Common Threads People


Common Threads is a constituted group managed by a steering group:-

Jane Hardstaff       Co-Director and Founder

A curator, artist and community arts project manager with a background in museums, Jane is Creative Wellbeing Coordinator at QUAD, Derby. She has led many award-winning creative projects, some of which have been used as models of best practice by Arts Council England. Passionate about combining contemporary creative practice, historical collections and community engagement, Jane is also a qualified psychotherapist with 10 years practice experience. She is currently working  artist in resentence at The Beeches Perinatal Unit, Derbyshire Healthcare Trust NHS.


Philippa Larkam    Co-Director and Creative Workshop Leader

A qualified Adult Tutor and Creative Arts workshop leader with 20 years’ experience, Philippa specializes in supporting vulnerable learners. A talented creative practitioner, she is passionate about the preservation of traditional textile skills and currently runs a ‘Little Tins’, a creative business dedicated to inspiring and teaching textile crafts through course, workshops and kits. ‘Little Tins’ has been championed by Kirsty Allsopp in her campaign for traditional making. Philippa’s background is in business management.


Nichola Cunningham   Treasurer and Workshop Leader

Sewing and making, learnt from her mother, grandmother, school, books and any other opportunity to ‘have a go’ has been a life-long love for Nichola and she is delighted to be able to share this. Nichola studied Geography and Topographic Science at University then worked in insurance. Two children later she returned to her love of textiles and sewing, setting up a curtain design and making business which she developed over the past 15 years.  Nichola now teaches soft furnishings and work in the textiles department of a secondary school where she is also responsible for her departmental budget. Several years ago Nichola and her sister set up ‘Little Tins’, a creative textile company which runs workshops, courses and sells sewing kits.  Nichola coordinates the administration and finances for the business.


Sandra Austin    Advocate and Volunteer Project Support

A volunteer with Common Threads for 5 years, Sandra is a full-time carer who sits on the NHS Drugs and Therapeutic Medicine Safety Committee and is a Local Authority Governor at Longford Primary School. She is also a volunteer with Creative Carers, Derby.

Denise Clark  Volunteer Project Support

A volunteer with Common Threads for three years, Denise was for many years an Occupational Therapist at the Radbourne Acute Mental Health Support Unit, Derbyshire Healthcare Trust NHS. Her expert support is a valued addition to the organisation.


Image courtesy of Belper North Mill/MACE Media Archive