The work of Help Musicians UK is divided into four teams including the Talent Programme, Help & Advice, Communications & Partnerships and Resources & Finance. The charity is led by Chief Executive Richard Robinson.
Meet the team
From an early career in journalism, Richard has raised the profile and funds for a number of worthy charities in the creative arts, education and healthcare - raising over £100m in the process.
He spent time on the frontline in India developing the operations and communications strategy for an international NGO, to treat, educate and give a voice to people living on the margins of society. He also built strategies for major campaigns prompting celebrity endorsement and global media interest.
Back in the UK, he spearheaded the successful launch of a charity for ex-servicemen with mental health issues and designed the £5m campaign to transform the birthplace museum of Thomas Gainsborough Museum.
He joined the Olympic Park charity as Chief Executive just before the Games in 2012, and led the drive to ensure its legacy through innovative arts, music, education and regeneration programming. It remains one of the most successful start-up charities in the capital.
Richard has a keen interest in music. He was in a signed alternative band in the early 1990s and played viola in various orchestras. He had also built up a strong reputation for working closely with musicians, artists and performers on business planning, financing and reputation management.
Kessington was Head of Finance at Asthma UK, before joining Help Musicians UK in 2015.
Kessington is a Chartered Accountant (FCCA) with an MBA from Warwick Business School, with varied and extensive accounting experience.
He started his accounting career in the private sector but moved to the Charity sector in 2003. He has a strong background in senior management advice and coaching, notably in the not-for-profit, project management and finance logistics. Kessington has a wealth of worldwide commercial experience managing cross-cultural teams and is exceedingly resourceful with a proven track record for business enhancement.
Outside of work, Kessington enjoys all kinds of music (mainly jazz), watching football and is a keen karateka.
Claire joins from the Foundation for FutureLondon (previously The Legacy List) where she led the creative vision for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and devised a programme which ensured the cultural legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games continued to benefit people living in east London. Claire devised a programme of strategic partnerships delivering over 30 projects and reaching thousands of people. Her last partnership project saw two key venues in the Park taken over by young people who were given the chance to curate a festival of music, dance and fashion.
Claire’s relationship with the Park started in 2008 when she was integral to a pioneering team embedding permanent arts and culture into the fabric of the Park during its construction. Before this she spent eight years at Arts Council England building up a knowledge of charity governance, artform policy and a great network.
Claire is Vice Chair of Queens Theatre Hornchurch and Trustee of Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, she is also a mentor to young female creatives and enjoys being commissioned to make elaborate and creative cakes!
Christine is the Director of External Affairs and Director of Northern Ireland for the charity. She is responsible for all things communication, fundraising, partnerships, campaigning and branding as well as directing activities for HMNI.
During her eight years at HMUK, Christine has used her experience within the music industry and as a classically trained singer and Choral Scholar to help shape a more proactive approach to communications. In doing so, she has the biggest team in the organisation and the biggest target - £21M by the charity's centenary in 2021.
Christine has also spearheaded HMUK's hugely successful MAD campaign (music and depression) which saw the charity hit global headlines - as well as launching the hearing protection campaign #hearformusicians, the most impactful scheme in our history.
Christine is London-based with her roots in Lisburn, Northern Ireland and has a passion for all things vintage.
Jonathon joins us from a health and business management consulting background, having delivered over £200M of contracts on behalf of clients in the NHS, health, high tech, private equity and government security sectors. He has specific experience in conducting strategic, commercial and operational reviews of health services in a variety of community, third sector and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG’s) settings. He is a trained leader, facilitator, strategist, negotiator and PRINCE2 Practitioner and advises and mentors senior teams, in turn-around, strategic development and partnership programmes.
As Interim Health & Welfare Director, Jonathon is responsible for designing and commissioning HMUK’s health and welfare services and capabilities, as well as leading our day to day health and welfare team. He is passionate about developing people and organisations to achieve their potential and committed to reducing the stigma associated with mental health within the music industry and across society.
In his spare time, Jonathon likes to travel, sail, water ski, watch live bands, catch up with the latest movie’s and is currently attempting to learn Yoga.
Lucy brings over a decade’s experience managing projects across the arts and cultural sector, including six years at Arts Council England where she led on a number of national cultural education and audience engagement initiatives, and looked after an eclectic portfolio of music and learning-focused organisations for the London office. Outside of work, she is a face painting, basket-making, gig-going, fancy-dress-loving adventurer.
Ellie loves music in all its many forms and in her spare time she plays her viola in an amateur orchestra, rambles through parks and galleries and enjoys a bit of yoga.
Bex studied music performance at Birmingham Conservatoire. She has worked in administration roles within the NHS and the charity sector over and in her spare time she manages and plays Flugel Horn for Aveley and Newham Brass Band.
Health & Welfare
Joe performs and composes music, predominantly for film and theatre. He enjoys watching films, making strange noises with damaged pianos and playing football, badly.
As a Yorkshireman, Matthew enjoys cricket and rugby league whilst despairing at the misfortunes of Barnsley FC. He delights in country walks, sampling beer and trips to Europe to enjoy orchestral concerts and opera.
Laurent is a vocalist in an experimental rock band and lover of progressive rock. He enjoys science and detective stories and is a father of two.
Kirsty has a background in Performer Relations having come straight from PPL UK, and prior to this worked at an indie film company and a live arts venue, where she gained a deep appreciation for music of all types (yes all). In her spare time she is nearing the end of a degree with the Open University and writes short stories.
Arriving at HMUK after time away in Australia and New Zealand, Emma has worked at a number of art and cultural organisations in both fundraising and grant-giving. She is currently studying part time and when away from all the books, loves hiking up hills, going to gigs & exploring new places.
Communications & Partnerships
A classically trained clarinettist, Jess has spent the last 8 years working at various charities in fundraising, and in her spare time sings in an accapella choir (complete with beat-boxer) doing random gigs around the UK.
Joseph is a celebrity liaison specialist, book editor, former magazine editor and journalist. He is focused on ambassador management and donor development, which encompasses all of these skills. His Dear Me, A Letter to my 16-Year-Old Self books have raised around £120,000 for charity. He is a big Beatles fan, trained sound engineer and a terrible guitarist.
Ashling has had various of PR and marketing roles within the music industry; including two Independent record labels. She is a keen gig and festival goer and loves collecting records.
Jane has experience organising fundraising events in the corporate and charity sectors. She is part of an a cappella group that performs at music festivals across the UK.
Susie spent the last three years at the Royal Opera House wearing various different hats as a Project Coordinator. She is a left handed, vegetarian type and loves music in its many forms; singing it, writing it and listening to it.
Sarah is a music graduate from Newcastle University, and previous to joining HMUK ran the events at music licensing company PPL. As well as sitting on the events committee for AMA UK, she enjoys playing her piano and volunteers at a music group for teenagers with special needs.
Kat has worked in various companies in marketing, sales and on databases. Out of work she enjoys gigs and rock nights. She also has a passion for Dungeons and Dragons and Mental Health Campaigning both of which you will find her writing about on her personal blogs.
Coming from a gallery background, Charlie has experience in various sales and creative roles within the arts sector. In her spare time she can be found at gigs, working on her own art work, or nursing a charity shop addiction that continues to add to her growing vintage and record collections.
Finance & Operations
Joe returned to London last year after some time living abroad in China and Australia. He has a background in project management and impact measurement across the public, education and not-for-profit sectors.
In his spare time Joe enjoys writing, playing guitar (for mainly his own enjoyment), and following the misfortunes of West Ham United.
Evelyn is an accountant in training with a background in archives and records management. She loves history, animal videos on YouTube and all kinds of music.
Natalie is a musical instrument maker specialising in bespoke acoustic instruments and now branching out into electronic instruments and effects.
Rosetta is a pianist who has previously worked in administration for schools, music festivals and events. In her spare time, she likes going to the theatre and trying out new recipes from many different food blogs.