Ian Smith

Director of Development

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 22 and 37 – four of whom 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 is to evolve yet again and be The Wessex Heritage Trust moving to areas within Sussex, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, South Berkshire and parts of Devon.

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. In addition the Trust will continue to organise and promote its numerous fundraising events and activities including the regions biggest festival of its type – The Hampshire OktoberFest


Ian Smith

Marie McDade

Arts 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

Matt Weet

Website Designer/Developer

Matt was recruited by the Wessex Heritage Trust in 2014 to specifically develop a new website for the flagship event Hampshire’s Oktoberfest. The project followed a rebrand of the event and as such an entirely new website needed to be created.

Since his appointment, Matt has continued to support and develop the Wessex Heritage Trust’s objectives as its appointed advisor and specialist in graphic and web design/development. Projects have included the re-brand of Wessex Heritage Trust from Hampshire Museums and Galleries Trust (including logo design, branding and website design/build) and continued support and development of the Hampshire’s Oktoberfest website.

Matt enjoys working with businesses in the charity sector as well as SME’s, where he can help to shape growth and marketing in line with organisational objectives. He specialises in responsive web design for WordPress allowing users to view websites optimised for mobile and tablet devices as well as desktop.


Matt Weet

Andy Grove

Highgrove Events / Events Advisor

HighGrove Events is proud to support Wessex Heritage Trust as its Events Advisor. HighGrove Events was started in April 2016 by Andy Grove, who is an experienced and well-respected events manager.

HighGrove Events is a bespoke specialist event management company, which can help clients with any aspects of event management, from invention to conclusion which includes liaising with the local authority, writing event safety management plans and carrying out risk assessments are all part of the company’s comprehensive service.


Andy Grove

Kate Byrne

Hampshire’s OktoberFest – Sponsorship, Marketing and Event Coordinator

Kate has 12 years experience working in a fast paced environment for a worldwide Communications Company as Senior Service Desk Lead for the European Helpdesk. Kate is the main point of contact in Coordinating between in house engineers, multiple vendors and suppliers across Europe to repair wide and local area network faults for Government and Commercial customers.

Besides her full time job she has a keen interest in design and is currently studying for an Interior design diploma.

The creativity and eye for design has spurred on a huge interest in Events for her, especially the atmospheres created and the process of bringing an event to life.

Kate is based in Basingstoke and has enjoyed volunteering via her work with a charity that supports teenagers in the area.. In her spare time she loves to ride her horse, enjoys walking and thoroughly enjoys the outdoor life


Kate Byrne

Helaine Brownhill

HR, Staff and Social Media Manager – Hampshire’s OktoberFest

Helaine is an experienced and highly enthusiastic events organiser. In addition to using her organisational talents and abilities to service such companies/organisations like Wella and the National Grid, she also runs her own successful Wedding and Events company “Something Blue”. She has a passion and energy for her role which is hard to match and her focused organisational skills and impeccable attention to detail ensure that all her events run without a hitch.


Helaine Brownhill

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. Nathalie 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. Nathalie is highly passionate about supporting young people and building essential key skills for employability and independence.

Nathalie is determined to make a difference in the area of Aldershot and draws on building partnerships with local organisations and businesses. Nathalie 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. Nathalie lives in Aldershot with her husband and daughter.


Nathalie Garcia 

Erin McMurtry

Project, Education and Research Manager – The Memory Box Project

Erin joined the Trust in 2017 as the Project Manager for the EDGE Project (New Forest) having previously worked as Youth Project Officer for over 2 years specialising in Young People with complex needs. She has experience in social enterprise management and community events. Before this she also worked as a Community Support Worker for young people with autism.

Erin has a postgraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Southampton and has experience managing a Big Lottery and ESF funded Partnership promoting social inclusion. Erin now works as part of the Memory Box Project implementing delivery, strategic development and inter-generational themes.


Erin McMurty

Krysten Hicklin

Project Manager – WatersEDGE Project, Gosport

Krysten joined the Trust in September 2017 as the Project Manager for the WatersEDGE Project in Gosport. She gained a Degree in Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan University, and has since applied these skills to support vulnerable Young People through events and educational programmes across Kent and East Sussex.

Krysten has managed projects which enable Young People to break down the barriers that have preventing them from engaging in Education, Employment and Training and has been successful in motivating them to make changes in their lives.

Currently she is studying for a postgraduate degree in Psychology and is passionate about inspiring Young People and affording them opportunities they otherwise may not have had by engaging them through alternative interests’ areas such as Arts and Heritage.


Krysten Hicklin

Heather Parkinson

Project Manager – The Memory Box Project, South

Heather Joined the Trust in February 2016 as Project Manager for The Memory Box Project in the Southampton area. 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.

Heather studied Art and Design at college and later cake artistry, she has designed and made wedding and birthday cakes for family and friends occasions. She likes to bring a creative flare into her work for The Memory Box Project, combining this with her training background to impart knowledge in a fun and informative way.

She is committed to making a difference in dementia care and raising the wellbeing of those living with dementia and their families.


Heather Parkinson