Board Members & Patrons
Chair of the Board
Georgiana Robertson worked for Adult Social Services at Hampshire County Council for 25 years in many capacities, including developing four new Extra Care Housing schemes as well as being an operational manager in services for people with a learning disability.
She grew up in the world of professional theatre as her parents were world-class puppeteers, performing alongside the big names of stage and screen. She has two daughters, both in education (at time of writing). She is delighted to be a trustee of Blue Apple Theatre, in fact considers it a privilege to be part of such an inspiring organisation, and is looking forward to playing a part in its continuing success.
Following her degree in Drama and Politics at Exeter University, Rebecca began her career in the Third Sector after a brief spell working in financial PR and CSR for a global risk management firm.With over 14 years of experience in fundraising, marketing and communications, Rebecca has worked for large national charities such as the NSPCC and Addaction as well as grassroots organisations in the international development arena.
In 2009 under the auspices of VSO (Voluntary Services Oversees) Rebecca secured a placement as a Fundraising Consultant with a HIV NGO in Kenya, living and working within the local community. On completion of her placement, she went on to provide consultancy to the United Nation’s Millennium Village Project in Tabora, Tanzania.
Having been a committed volunteer to both Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Chicken Shed Theatre Company in the past, Rebecca is thrilled to be combining her professional expertise with her passion for the arts as a Blue Apple Trustee.
Married to David, they have one daughter Bethan and live in Winchester.
Duncan has been a solicitor specialising in serious injury claims since 1988. For 20 years until 2017 he was a partner with international law firm, DAC Beachcroft, during which time he had various roles including Managing Partner of the Winchester office, Managing Director of DAC Beachcroft Claims Ltd and head of the claims litigation division of the firm.
Duncan is a past President of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers and in that role represented insurance litigators at a national level including liaising with the Ministry of Justice and Association of British Insurers.
Duncan is married to Jane and was Mayor's Escort when his wife served as Winchester's 817th Mayor. They have three grown up children. Duncan now works part-time as a consultant with DAC Beachcroft and is delighted to be able to spend some of his spare time working with Blue Apple Theatre.
Ross is a producer and events specialist, a theatre-maker, workshop practitioner and proud place shaper, based and from Basingstoke, Hampshire. He currently works for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council as the Arts and Events Manager. Previous to his current role, he was Deputy Chief Executive for Proteus Theatre Company and Proteus Creation Space where he worked for over 10 years.
Ross has directed over 20 theatre productions. The focus of his work has been on projects that merge professional performers with local community participants. He specialises in work with harder to reach young people, those marginalised by society or isolated with a story to tell, including work with people affected by disability. He also currently supports the programming and produces the project work for the Basingstoke Festival and BLOVE Music Weekend, reaching a combined audience of over 40,000 people. Ross supports cultural organisations in North Hampshire to deliver their very best work.
Ross is also Chair of the board of trustees for Basingstoke GAP, a North Hampshire charity set up to help teenagers with complex additional needs achieve through a structured weekly programme of activities.
Ed Rochead is a mathematician employed as a Programme Manager in the Scientific Civil Service based in Fareham. Ed has a track record in leadership, evidence based decision making and change management, and these are the main skills he brings to the board. Ed also enjoys writing and is a frequent reviewer of popular-maths books for Mathematics Today and other publications, as well as writing reviews for recent Blue Apple productions that have appeared in the Hampshire Chronicle and elsewhere.
Ed is passionate about developing the links between the sciences and the arts, and as such holds fellowships in the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Royal Society of the Arts. Ed is also a trustee of Nuffield Southampton Theatres.
Ed lives in Eastleigh with his wife Nicki, he has a grown-up son, Adam, and an energetic spaniel called Sparkle.
Trustee & Treasurer
Blue Apple was founded in 2005 by Jane Jessop to provide opportunities for people with learning difficulties to participate in professionally supported theatre and dance and be equally valued. At that time many of those people felt isolated and lonely, with very poor social networks and little to occupy them.
Jane’s vision was to use the challenge of high quality creative opportunities to provide a sense of purpose and to develop confidence, social skills and behavioural skills, improved physical and mental health as well as performance skills - with no fixed ceiling to the expectations placed on them.
Jane led the company for over 10 years during which time Blue Apple established its touring programme, performed in Parliament, celebrated at the Globe Theatre, became the 1,000th winner of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and won the Peace Child International ‘Rediscover Your Heart’ award for changing the way people see and understand learning disability.
As Blue Apple’s Founder, Jane continues to support the charity as our ambassador and a champion of people with learning disabilities, aiming to challenge society's preconceptions and open doors to greater opportunities.
Jane’s background is in publishing and brand management. She has been a governor of various primary and special schools is currently a Governor of the University of Winchester.
Alan Lovell DL
Alan Lovell had a career in business, much of it as a restructuring specialist; he also held senior roles in renewable energy and insurance. He is now Chair of the Consumer Council for Water.
In Hampshire he is Chairman of the Blue Lamp Trust and the Hampshire Cultural Trust, both of which he founded, and of the Mary Rose Trust. He is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of Winchester and a Trustee and Member of Council of Winchester Cathedral. He was High Sheriff of Hampshire in 2010/11 and is a Deputy Lieutenant. He was appointed DL in 2012.