Dr Cilla Ross - Vice Principal

Cilla has a background in higher and adult education as an educator and researcher. Her four big things at the College are Reigniting Rochdale (regarded as the birthplace of the modern co-operative movement in the UK) exploring Union Co-operatives, reflecting on co-operative education and research and conceptualizing a Co-operative University. She is also a Commissioner on Adult Education 100 project. Beyond work Cilla is a WEA volunteer, a Trustee of the Lipman-Miliband Trust, a writer and an activist for transformational education. 

Dr Polly Wilding - Academic Programme Manager

Polly joined the College at the start of 2019. Her primary role is to support efforts to enable the College and its partners to award degrees using a distinct co-operative approach to learning and teaching. She draws on eleven years working as a Lecturer in Gender and International Development at the University of Leeds, and has a keen interest in interdisciplinary learning spaces. In her spare time Polly mainly likes being outside, wherever that is.

Dr Sarah Alldred - International Programmes Manager

Sarah joined the College in 2012, after 4 years working at Co-ops UK, and over 10 years working in the peace movement, doing her PhD research on post conflict reconstruction. Sarah manages our growing project portfolio across the College, and out of work enjoys dance, books, friends and food.

Gemma Obeng - UK Programmes Manager

Gemma is responsible for managing our projects in the UK and joined the college in November 2018. She has huge experience of managing projects for young people and communities and is passionate about supporting positive change. Gemma loves to travel and enjoys music, cooking and art, as well as spending time with her family and friends.

Dr Amanda Benson - Projects and Research Officer

As Research and Projects Co-ordinator, Amanda is delighted to be able to unite her love of community development work, international co-operative development and research in one post that helps to promote sustainable and inclusive development both in the UK and worldwide. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys the theatre, live music, long walks and being outdoors.

Gabriella Castaneda -  Project Co-ordinator (Scotland)

Gabby works on helping deliver, manage and expand programmes in Scotland. She has a background in International Relations, but has always had a passion for working with children and young people. She is very excited to be a part of the Co-operative College to help inspire people to learn about and set up co-operatives. In her spare time, Gabby enjoys baking, cooking, crafting, travelling and going to the cinema.

Daniel Cox - Project Co-ordinator (Manchester)

As the Manchester project co-ordinator Daniel joined the college to deliver and develop existing projects and establish new initiatives in and around Manchester. Daniel comes from a background in mainstream education, alternative provisions and residential care and is passionate about helping to inspire, empower and uplift people in the community. Outside of work Daniel can be found in cinemas, restaurants, bookshops and, occasionally, in the gym. 

Lindsey Smith - Project Co-ordinator (Cannock)

As an experienced project manager with extensive experience of community development and education, Lindsey loves being able to combine her passion for empowering others with the challenges of setting up and establishing successful and impactive projects. Responsible for overseeing projects within Staffordshire Lindsey is also a qualified Peer Mentor, a Dementia Friend Champion and Mum of 2 who loves bubbles - mainly of the processco and hot tub varieties!