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Goodbye to NCJAA Director & Chair, welcome to our new co-Chairs!

Goodbye to NCJAA Director & Chair, welcome to our new co-Chairs!

Goodbye to NCJAA Director & Chair, welcome to our new co-Chairs!

After five years, NCJAA Chair Dr Alison Frater is moving on to become the new Chair of Clean Break. Alison’s leadership has brought new audiences and enhanced the NCJAA in many ways and her integrity and commitment to creativity and social justice will be hard to replace. Also, after nearly nine years, Jessica Plant, the Director of the NCJAA, is moving on to become the Director of Media Partnerships at Voluntary Arts, leading on its ‘Up for Arts’ programme of work with BBC local radio stations. During her time as Director Jess helped grow the NCJAA in terms of reach and scope to become an Arts Council England NPO in 2018; her dedication and forward thinking approach will be greatly missed.

However, we are in a very positive position to face the new challenges ahead, even in these uncertain times, with the help of our new co-chairs. We are delighted to announce that the steering group has elected Anna Herrmann from Clean Break and Simon Ruding from TiPP to become co-Chairs of the NCJAA for an interim period of one year. Abdul Shayek has also been elected as Vice Chair. In the coming months, we will look to recruit an independent Chair to provide strategic leadership for the NCJAA going forward in the longer term. We are extremely grateful to Anna, Simon and Abdul for stepping into these roles.


“It has been a privilege to work with and represent so many amazing arts in criminal justice projects over the years. This work will always stay close to my heart as I have seen the transformative impact of creative engagement on people in prisons, those serving community sentences as well as staff, families and audiences and I will continue to champion this work.”

– Jessica Plant, outgoing NCJAA Director

Anna Herrmann

“I am delighted to take up the position of interim co-chair of NCJAA, alongside Simon Ruding and with Abdul Shayek as Vice Chair – working as a triumvirate is something I have good experience of from my role at Clean Break, and I am confident that it offers a strong and inclusive model of leadership. Having served on the steering group for a number of terms, I know what a remarkable job Alison Frater has done to grow the Alliance, its influence and position across the arts and criminal justice sectors. I am excited to be able to offer my commitment and expertise to build on their achievements moving forward.”

– Anna Herrmann, Clean Break

simon ruding profile pic

“I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed to the position of interim co-chair of NCJAA, alongside my amazing colleagues Anna Herrmann and Abdul Shayek. The work that Alison has done over the last few years has ensured that the Alliance is in a fit and strong position to respond to the challenges that the sector is currently facing, and I would like to add my voice of thanks to them for all their hard work and commitment. I am really looking forward to working alongside Anna and Abdul over the next few months. It is going to be quite a ride.”

– Simon Ruding, TiPP

“Really looking forward to working with the new interim co-chairs Anna Herrman and Simon Ruding. It has been a pleasure to sit on the steering group and challenge and support as and when required. I am sure I echo the rest of the steering group in saying a huge heartfelt thank you to Alison Frater for her leadership and growing the influence and reach of the Alliance. As we gear up for a new and exciting chapter of the NCJAA, this new triumvirate will ensure the Alliance continues in a similar vein.”

– Abdul Shayek