GEM North East

Meet the GEM North East Reps!

The North-East has a diverse and varied heritage ranging from our Roman history to our industrial heritage and the historic cities of Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle and other sites found all around us. This cultural heritage is reflected in the wide collection of museums, heritage sites and organisations that are found here.

Joanne McKenna

Assistant Learning Officer
Northumberland National Park
[email protected]

My current role is with Northumberland National Park working with schools. My previous roles have included working with schools and families at Discovery Museum in Newcastle, Life Interactive World, Gateshead Libraries and many moons ago a primary school teacher. The opportunity to get children to engage more with nature and the heritage around them seems even more important now. Outside of work I enjoy busman’s holidays visiting museums with my children.

Morgan Fail

Assistant Learning Officer
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
[email protected]
Tel: 0191 208 5118

Morgan is the Assistant Learning Officer for History at the Great North Museum: Hancock, part of Newcastle University and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. Her role is to lead on the history programming for formal and informal learning through school facilitation and project delivery. She is trained in all levels of Arts Award, and has a successful Home Educators program, attracting families from throughout the country. As well as leading rep for GEM NE, Morgan is a Chair for Hadrian’s Wall Learning and Engagement Forum and runs a network for cultural engagers who work with Home Educated families in the region. Morgan has worked in the sector for over 13 years working in education roles in various venues, facilitating science, arts, history and local history activity.

Kirsty Robinson

Assistant Learning Officer
Segedunum Roman Fort & Stephenson Steam Railway

[email protected]

I currently work as an Assistant Learning Officer at Segedunum Roman Fort and Stephenson Steam Railway. I started out my career as a Secondary History teacher before deciding to change to work in Museum Education. I have worked with children from under 5s upto A Level at a number of different museums including Arbeia Roman Fort, Beamish Museum, Discovery Museum in Newcastle and Darlington Railway Museum. Outside of work, I love to go running and enjoy taking part in half-marathon and marathon events as well as watching loads of different sports including cycling, athletics and football.


David Silk

Learning Manager
Newcastle Castle

[email protected]

In David’s current job role, he manages the education offer at Newcastle Castle as well as co-ordinating the team of volunteers and the events offer. David also works as a freelance storyteller at sites around the region and is a published author of a book of local folk tales retold for children. David doesn’t have as much spare time as he might like, but when he does he likes live music and wandering the wilds of Northumberland, Cumbria and County Durham.

Ruth Chittenden

Community Engagement Officer
The Story at Mount Oswald

[email protected]

Ruth currently works as Community Engagement Officer for The Story at Mount Oswald, the new home for the five historic collections held by Durham County Council. Ruth’s role is varied and wide ranging; Ruth works across County Durham engaging with people of all ages and from a real variety of backgrounds, as well as taking in lead role in the programming of regular informal learning events and activities at The Story itself in central Durham. Ruth has worked in the Museum/Heritage Sector for 9 years having previously taught in schools and been Subject Leader for History. Ruth is passionate about sharing her love of history and heritage with as wide and diverse an audience as possible, and empowering local communities to tell their own stories and take an ownership of their locality’s heritage. Outside of work Ruth is a busy mum of 2 young girls, and enjoys days out as a family to cultural venues, the coast and the countryside.

Amy Baird

Discovery Museum and Tyne and Wear Archives

[email protected]

Amy is Assistant Learning Officer at Discovery Museum and Tyne and Wear Archives. Her role includes developing, delivering and evaluating the History and STEAM programme for formal and informal learning, and managing a dedicated Under 5’s and Family programme as EYFS specialist. She is trained at all levels of Makaton and Arts Award and has several case studies published in the education, art and culture sectors advocating her varied EY project work. Previous roles include leading TWAM’s learning programme for the British Library’s ‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’ project and managing the Great North Museum: Hancock’s EYFS and Families programme.

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