All the trustees of the Sheffield Civic Trust contribute their time on a voluntary basis with the aim of improving the buildings, places and spaces of Sheffield. The current trustees are listed below.

If you are interested in becoming a trustee, or helping us with our activities in some other way, please email the Chair at

  • Alex Maxwell
  • Chris Bell
  • Janet Ridler – HODs Co-ordinator
  • Jim Monach – Secretary/Treasurer
  • Liz Godfrey
  • Paul Bedwell – Membership
  • Rosie Dodgson
  • Rupert Wood
  • Simon Gedye – Chair

Short Trustee Bios

Chris Bell

Chris lived in Grenoside before graduating and moving to London where he worked in Advertising and Business-to-Business Publishing. Inspired by the closure of Woodhead Rail line and the abandonment of the Cheap Bus Fares Policy of SYPTE, Chris was inspired to study a Masters Degree in Transport Policy before returning back to Sheffield to work on a strategic transport project in the Peak District National Park Authority for 6.5 years. Following this period, he has worked as a transport planner for Highways England.

Chris joined the Sheffield Civic Trust to find like-minded people to support high quality infrastructure and environments in his home town.

Samantha Birchall

Samantha is a chartered Marketer who graduated in International Business from Sheffield Hallam University in 2005, and who has moved steadily around Europe and the UK before returning to her roots in the Sheffield City Region. Originally hailing from Chesterfield, Samantha has over 12 years’ Marketing and Business Development experience and currently works for Arup, the global design engineering consultancy firm, in Sheffield.

Since becoming a Trustee in 2015, Samantha has become a key member of the sub-committee behind the biannual Sheffield Design Awards, which celebrate design excellence across the city region. Further to this, she also focuses on the publicity of the Trust; it’s events, and fundraising for the non-profit organisation. As an avid runner, the hills of Sheffield and the Peak District know no bounds! Aside from running, Samantha is a linguist, speaking German and Spanish, and keen traveller, exploring places far and wide with her family.

Liz Godfrey

Liz came to Sheffield from London in 1982 with partner and two small children. She was, for most of her working life, a primary school teacher. Latterly, she went into small scale catering and then became a partner at Sheffield’s John Lewis until retirement.

Liz has had a lifetimes interest in buildings and towns, having been brought up right in the centre of London. Always being active in the voluntary sector, she joined SCT 9 years ago and has been on the board ever since. Liz has coordinated Sheffield’s Heritage Open Days group since the Trust took the event on board in 2013.

Alex Maxwell

Alex Maxwell is an educator and independent architectural designer, and accidental bookshop owner. After studying Architecture at Brighton and Development Practice at Oxford Brookes worked with a number of organisations and institutes across Arts production and Publishing. 

Having arrived in Sheffield to finish his architectural education, he has worked to improve the possibilities in the local urban realm, for professionals, students and the public alike. His most visible project is a design-led bookshop in the City Centre. Alex teaches undergraduate architecture at the University of Sheffield where he loves the opportunity to talk about the applying the methods of designing to systemic challenges, and exploring design through making with students and tutors.

Jim Monach

Jim is committed to the values of preserving and enhancing the environment of the City of Sheffield. He has no qualifications or experience in art or architecture but simply enjoys seeing Sheffield be the best place it can be to work, visit and live in. He is a retired lecturer, researcher and course leader in mental health issues at the University of Sheffield, and currently serves on Mental Health and Social Entitlement Tribunals.

His interests in the built and urban environment are informed by his other interests in wildlife and community activity. Having experience with the voluntary sector he always is prepared to take a role in governance issues as he did with the SCT from the start. Jim is above all committed to the enhancement of our cityscape and the provision of high quality new buildings alongside the preservation of the best of the old, amidst open and green spaces, which properly reflect the standing of Sheffield as the Outdoor City.

Janet Ridler

Janet has a background in heritage education and interpretation, and has successfully engaged new audiences with the history and heritage of some of Sheffield’s most significant historic sites and buildings. She worked for 3 years on delivering the HLF funded Gateway project at Sheffield Cathedral, creating new interpretation materials and installations and engaging thousands of new visitors with the stories of this ancient building. 

She is a trustee of Sheffield General Cemetery, a Victorian Grade II listed heritage and conservation site, and manages the cemetery’s Samuel Worth Chapel as a venue for arts and community events. Janet also worked as Activity Plan coordinator on Sheffield City Council’s £4 million HLF bid to fund major restoration work to the General Cemetery and to transform the site into a well-used heritage and wildlife park. 

She is passionate about Sheffield’s rich heritage and history and has been involved in the Heritage Open Days programme for several years, including organising and delivering large-scale public engagement events, and speaking at national HOD seminars. Janet is particularly interested in developing and promoting Sheffield Civic Trust’s role as citywide coordinator of the Heritage Open Days programme.