Who we are: meet the team page

Meet the team

We The Curious is all about people, find out a bit more about the passionate professionals who make up our Leadership team...

 


 

 

The team

Lydia Ladbrooke

Lydia Ladbrooke

Head of Operations

A bit about me...
With a background in independent retail, I joined what was At-Bristol in 2000 as one of the Visitor Services team. 18 years and 2 children later I’m still part of an exciting adventure and looking forward to the next steps in building a culture of curiosity.

Best Thing about working in We The Curious
I love that We The Curious is a charity, and everything we do is around positive change. We have big ambitions, and a passionate team of people to drive us forwards.

Image credit: Ailsa Fineron

Simon Ridge

Simon Ridge

Head of Estates

A bit about me...
I began my working life in the hospitality industry in New York but after spilling soup on a now current world leader I decided it probably wasn’t the career path for me. Subsequently I followed my dreams and ended up touring the world in the music industry.

The world of Estates Management seemed to find me and I spent a number of years in Student Accommodation across the UK.

On joining We The Curious I knew I’d found a fantastic place when in my first staff meeting there was a dragon breathing fire and lasers, I felt instantly at home. I get a great buzz in knowing that the diverse, often unseen, and sometimes curious work myself and my great team deliver 24/7, has a huge impact in enabling everyone to work, visit, and enjoy their time in We The Curious and its outdoor spaces. Being the custodian of such a large Estate is a real honour.

Best thing about working in We The Curious?
It’s cliched I know but hand on heart, the people. The passion everyone has that works here is truly something special.

Image credit: Ailsa Fineron

Tania Dorrity

Tania Dorrity

Head of Programming

A bit about me...
My passion is engaging people with the wonders of the world by immersing them in great experiences so they want to find out more and really care. This probably started with growing up in the Zambezi valley, with baboons in the breadbin.  After studying Zoology & Botany at the University of Cape Town, I joined the BBC Natural History Unit where I produced wildlife programmes like Big Cat Diary, Deadly 60 with Steve Backshall and Wildlife On Ones with David Attenborough.  I went on to teach science and then set up the outdoor learning programme & visitor engagement activities at the Wild Place Project before joining We The Curious in 2017. Now I bring creative, editorial and strategic leadership to our visitor engagement development teams.

Best thing about working in We The Curious
The brilliant feeling when I see a child’s face light up in wonder as they explore We The Curious.

Image credit: Ailsa Fineron

Chris Dunford

Chris Dunford

Head of Sustainable Futures

A bit about me………
After dabbling in biochemistry, I fell in love with engaging the public in all things science and so went on to study science communication. This led to a range of adventures with science festivals, FameLab and stand-up comedy before my homing instinct as a Bristolian brought me back to We The Curious. Whilst working here I became obsessed with two truths: Firstly, that sustainability problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are the greatest threats to our species, and secondly, that science centres are the ideal place to experiment with sustainable solutions and engage the public with these issues. As such I have spent the last seven years working to make We The Curious a leading science centre in sustainability and partnering locally, nationally and globally to create sustainable futures for all. I’m a Director of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Mentor of Arizona State University’s Sustainability in Science Museums Fellowship. And, sadly for audiences, I still occasionally do stand-up comedy.

Best thing about working in We The Curious?
Knowing that this is a place where we can create the unique spark that results in positive changes to someone’s life.

Image credit: Ailsa Fineron

 

Seamus Foley

Seamus Foley

Head of Digital

A bit about me...
I owe it to my friend, Brad, for introducing me to writing code when we were teenagers. At high school he made the website for our terrible heavy metal band. Fortunately for music the band was short lived, but the basic html he showed me started me off on a journey, teaching myself to code from online tutorials.

Looking back, the creators of those tutorials, and the wider open source community, have had a far more profound and enriching effect on me than school or university did. For me, as part of the first generation to grow up with the internet, I feel extremely lucky to have had access to that huge repository of knowledge. I believe that now ,if you want to do something, if you want change something, if you want to build something, all one needs to is the curiosity to go and work out how. It’s a huge privilege to work for an organisation dedicated to that idea.

Best thing about working in We The Curious?
The volunteer programme. I started here as a volunteer and it is one of a handful of experiences that I can say genuinely changed my life.   

Image credit: Ailsa Fineron

Jane Ibbunson

Jane Ibbunson

Head of Development

A bit about me...
I studied Sociology and German at the University of East London and undertook as MSc in Charity Marketing and Fundraising at South Bank University. After a placement year in Leipzig helping to establish voluntary sector infrastructure,  I was a committed to working in the voluntary sector. Since then I've led fundraising departmentsand campaigns in many national charities including Kew Gardens, Diabetes Uk and the Bristish Lung Foundation. Since 2012, I've lived and worked in Bristol with my Artist husband Adam. I joined We The Curious in November 2018.

Best thing about working in We The Curious
Straight away I had a real sense of belonging and the tremendous feeling of everyone going for collective success.

 

Nicole Bullock

Nicole Bullock

Head of Audience

Anna Starkey

Anna Starkey

Chief Creative Officer

A bit about me...

I always dreamt of being an astronaut, (still hoping), and meantime I’ve been orbiting a world of arts and sciences before landing in At-Bristol. I started out with a Physics degree and a love of sketch comedy, and have zig zagged through particle physics communication, producing the BBC Proms for TV and live cinema broadcasts for the Royal Opera House, working as Director of Impossible projects for a public neuroscience laboratory and most recently, series producing BBC Young Dancer. I get excited about connecting people and ideas - my mission is to reposition science in our culture and create some great experiences along the way.
 

Best thing about working in We The Curious?

The questions that people ask us about the world, the people who work here and the chocolate brownies in the cafe.

 

Image credit: Ailsa Fineron

Donna Speed

Donna Speed

Chief Operating Officer

A bit about me...

I joined At-Bristol when we opened in 2000 and had previously worked in Leisure Management at Alton Towers. I am responsible for the commercial success as well as the smooth and safe operation of We The Curious; to ensure we can continue the wonderful work inspiring our visitors and clients. I oversee the Marketing, Visitor Services, Retail, Venue Hire and Estates teams.
 

Best thing about working in We The Curious?

Not a precise moment but many moments every day of being very proud of where I work and who I work with.

 

Neil Allan

Neil Allan

Head of Finance

A bit about me...

I live in Taunton with my partner Tessa and our two daughters, Jennifer and Louisa. I'm originally from London but settled in the South West over 10 years ago.  I joined At Bristol in January 2013 and it is an amazing place, filled with amazing people.  I have worked in Melbourne, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand and really enjoyed the experience.
 

Best thing about working in We The Curious?

Taking my daughters to their first 3D Planetarium show, which was in their words 'epic'.

 

Caroline Follett

Caroline Follett

Head of People

A bit about me...


Starting out as an Illustration graduate, it’s fair to say I didn’t expect my career to be in HR, but I love it! I come from a varied background, working for business’ that Developed Software, Managed Construction and developed young minds - a University. We The Curious has allowed me to pull all that experience together in one perfectly formed role which is extremely rewarding, simply because our people are our most valuable asset.

Best thing about working in We The Curious?

I love that when a business gets the culture right (which We The Curious definitely does), the friendly and respectful environment provides space for employees to succeed and be happy in their roles. It’s a big thing and is absolutely my favourite bit!