Meet The Team

  • Neil McDonald

    Founding Director

    Role: Neil was responsible for the innovative design of the Stour Space building which influences the way in which people perceive and have access to art and creative enterprise as well as physically building the vast majority of the internal structure. He played a lead role in listing Stour Space as an Asset of Community Value, one of the first in the country to be listed as such under the Localism Act. Neil's current role at Stour Space hinges around project and company strategic development both in Hackney Wick and internationally, covering such fields as: social value, business modelling, architecture and neighbourhood regeneration.

    Favourite thing about Hackney Wick: It's the people, there are so many creative people around that it's hard not to be motivated.

    Favourite thing about Stour Space: It's the people! Our team and the community inside the building really are like family, I'm inspired every time I come in.

    Other work/hobbies: I am a Sculptor and Designer with a keen interest in creating interactive, often musical works. I am a lover of all things wood and delight in working with it from anything from Jewelry and furniture to building and restoring houses. I am also an avid gardener with an ever expanding veggie plot.
  • Rebecca Whyte (MA)

    Founding Director

    Role: Rebecca has for many years promoted the importance of the arts within social structures and this has laid down the main objectives and ethos of Stour Space - 'Arts and Culture as a Catalyst for Social Change'. Her vast experience in the voluntary and third sector has allowed Stour Space to develop in such a way that has created a substantial social capital. Rebecca currently oversees a number of projects at Stour Space, as well as outreach and the strategic development of the company.

    Favourite thing about Hackney Wick: I love the small town vibe of the area, everyone knows everyone.  I also love the fact that any materials or furniture you don't want anymore will almost always be repurposed in someone else's warehouse, used for a piece of art or be given a new life in someone else's home. Nothing is wasted in the Wick.

    Favourite thing about Stour Space: Its wonderful how homemade Stour Space feels. It has such a unique little micro economy, full of inspiring people doing interesting things. The place wouldn't function without the motivation and participation of so many creative minds supporting the ethos of the building and looking out for each other

    Other work/ hobbies, etc: If I could, I would LOVE to whistle for a living...but Im not sure that really exists. I also work on a few other projects aside from Stour Space, such as my other company in Sweden - Kulturkontakten - bringing music to people in care, curation and project management at multi-arts festivals, and 'Im also a Mum which is the best job ever.
  • Juliet Can

    Director

    Role: Inspiring others to make a difference in their local communities has always been at the forefront of my career.  My experience spans fundraising, strategy and programme development within the third sector in the UK, Germany and East Africa. My role at Stour Space involves building cross sector relationships with local government, communities and citizens.  I ensure that key partnerships are developed, manage staff, supports with governance, organisational and strategic development.

    Favourite thing about Hackney Wick: Hackney Wick has a distinct character, I love the tension between old and new, art and commerce, new and established communities who all add to the wonderful diversity of the area.

    Favourite thing about Stour Space: Stour Space welcomes all. One can hide away in a corner, look at art, work in the function room or sit by the canal and reflect.  It’s a truly multifaceted building.  I love the fact that a child can come into the space and run around screaming with happiness.

    Other work/ hobbies: Outside of Stour Space, I continue to consult on organisational sustainability working with other charities and social enterprises.  I volunteer and support victims of human trafficking and when I switch off, its Netflix, pop up restaurants or I read my stack of weekend papers. I have also been known to enjoy a little boogie!

  • Rachel Johnson

    Events Manager (Private Events)

    Role: I love working face to face with customers either organising their weddings and parties or seeing how the space could work for a conference or showcase.  I manage the Events Calendar and oversee events to make sure everything is done by the book.  I'm also looking at processes within the Stour Team, looking at ways to make the good ship Stour run even smoother!

    Favourite thing about Hackney Wick: Stour Space! The canal! Oh and the quirky buzzy atmosphere.

    Favourite thing about Stour Space: The people! It's a fun place with loads of artistic inspiration on tap.

    Other work/hobbies:  I’m obsessed with sewing and I make and sell men’s ties.  I also run a small cleaning company and occasionally provide temp PA cover. I love disco music, country walks, bird watching and eating very hot curry. I also enjoy telling truly dreadful jokes.

  • Lauren Hall

    Shop Manager

    Role: Day to day management of SHOP, this includes; curation of space, artist liaison, stock control and general admin. Also, in partnership with gallery at Stour Space, working as exhibition assistant, this includes; supporting safe preparation, curation and handling of monthly exhibitions alongside gallery manager Coby Walsh.

    Favourite thing about Hackney Wick: A true representation of London in a snap shot. Diversity at its richest, creativity as its most colourful and personality of this highest ilk. It is a landmark shaped by the people and fringed with curiosity.

    Favourite thing about the Stour Space: Such a hub of the community. Great spot to yarn and share.

    Other work/ hobbies, etc: I have taught young adults with learning difficulties/ disabilities since 2007 and access in the community is such a strong value for me. Engaging all and working together is why Stour is a great environment to work in. I love being in my allotment with my family, eating what we have grown especially beetroot (what an incredible thing it is). I like to knit, swim, cycle, and hang out with my beautiful son.