummy to two preschoolers who certainly keep me busy when I'm not working. I also enjoywalking, running and cycling in the great outdoors, and exploring new places; always stopping for coffee and cake!


Katy Woods:  Outdoor Events Co-ordinator

I am new at Ushaw having worked in the outdoors and the museum world for many years but I’m bubbling with enthusiasm for this local hidden treasure. I love seeing the seasonal changes in the gardens and woods at Ushaw and seeing visitors big and small finding ways to have fun while exercising in the fresh air.

At home I’m an avid reader and enjoy museums, art, my allotment and trying to surf.


Ann Chapman:  Receptionist  - Front of House Team

Prior to joining Ushaw I worked as a Retail Manager in a local convenience store. My favourite parts of Ushaw are the chapels and the gardens.

Out of work you can often find me playing darts for my local team. 


Joanne Dobson:  Receptionist - Front of House Team

I love my reception role at Ushaw, so relaxing after my last job as a civilian working within a police control room for 35 years. I'm excited about the future at Ushaw and being part of its development. My favourite outdoor part of Ushaw are the gardens and grounds, and indoors is St Cuthbert's Chapel. 

Out of work I am involved in the running of my village WI, I enjoy baking and cooking, spending time with my family -  and fundraising for St Cuthbert's Hospice.