Jess joined Creative People and Places project East Durham Creates in 2015 in a community engagement role and became Project Lead in 2020. EDC has engaged over 120,000 local people with culture and operated throughout lockdown thanks to it’s embedded place within a local charity East Durham Trust.
Jess was born in Hartlepool and has community engagement in her blood having volunteered throughout her teens on projects led by her mam, a development worker. These projects in some of the most deprived places in the Tees Valley showed the ways in which art can empower local people. Jess brought this passion to her own career and now champions equal access to art both within her role leading EDC and as part of Culture Durham who are currently leading a Countywide bid for City of Culture 2025.