Who we are

Our people share a passion for Greater Manchester’s histories and heritage and their commitment and talents enable our small organisation, trustees, patrons and volunteers to make a big difference.

Our Team

Our Chief Executive Officer manages Manchester Histories, supported by our small staff team and network of volunteers.

Image of Karen Shannon CEO

Karen Shannon

Chief Executive Officer

Karen is responsible for the creative direction, vision, strategic planning, programming, marketing and income generation of Manchester Histories. She has more than 25 years of experience delivering cultural projects with partners, professional artists, cultural organisations and communities. Karen joined Manchester Histories in 2017.

Head shot of Janine Hague

Janine Hague

Project Manager

Janine manages a host of Manchester Histories projects. To do so she is working with community groups and cultural organisations to tell the stories of people and places across Greater Manchester.

Sarah Jones

Cultural Administrator

Sarah supports the delivery of Manchester Histories, where she provides administrative, marketing and finance assistance to the charity.

Anoushka Gordon

Community Development Producer

Anoushka coordinates a number of events and workshops at the Manchester Histories Hub. Collaborating with community partners, Anoushka is passionate about making arts and heritage events accessible to the wider community across Greater Manchester. Anoushka is currently on Maternity leave.

Image of Erin Beeston . A young woman with shoulder length hair and glasses. Erin is smiling in the image

Erin Beeston

Research Fellow

Erin is our Knowledge Exchange Research Fellow: Heritage and Wellbeing, working with Creative Manchester and the University of Manchester. Erin is working closely with the team to develop toolkits for use in the Hub and in community settings, with a focus on creative health.

Trustees and Patrons

Manchester Histories is governed by eight Trustees and supported by two Patrons.

Hannah Barker

Chair of Manchester Histories

Hannah Barker is a historian of the industrial revolution in the north of England. She is Professor of British History at the University of Manchester, Director of the John Ryalnds Research Institute, Chair of Chetham’s Library Committee, Governor at William Hulme’s School and a Historical Advisor for the National Trust.

John Williams

John Williams


John Williams is a consultant working with arts and heritage organisations. John is Chair of the Millennium Quarter in Manchester, a mentor for the Museums
Association Diploma and for the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a heritage expert for the Institute of Fundraising.

Melanine Tebbutt

Melanie Tebbutt


Melanie Tebbutt is Professor of Youth History at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she has developed many community-based history projects, especially around themes of childhood and youth in Manchester and the North-West. She is Honorary President of the Children’s History Society UK and President of the International Society for the History of Children and Youth.

Rob Higginson

Rob Higginson


Rob Higginson is a Commercial Leader with Laing O’Rourke in Manchester and has years of experience in commercial and financial management. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Catherine Fletcher


Catherine Fletcher is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to taking up her current post in 2020, she taught at the universities of Durham, Sheffield and Swansea. Catherine is committed to bringing historical research to wider audiences and was selected as an Arts & Humanities Research Council/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker in 2015. Radio credits include BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking and Radio 4’s In Our Time and You’re Dead To Me.

Among Catherine’s books for general readers are The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance (Bodley Head, 2020) and The Black Prince of Florence: The Life of Alessandro de’ Medici (Bodley Head, 2016). Her new history of the roads to Rome will be published in June 2024.

Kirsty Hutchinson

Kirsty Hutchinson


Kirsty Hutchinson is co-chair of the Disability Staff Network at the University of Manchester and is passionate about disability equality. She is also a volunteering & community engagement consultant with the Student Development & Community Engagement Division.

Charlotte Wildman

Charlotte Wildman


Charlie Wildman is a lecturer in modern British history at the University of Manchester, where she is the Assistant Director of Research Impact for the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. Charlie has undertaken significant engagement work with heritage and community groups across the North-West.

Jahmal Williams-Thomas


Jahmal Williams-Thomas is a journalist for ITV News Granada Reports often covering cultural stories. Starting his career in the creative arts sector, he grew up in Moss Side and is a very proud Mancunian with a passion for the city.

Micheal Wood

Michael Wood


Michael Wood is a historian, broadcaster and author. Michael was born in Manchester and is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester. He was awarded the Historical Association’s Medlicott Medal for outstanding services to history, and received the British Academy’s President’s Medal (2015) for outreach in history.

David Olusogo

David Adetayo Olusoga OBE


David Adetayo Olusoga OBE is a British Nigerian historian, writer, broadcaster, presenter and filmmaker. David is Professor of Public History at the
University of Manchester. He is an expert on military history, empire, race and slavery and has been described as 'one of the UK’s foremost historians'.


Manchester Histories’ dedicated volunteers make a significant difference to our capacity to deliver events, and to the culture of our organisation. We value their contribution to Manchester Histories, and we’ll continue to invest in their development and support.

Volunteers in a park