Meet the team
Hopeton Walker • Chair
Hopeton is passionate about the arts and carnival in particular. He is a trustee and chair of UKCCA, a board member of East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (EMCCAN) and of Revoluton Arts CIC a new arts organisation created out of Arts Council Creative People & Places programme. He also serves as trustee on a number of arts and cultural organisations. An engineer by profession, Hopeton was until April 2000, a Senior Project Manager with a major UK Telecommunications provider. Following early retirement in 2000, Hopeton began a second career as a volunteer in the community and voluntary sector. In 2001, he led in the creation of the Notting Hill Mas Bands Association, a ACE Regularly Funded Organisation and, in 2010 its successor the Carnival Arts and Masquerade Foundation. He spent 14 years as board/ committee member for both organisations and was instrumental on obtaining funding for the development of the artform and programmes for the communities involved. In Carnival Hopeton has achieved much in this his second career, from making costumes in cramped, leaky derelict buildings to being the Chair of UKCCA. On that 35 year journey as an activist in carnival, he has performed in, supported, managed and led a variety of organisations; personal highlights on this journey were performances in the Mall London to celebrate the Queen’s Silver and at the opening ceremony of the Millennium Dome (O2 Arena) to celebrate the new millennium.
Richard Renwick • Treasurer
On the UKCCA Board since 2012, Richard has also been Chief Executive of Tuntum Housing Association since 1994. After leaving Leeds University in 1978 with a BA (Hons) in Economics, Richard spent 4 years training to become a Chartered Accountant. In addition, Richard has worked as a freelance Management Consultant, a Regulator with the Housing Corporation and as a senior officer in the Ethnic Minorities Unit at the former Greater London Council (GLC). In the past, Richard has held the positions of Chair and other portfolios on various boards within the voluntary sector including housing associations, representative bodies and training agencies. He is currently Chair of Nottingham Carnival and The East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Association (EMCCAN). He is also a trustee of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts and the Nottingham Council for Voluntary Services (NCVS). In 2007 Richard was awarded the MBE for his services to social housing and the Caribbean community in the East Midlands.
Tony Isles • Vice Chair
Tony Isles has been on the UKCCA Board for 19 years and was appointed as Vice Chair at 2021 AGM. He has been actively involved in the carnival arts industry for over 20 years, as both a carnival arts practitioner and a member of the Rampage Carnival Band. Tony has also been involved in the delivery of carnival classes and activities to promote health and wellbeing, including leading socaerobics classes. Tony is the Recovery College Manager for East London Foundation Trust, covering the Bedfordshire and Luton area. Tony has been part of the fabric of Luton for many years working and volunteering in a variety of roles from front line staff to managing services, including Education, Community Development, Addiction, Black History Month, and Youth work.
Ann Binks • Trustee
Ann has served on the UKCCA board for 5 years, prior to which she worked for the UKCCA as the Finance Manager, and was asked to join the UKCCA Board after she left that role to become the Head of Finances and Resources for the University of Bedfordshire Students’ Union.
Violet Cuffy • Trustee
Violet has served on the UKCCA Board for 2 years. She is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events Management at the University of Bedfordshire and a Course coordinator for Events Management for undergraduate and post graduate students Violet is also a researcher and in 2017 delivered a formal event evaluation for Luton International Carnival, the findings from which have been used as a template to evaluate the carnival events programme.
Senior Management Team
Claudette Whittingham • Interim Director
Claudette is an Events Manager specialising in event and project development, and management within the carnival creative industries. She has 20 years’ experience working in the creative sector. Since 2002 she has specialised in the carnival industry. As a volunteer Claudette supported the reintroduction of Sheffield Carnival from 2017-2019, undertaking the strategic positioning of the event, fundraising and delivering marketing and promotional activities. Claudette has delivered a range of roles in the creative sector including Event Manager, Office and Finance Administrator and Business Development Manager for Notting Hill Carnival, Production Manager for Notting Hill Mas Bands Association and Fundraiser and Event Manger for the Sunsplash Music Festival.
Claudette has extensive experience of UK government policy development, specialising in social justice measures to address poverty, social improvement, and in-work progression. She previously specialised in area regeneration consultancy, with a focus on fundraising, working with a range of agencies in London including the Greater London Enterprise, London Docklands Development Corporation, Stratford Development Partnership and London East Training and Enterprise Council. She is also an author and worked with 2 child editors on her recently published children’s carnival book.
Clary Salandy • Associate Artistic Director
Clary plays a lead role in staging the Luton Carnival, curating the parade and nurturing emerging artists. Since 2015, with her team at UKCCA, she has created programmes for developing the craft of carnival while contributing to the social cohesion of the diverse communities that live in Luton. As the Artistic Director of Mahogany Carnival Arts she creates opportunities for young people to access the arts through carnival work, within prestigious events. Her work includes performances in UNESCO, the opening and closing ceremonies of the first Afro Asian games in Hyderabad, Cirque Surreal, Bollywood film awards ceremonies, the Grand finale to the millennium celebrations in Singapore and the opening ceremony for the Millennium Dome in London. Clary’s costumes for the musical “Carnival Messiah” won the Cacique award for outstanding costume design. The National drama award of Trinidad and Tobago. On a local level Clary has over 30 years’ experience of creating costumes for Notting Hill Carnival. She was the Artistic director for the Carnival segment of the Queens Golden Jubilee parade and for the creative performance of the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics in Leicester 2009. Her work featured in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics and she designed and produced costumes for 2 Cultural Olympiad projects “Follow the Light” and “Games Time” performed in the East Midlands.
Maria Nepaul • Finance Manager
Trevor Chisholm • Business Manager
Trevor has developed reports for cash flow, and management accounts to monitor, control and provide forecasts for the charity and its stakeholders. He has implemented recent savings of over £8000 per annum in energy usage and implemented new self-contained kitchens for offices to meet COVID-19 distancing regulations as part of building management & maintenance. Trevor has found novel ways to save time improving our Sage accounting receivable and payable systems to automate some processes. Trevor has four years’ experience of leading and chairing community organisations at the former Harrow Council for Racial Equality, and the Harrow African Caribbean Association. Significantly leading large arts events of 600 people and chairing community meetings of 500 people. These organisations work to engage and develop people in communities and interfacing with local government councils.