Our Team

Bright Shadow’s team are passionate about bringing Brighter Quality Care to people with dementia. Find out who they are below.

Clare Thomas


Clare has always had a passion for the arts, particularly theatre, graduating from Goldsmiths College, University of London with First Class Honours in 1999.  From there she was drawn into the exciting and enriching world of Disability Arts, working as Administrator for renowned organisations Oily Cart Theatre Company and Heart n Soul.  Clare spent ten years in total with Heart n Soul in a range of roles, becoming Deputy Chief Executive in 2009.  She has acted as a Consultant to Southbank Centre and Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company and is delighted to now be leading Bright Shadow at this exciting time in its development.  She says “I believe in the power art has to connect us, enable us to reach our full potential and to tell our stories in ways that spark new meaning. Bright Shadow has an important role to play in supporting those affected by dementia to access these creative possibilities and to project their voices for our shared understanding.”  


Emily Watts

Zest Workshop Facilitator

Emily has been facilitating workshops for Bright Shadow since January 2017 following the artist pilot project in 2016.  As a drama graduate and singer-songwriter, she is passionate about the arts in community settings and their ability to connect and unite people.  Emily enjoys being creative in developing the Zest Workshops and always has a lot of fun with the participants as they explore different creative practices.  She believes people living with dementia and their carers should have access to new and exciting experiences and be given the opportunity to celebrate the here and now.

Steve Turner

Zest Workshop Assistant: Margate & Ramsgate

Steve started at Bright Shadow in January 2017 and is the Workshop Assistant for Zest Thanet and Zest Herne Bay.  His role is to create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, to assist in the delivery of workshops and support the participants.

Steve particularly enjoys working with older adults and loves working in such a fun environment.   He says, ‘seeing people enjoying themselves and knowing that you made a positive difference to their day is really rewarding’.

In what spare time he has, Steve is a regular volunteer at Pilgrims Hospice in Margate and for the Thanet Volunteer Bureau, as well as being Clerk to the Governing Body at Ellington Infant School in Ramsgate.

Mandy Sangiuseppe

Zest Workshop Assistant

Mandy joined the Bright Shadow team in September 2017 as Zest Workshop Assistant for Dover and Folkestone.

Mandy has a BA (hons) in Music Industry Management and Popular Music, Advanced GNVQ in Art and Design and Children and Young People Workforce Level 2 Diploma.

Having worked in music media, community arts and education projects for over fifteen years, personal experiences of dementias and a passion for the benefits of the arts then naturally led Mandy to Bright Shadow.  Mandy is passionate about community engagement and the arts being accessible, and says “the creative experiences we offer are so beneficial for the overall well-being of our participants and the local communities. It’s wonderful to see people living well with dementia and their close ones living in the moment and enjoying new creative experiences in such a fun and engaging way! I love our groups!”

Mandy is also a qualified Makaton MSB Trainer, Arts Award Discover and Explore Advisor and trustee committee volunteer for the Friends of Dover College.


Richard Williams

Workshop Facilitator

Richard is a qualified Dramatherapist, gaining his MA from the University of Roehampton in 2017.  He joined Bright Shadow in November 2017 as a Workshop Assistant in Surrey before becoming a Workshop Facilitator, leading sessions in care homes in Surrey and Kent.

Away from work, Richard can often be found treading the boards at his local theatre, but has also appeared on stage in London as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe and Brighton Festival.

Rhiannon Lane

Co-Founder & Charity Manager

Rhiannon is co-founder. She is passionate about the power of performance and creativity to build community, understanding and agency within a unique and fun experience. She believes that though there are many challenges facing people living with dementia and those who love and care for them, excellent quality of life and new and exciting experiences should be a reality for everyone. She is often found out walking on the beach.

Katy Hirst

Co Founder

Katy co-founded Bright Shadow with Rhiannon in 2009. Katy is passionate about people living with dementia, and their carers, being able to live well and to thrive. She believe’s that people with dementia’s present and future is just as important as their pasts and that every day is worth living to the full. Katy is really proud of all that Bright Shadow has achieved to date, and of the ground-breaking work it has done in the field of activities and older people. She is never too far from the Bright Shadow news and is really excited to see the organisation grow in the future.