Board of Directors 2024

The following directors were elected to the Board at the Annual General Meeting on 25 January 2024:

Chair: Dr Lucy Faire

Photo of Lucy Faire

Lucy Faire is a  founder member of Leicester Vaughan College and has sat on its board since the College was re-established in 2017. Lucy has a background in teaching mature students at university level which she has done since 2002.  She taught at the former Vaughan College and in the Vaughan Centre of Lifelong Learning. She is also an Associate Lecturer for the Open University.  Between 2015 and 2020, she was an external examiner for the University of York’s Centre for Lifelong Learning. 
You can read more about Lucy here.

Secretary: Dr Miriam Gill

Photo of Miriam Gill

Miriam Gill has taught art history and history to mature students over a period of 20 years in a wide variety of institutions including Morley College, London, and for the universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford and Cambridge.

She has worked for the Vaughan Centre and at the former Vaughan College since 1998. She was the course director for the Certificates in Art History and Architectural History and has been a tutor for the part-time Certificate and BA in Humanities and Arts. She also teaches at the Richard Attenborough Centre.

Treasurer: Blase Lambert

Photo of Blase Lambert

Blase Lambert has been a leading player in the UK co-operative and community led housing sector for the last twenty-four years. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, is a founder member of Community Led Homes and is the Treasurer of Co-operative Housing International. His areas of expertise are corporate governance, risk management and financial control and he has numerous publications to his name.

Student Representative Director

Sally Birch

LVC Board of Directors - Sally Birch

Sally Birch studied with the Vaughan Centre of Lifelong Learning, completing both her Certificate of Higher of Education and her BA Hons in Humanities and Arts. Following her degree, she trained to be an English Teacher in a SEMH (Social, Emotional, Mental Health) Secondary school. Sally is now the owner of Karma Corner Gifts.

Sally organised and led a campaign to try to save the Vaughan Centre of Lifelong Learning in Leicester. She is passionate about transforming lives through education.


Monica Hingorani

Photograph of Monica Hingorani

Monica Hingorani, BA (Hons), MA Ed, is a PhD student at De Montfort University researching creativity in early childhood with families in Leicester. She studied Sociology for her first degree at the University of Leicester in 1987, where she was Women’s Officer. Thirty years on, she returned to the University of Leicester part-time as a primary school teacher-researcher. Monica believes that learning is lifelong and life-wide and has an interest in early learning at home and in the community. She is Chair of Highfields Community Association and a Trustee of Early Education (the British Association for Early Childhood Education). Monica plays bass in a women’s DIY Punk band Dada Women.

Professor Bill Jones

After graduating in English Literature Bill Jones joined the Adult Continuing Education Department at Southampton University, where he took a leading role in developing university access and widening participation for the local community. In 1998 he moved to Newcastle University as Professor of Lifelong Learning. From 2003-2008 he worked for the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).  He has been a leading member of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning. His research interests include the history, policy and practice of adult education. and interdisciplinary links with his other research field of English literature especially of the eighteenth century. He has published widely in both these fields, including a history of rural adult education a history of university adult education 1981-2006, and a definitive edition of the poetical works of William Falconer.

Dr Ellie Pridgeon

photo of Ellie Pridgeon

Ellie Pridgeon has been teaching history of art and architecture to mature students since 2002. She has worked for several universities, including Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, and Sarum College (University of Winchester). She is co-founder and director of Pro Artium in conjunction with Dr Conny Bailey and Dr Miriam Gill.

Ellie has also worked for the University of Leicester Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning and at the former Vaughan College since 2002, on the Certificates in Art History, Architecture, and Humanities and Arts and the BA in Humanities and Arts.

Ellie is a professional archivist: she is the director of the archives consultancy firm Consultant Archivist and her archivist work has included time at St Paul’s Cathedral (London) and for the Science Museum. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Dr Jane Watts

Jane Watts has a long experience of the co-operative movement, having been a member / worker in a range of co-ops and on co-operative boards, most recently the board of The Phone Co-op.  She worked at one time at the Co-operative College. Her background is in community education practice and adult education policy; she has a long commitment to developing access to education for all and at all levels. She is retired from working at the Learning and Work Institute (formerly NIACE).

Jane’s working and activist life includes a commitment to pro-active equality and diversity inclusion. She maintains a research interest in older people’s learning. 

Michael J. Curtis

Michael Curtis is a landscape and coastal archaeologist and an Adult Learning tutor in Archaeology & Ancient History. He holds a BA in Archaeology from the University of Southampton and an MA in Archaeology from the University of Nottingham. He is an Honorary Fellow in the School of Archaeology & Ancient History at the University of Leicester, where he is studying the Roman Imperial Ports and Harbours of Crete. He has edited several volumes on Hellenistic and Roman Crete and is a joint editor of a new book series entitled ‘Cretan Studies: New Approaches and Perspectives in the Study of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Crete’ which is to be published by Oxbow Books. Michael is the lead member in a Greek-led project researching and surveying the Roman harbour at Ierapetra, in eastern Crete, and within the UK is currently engaged in research into the Catuvellauni, a late Iron Age tribe in south-eastern Britain. Michael is Chair of Northamptonshire Archaeological Society and a Trustee and Executive Board member of the Nautical Archaeology Society.

Michael has been actively involved in adult learning since the late 1970s, and currently works as a tutor for Northamptonshire Adult Learning Services. At the beginning of 2023 Michael and his business partner launched My Ancient World Learning Ltd, a new company aimed at delivering online and classroom courses on archaeology and ancient history that are tailor-made for adult learning audiences around the world who are interested in knowing more about times past but who do not necessarily want to pursue this at an academic level.

Rhys Everquill

Rhys Everquill is a journalist, writer, and community organiser passionate about storytelling and community engagement. They are a passionate supporter of the co-operative movement, having co-founded the Great Central Gazette, Leicester’s co-operative newspaper. He studied Drama and later Investigative Journalism at De Montfort University, before enrolling onto the Lyra McKee Bursary Scheme at the Centre for Investigative Journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London. Rhys regularly teaches journalism and media skills to students at both De Montfort University and University of Leicester.

His relevant board expertise includes fundraising, communications, networking, co-operatives, equality and diversity, and operations.