Ian Smith

Chief Executive

Ian was appointed in 1998 by Hampshire County Council as the new Fundraising Manager for the then Hampshire Museums Trust. He lives with his partner Janet and between them have five children aged between 26 and 40 – all five live and work in London.

With a history of fundraising – especially in the area of Corporate Sponsorship during his time with the Lawn Tennis Association Trust – Ian was offered a two year contract to raise additional revenue for the new Regional Museum, Milestones that was being built in Basingstoke. Over the two years the museum attracted thirty one Corporate Sponsors, twenty donating charities and over £20,000 in individual donations. In the year 2000 the Hampshire Museums Trust extended its role to other parts of the County eventually becoming The Hampshire Museums and Galleries Trust. Now after seventeen years HMGT has evolved to be The Wessex Heritage Trust moving to areas within Sussex, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, South Berkshire and parts of Devon. To date over 10 million has been raised to support access of heritage and culture in the region.

The Wessex Heritage Trust will be concentrating on creating and introducing  new non traditional audiences to the rich culture and heritage of the area particularly working with Young People as part of the Trusts own highly successful and award winning initiative The EDGE Project. The award winning The Memory Box Project which works with people living with dementia and Memories Brought Home working with socially isolated individuals and local heritage partners.

Ian Pic.jpg

Ian Smith

Marie McDade

Development Manager

Marie McDade joined Hampshire Museums and Galleries Trust in 2008 following 12 years at Arts & Business South East as Arts Services Manager. This role encompassed delivering Business Sponsorship and Board Development training courses for arts organisations in the South East, providing one-to-one sponsorship advice surgeries to arts professionals and managing the Arts & Business New Partners investment scheme. The latter involved surgery meetings with arts and business professionals, giving advice on how to develop sponsorship partnerships that would result in a successful application to Arts & Business for match funding.  Since joining the Trust as Arts Development Manager, Marie has secured funding from charitable trusts and Lottery funders for a wide variety of projects, including the EDGE Young Volunteers project and Learning at the Centre, a project delivering tailored learning for adults with physical and learning disabilities at Basingstoke Discovery Centre.  Her expertise includes conducting diagnostic meetings with museums and arts professionals to discuss and develop potential projects, identifying specific areas within those projects that could attract funding, evidence gathering, researching and identifying potential funding sources. Having spent many years in her previous job reading funding proposals and giving advice to arts organisations on how to improve these, she is practiced in writing targetted and focussed proposals. Marie also has a track record of line management of staff recruited for specific projects, including monitoring the delivery of projects against stated outcomes and writing evaluation reports for funders.


Marie McDade

Nathalie Garcia


Project Manager – The EDGE Project, Aldershot

Nathalie joined the Trust in October 2015 as Project Manager for The EDGE Project in Aldershot, Hampshire. Having previously trained as a Rhythmic Gymnast competing for GB as a young person and was British Champion in 1993, going on to compete at the European Championships and World Student Games. She then travelled to New York to join the Alvin Ailey Dance Company for 8 months then received a scholarship at The BRIT Performing Arts & Technology School studying Dance and Performing Arts.

Nathalie went on to study employment law, management and HR with the Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development (CIPD). With over 15 years experience of the education and voluntary sectors as a HR Adviser, supporting teachers and managers delivering education to young offenders in prison. She is highly passionate about supporting young people and building essential key skills for employability and independence.

She is determined to make a difference in the area of Aldershot and draws on building partnerships with local organisations and businesses. She is able to use all the experiences of her background (dance, performance and professional) to be able to relate, rapport build and support the young people in Aldershot. She lives in Aldershot with her husband and children.


Nathalie Garcia 

Erin McMurtry

Senior Project Manager

Erin joined the Trust in 2017 as the Project Manager for the EDGE Project (New Forest) having previously worked in social enterprise management and community events, specialising in helping young people with complex needs gain skills for employment.

Erin has a Masters degree in Environmental Science from the University of Southampton and has experience managing a Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project for unemployed individuals with multiple barriers to working. Having previously also worked as a community support worker for children and adults with autism and other complex needs, she has a wide range of skills and experience working in the charity sector. She manages the Memory Box Project implementing delivery, strategic development and inter-generational themes.

Outside of work Erin enjoys keeping active and setting new fitness goals, including running the New Forest Marathon in September 2019.

erin 1.JPG

Erin McMurty

Heather Parkinson

Education and Research Manager

Heather Joined the Trust in February 2016 as Project Manager for The Memory Box Project in the Southampton area and is now Education and Research Officer for the Trust, helping to monitor and measure the impacts of our projects. Before working for the Trust Heather worked within the health care sector in a variety of roles in dementia homes, as Health Care Assistant and Home Based Trainer.

Whilst Managing The Memory Box Project Heather was nominated for a National Dementia Care award 2018, and was one of 5 finalists in the Dementia Champion category.

She is committed to making a difference in dementia care and promoting the well being of those living with dementia and their families. In her new role of Education and Research she is looking forward to working with local organisations and schemes to enhance the experience for people living with dementia in Hampshire through the arts.

Outside of work Heather enjoys creative hobbies such as painting, cake artistry and baking.


Heather Parkinson

Codey Hickman

Project Coordinator - The Memory Box Project (North)

Codey joins the Trust in March 2019 as Project Coordinator for The Memory Box Project (North). He has a background in care, and joins us with the experience of a Healthcare Assistant role and most recently Activity Team Leader where he has created various activities for the clients and residents of the care home, and has a wealth of experience in leading a team, coordinating volunteers and fundraising within his roles.

codey 1.JPG

Codey Hickman

Catherine West

Project Coordinator - The Memory Box Project (Dorchester)

Catherine joins the Trust in March 2019 as Project Coordinator for The Memory Box Project (Dorchester). She has a background in teaching, most recently working a Lead Teacher in two primary schools. Whilst completing a Masters Degree in Cultural Heritage and Resource Management at the University of Winchester, she has held the position of Engagement Officer in a Hampshire Regimental Museum. 

Catherine has a passion for introducing communities to their local heritage and facilitating shared experiences. She is looking forward to building relationships in Dorchester and creating opportunities to reminisce personal stories with dementia care clients and their carers.

Outside of work Catherine enjoys swimming, reading, and creative activities. 

Catherine W 2.jpg

Catherine West

Caroline Oswald

Project Coordinator - Memories Brought Home (East)

It is interesting the journey life takes you on and how with past experiences nothing is ever wasted! Looking back, it seems to me as though teaching Speech and Drama for over 20 years has been incredibly helpful with this project as it developed my imagination and taught me how to encourage people to grow in confidence and try new skills.

Then spending 10 years setting up a charity which supported people in crisis helped me to develop relationships with people from all walks of life and taught me the art of networking. I also learnt if one door closes then knock on another until the right one opens. During my time with the charity I learnt about the skills of managing volunteers and the importance of valuing them. This was to be tested as I took on the role of volunteer coordinator at Fort Nelson when they hosted the sculpture ‘Poppies Wave’ to commemorate the First World War. I recruited, trained and coordinated 120 volunteers during this six- month project. I also gained an understanding and passion for working at a visitor experience Heritage site.

So now I find myself in the wonderful position of working at some of the most fascinating and glorious Heritage Sites in East Hampshire that make my Soul Sing! I am recruiting and working alongside some fantastic volunteers with incredible giftings. I am networking with a variety of agencies across the area and supporting some of the most delightful and yet vulnerable people in the community to access Heritage, which I can see with my own eyes, as can the volunteers ,that it  is really improving their well-being. There seems to be no limit to the opportunities presenting themselves!

A very wise lady once told me – ‘When an opportunity comes your way grab it with both hands’ – (Margaret Calland) 

Unless you are outside of your comfort zone you are not truly living life! (Caroline Oswald) Hence the driving of the minibus!!

And so the journey continues …………………


Caroline Oswald


Katherine Mills

Project Coordinator - Memories Brought Home (West)

Katherine joins the Trust in March 2019 as Project Coordinator (West) for the Memories Brought Home project. Since completing a Masters Degree in Museum Studies, Katherine has since been working in Museums and Galleries across Hampshire and Dorset for the last 8 years. Taking on a variety of roles, she has experience in volunteer management, exhibition design and digital collections, and comes to the Trust from her last job as Curator and Manager of Petersfield Museum. 

Alongside her work, Katherine is an avid reader and has a keen interest in photography – particularly people photography, documenting the quiet but evocative moments of everyday life. She is looking forward to bringing her creative side to this role and encouraging storytelling through human connections and supporting people to be involved in their local community

K mills.jpg

Katherine Mills