Toggle sidebar

Meet the team

Our team

Sarah Christie (she/her)

Sarah christie

Programme Manager, Children's Capital of Culture

Children and young people across Rotherham are developing our wonderful programme of events and activities. Sarah's role is all about supporting them to make their ideas happen. This means she has a hand in all aspects of Children’s Capital of Culture: from writing funding bids to running workshops, planning out strategies to taking young people on trips, and much, much more!

What do you love about Rotherham?

How at home I feel here. The borough's diverse communities are so friendly, welcoming, and down-to-earth - with a great sense of fun!

Who's your favourite band?

Don't make me pick just one! An eclectic five-way tie between Sufjan Stevens, Abba, Haim, Blondie and Prince?

Leanne Buchan (she/her)

Leanne Buchan

Head of Creative Programming and Engagement, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Leanne is always keeping an eye out for potential opportunities for Rotherham's children and young people. Her job is to ensure that plans remain on track for Children's Capital of Culture. This includes connecting with businesses, funders and partners across Rotherham, the region and the world! She also supports other Council teams to put delivering the Children's Capital of Culture at the heart of their plans, as part of her overall role as Head of Creative Programming and Engagement.

Who is your creative role model?

It's a close call between Maggie Smith, Bob Mortimer and Miriam Margolyes. They all embody a sense of mischief and silliness that reminds me that culture can be playful, joyful and daft. They all also show empathy in their work and their general character, which I like.

What's your favourite food?


Abi Cobb (she/her)

Abi Cobb

Engagement Assistant, Children’s Capital of Culture

Abi is one of three Engagement Assistants worked for Children’s Capital of Culture. A graduate of 2022’s Young Producer programme, Abi now works with us four days a week. Abi’s varied role includes looking after our social media channels and mailing list, helping co-organise brilliant large-scale events like WOW Rotherham and Rotherham Show, delivering activities for children and young people, and much more!

What do you love about Rotherham?

One thing I love about Rotherham is that there is always something special happening. The town never sleeps!

Who is your creative role model?

My creative role model would have to be my theatre teacher/director who taught me everything I need to know for 11+ years! I wouldn't have the confidence to experience new everyday challenges without him. Most importantly, he taught me how to be me!


Adrian smith

Engagement Assistant, Children’s Capital of Culture

Adrian is one of our trainees from 2022, and now one of our Engagement Assistants. Outside his role at CCoC he is an artist, specialising in printing and photography (he even makes his own paper!). Adrian loves getting involved with creative workshops across the borough – in his ow words, “The messier, the better!” He’s always willing to get stuck into anything creative and arty.

Who is your creative role model?

I’ve always had a massive appreciation for Keith Haring and Vincent Van Gogh. Although their art is very different, there’s something about both of their styles and the meanings behind their work that really speaks to me.

Who’s your favourite band?

My favourite band is Ghost! I really hope I get to go to one of their concerts one day. I also love Bon Jovi; my parents met at one of their concerts, so I grew up listening to their music! My favourite song is “It’s My Life”.

Christopher badger (he/him)

Christopher badge

Engagement Assistant, Children’s Capital of Culture

Christopher is also an alumnus of the Young Producer programme, and now a Children’s Capital of Culture Engagement Assistant. He splits his time between working two days a week with us, and three days a week for Flux Rotherham. Christopher is passionate about music, and so frequently supports music-related projects like Signals Festival. He also often takes on project management roles (he’s a fab hand with a spreadsheet!).

What inspires you?

What I have learned about inspiration is that you don't find it, it finds you - whether that is in the places you visit, the stories you read, the people you meet, or the songs you listen to.

What is your favourite film?

I have lots of fond memories watching Pirates Of The Caribbean with my brothers!

Ross Purcell

Young Graphic Designer in Residence

Ross is our Young Graphic Designer in Residence. He makes amazing posters, graphics, artworks and more to promote the brilliant things that children and young people across our borough are making happen. Ross studies graphic design at University Centre Rotherham, while also running his own clothing business.

Mallika Ahmed

Young Journalist in Residence

Mallika is our Young Journalist in Residence, sharing the stories of Children's Capital of Culture from a young person's perspective. Mallika first got involved with Children's Capital of Culture through our Young Critics project, which we ran in collaboration with Our Favourite Places. Through this, she was inspired to pursue writing as a possible career! Mallika has just finished Year Eleven at a Rotherham secondary school. You can check out some of her fantastic articles via our Project Space.

Abigail germany

Abigail is a teenager. She has long hair and is wearing a black dress. She is posed playing a violin as she looks into the camera. Behind her, windows overlook a lawn and trees.


Young Musician in Residence

Abigail is a 16-year-old violinist. She has been playing for nine years and is currently working on her Grade 8: her final ABRSM exam. She loves all genres of music, but classical holds a special place in her heart as this is primarily what she plays, and she loves how much depth and emotion it evokes. she's currently a student at Wath Academy where she will be beginning her A Levels in September 2023. When she leaves school, she aspires to study music at a conservatoire. She currently plays lead violin in Rotherham Youth Orchestra and 1st violin in Rotherham Symphony Orchestra. As much as she loves the spotlight of centre stage, playing in an orchestra is such a special experience and the united sound created is truly magical. She is overjoyed to be Rotherham’s Young Musician in Residence and can’t wait to get started!


A black-and-white photo of KIER, a young musician. She is holding her guitar and looking moodily into the camera. She is wearing a cardigan and her shoulder length hair is down.


Young Musician in Residence

At just 22 years old, KIER has dedicated herself to crafting songs that captivate listeners with her unforgettable melodies. As a singer-songwriter, she is now poised to make her mark on the industry with the forthcoming release of her debut album, 'Welcome to the Strange Life.' What sets KIER apart is her fearless approach, as she effortlessly blends genres and pushes the boundaries of country music. Her compositions bear the influences of folk, Americana, indie, alt, pop, and rock, proving that music knows no rules or confines. Embracing her independence, KIER openly shares her creations, believing that you don't need to be a fan of "traditional" country music to connect with and enjoy her songs. Whether performing acoustically or with her band, she regularly leaves audiences spellbound with her powerful song writing and undeniable stage presence.


Steve is a teenager. He looks at the camera with a slight smile. He is wearing red tinted sunglasses, a black leather jacket, and a black tee-shirt.


Young Poet in Residence

Steve is a bassist from Rotherham residing up near the hospital in Broom. He's 17 years old and is currently studying music performance at Rotherham College. He's incredibly grateful for this opportunity and am ecstatic that he won the competition to become a Young Artist in Residence. He's hoping this project will help with his ambition to become a seasoned performer and musician.


Grace is a teeanger. She is wearing a red strappy top and flowing red trousers as she stands on a lit stage, arms outspread, singing.


Young Presenter in Residence

Grace has always had a strong passion for Performing Arts. She lives in Whiston has recently graduated CAPA College where she studied musical theatre. Previously Grace has been an active member of numerous arts organisations in Rotherham, including the Wickersley Youngstars and The Voice Academy. Earlier this year, Grace featured in YPPA’s production of ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, which played to sell-out audiences at the Rotherham Civic Theatre. Grace is thrilled to be trying a new style of stage performance as the Young Presenter in Residence and is extremely excited to be a part of the Childrens Capital of Culture!