Ben Jackson – Chair
I am the current Chair of the Opus Hand Board, Opus Distribution Manager, and Opus Wellbeing Officer. Since becoming an Opus member in 2009, I have worked in various roles within the organisation, having first come on board to shore up the sales for Issue 9 of Now Then. Since then and like so many of us in the early days, I’ve been involved in most aspects of our output, from sales to writing to distribution. In early 2012, Opus Distribution became fully recognised as one of our main commercial projects, which I took an active role in the management and delivery of, taking on the role of Distribution Manager in 2016 which remains the main role I occupy today. Alongside this I am also currently developing the role of Opus’ Wellbeing Officer, coordinating with the team regularly to help ensure the continued wellbeing of the team.
I am very honoured to have been accepted as part of the Opus family back in late 2022 when I achieved the role of primary assistant for our unique distribution service. Since then, I have gained and valued the rewarding role of visiting and building relationships with independent traders which we aim to support in and around Sheffield.
I also have 10 years’ worth of experience as a graphic designer under my belt, which is why I find it so important to use our inclusive platforms at Opus to champion local artists and emerging talents within the creative industry. More so, as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I feel strongly compelled to voice the unheard with hopes to reinforce and implement a larger, safer and more secure LGBTQIA+ community for Sheffield.
When I’m not working for Opus, I’m working towards personal development goals in the hopes of starting my own independent business. Winding down for me includes cooking up anything spicy in the kitchen or jamming in the music studio with my girl band ‘Girls All The Way’.
I am a driven individual interested in the entangled nature of complex systems. My purpose at Opus is to resolve systemic problems at their roots. I have eight years of work experience in the social care sector ranging from; homelessness and substance misuse to domestic abuse and mental health. I also have extensive volunteering experience with organisations operating in restorative justice, human trafficking, mentoring and student-led social enterprise.
To expand my problem-solving skills, I decided to educate myself further and enrol as a mature student at the University of Sheffield. I am studying for a BA in Politics and Sociology with International Experience (Study) at the City University of Hong Kong. I lead The River Dôn Project.
I began my career with Opus in 2010 as a proofreader for Now Then. My role includes financial management, social media management, content creation and editing and event programming. I feel fortunate to be part of a team which is striving to make a real difference within the Sheffield community and beyond.
I care deeply about exploring the mechanisms that will lead to meaningful social, political and environmental change and my interests include contemporary literature, self-development, documentaries, activism, nature and feminism. I am also a qualified holistic massage therapist.
I began my journey with Opus at the start of 2019 when I joined the distribution team. I saw this as an amazing opportunity to interact with local businesses and organisations in Sheffield. In 2020, my role developed into video content creator and editor. After studying TV & Film Production for six years, when my position at Opus changed I found that it was the place I needed to be.
My role has developed into a passion which is supporting and showcasing the inspiring world of independent business in Sheffield, capturing the love and dedication of those who take the road less travelled and shining a spotlight on emerging talent in the city through film. I feel honoured to be part of a team that believes we can live in a world where everyone works to make things better for each other.
I am a Co-Founder and Director of Opus. I have over 10 years experience working cross-sector in a variety of project management and delivery roles. I want to play a part in making the world a better place to exist in, which is why I work for Opus.
I’m interested in how project work can be developed to resolve systemic problems at their root. I continue to be enthusiastic and hopeful about contributing to a society which values all humans, is equitable, ecologically sustainable and gives primacy to wellbeing, quality of life and discovery.
I enjoy reading science fiction, writing poetry, finding new music, playing racket sports and spending time with family & friends.
I am a Director of Opus and work across many of the company’s projects, with a particular focus on Festival of Debate and Wordlife. I support the company’s events and coordinate the broadcast output including live streams and video production. I am a poet in my own right, having performed widely across the UK and edited two anthologies of new writing, including ‘Wordlife 10’.
Wordlife has a long history of supporting literature development in South Yorkshire and operates one of the longest running poetry nights in the country. It produces innovative digital projects that have included large-scale video projections and AR and VR literature apps that are experienced through smart phones.
I imagine a world where the vast majority of people have the means and opportunity to find and fulfil their true potential.
I have a broad range of design, creative, strategic and curational skills, and constantly strive to help and support people to find the paths of least resistance to making things better.
I believe a basic income is the best way to create the conditions to make so much of what we’re working towards possible and my main focus at Opus since 2020 has been on the UBI Lab Network.
I’m a journalist at Now Then Magazine focusing on race, culture, and local politics. I’m interested in local activism, policing and justice, and expressions of race which do not directly relate to trauma. I also write elsewhere about race and culture.
I joined Opus in 2019 as part of the sales team. As a long-time Now Then reader I’ve loved having the opportunity to see the magazine come to life each month and getting to know the many people who make it possible. I find it inspiring to be part of a team with so much passion for making positive change and supporting independent traders in Sheffield.
Outside of Opus I am a painter and illustrator with a particular interest in wildlife and exploring the outdoors.
I joined the Opus team in November 2021 as Social Media and Communications Coordinator. As a relative newcomer to Sheffield, I have enjoyed becoming more immersed in the local community and learning about the city’s rich history of activism. I have also loved writing the occasional article for Now Then! I feel strongly that the issues we all face are complex and intertwined and need to be addressed as such, which is why I work for Opus. I am particularly interested in mental health, inequality, activism, climate and human (and non-human animal) rights.
When I’m not chasing up the Now Then journalists for TikTok content, I enjoy reading, writing, cooking, attending gigs and playing D&D!
I joined Opus in February 2021 as a community correspondent with Now Then magazine, focusing on reporting on issues affecting the disability and LGBTQ+ communities. These are important stories to tell, and it is important that a person belonging to those communities tells them. I appreciate that Now Then recognised that people are the experts on their own lives and should be involved in how their lives are represented in the media.
In the rest of my life, I am a freelance writer and editor and an avid consumer of podcasts and stand-up comedy. I like cups of tea (Yorkshire, Earl Grey or peppermint, please), hand-written letters and creative activism.
I am a journalist and feature writer at Now Then Magazine, focusing on music, culture and local politics. I am particularly interested in climate breakdown, housing, local democracy, inequality and active travel. I also occasionally write elsewhere on the subjects of art, urbanism and architecture, and I am a Co-Founder of the UBI Lab Network.
I’m a Director at Opus. My main role is as Editor-in-Chief of Now Then Magazine, which I’ve done since 2009. I came to Opus as a volunteer music writer and local musician, and got sucked in by the passion and drive of its (then) volunteer team. I’m interested in local public interest journalism, art which colours outside the lines, and non-hierarchical ways of organising our collective efforts for a better and more sustainable planet. When I’m not at my desk I try to get out to the Peak District on my bike.
I’m a Co-Founder and Director at Opus, currently working part-time across many of the company’s projects. For me, the important and exciting part of Opus is the bringing together of people, projects, organisations and networks from multiple fields and experiences to work together on the complex and entangled systemic issues we collectively face.
My particular areas of interest are political economy, changing narratives in political and media discourse and how these intersect with and affect responses to climate change and climate migration. I have recently completed a Masters in International Political Economy and also hold trustee positions at Voluntary Action Sheffield and Migration Matters Festival.
I am interested in piloting a Universal Basic income and joined Opus to work with the UBI Lab Network project. I am also attached to the Healthy Holidays project and contribute to Now Then Magazine.
My background is in International Relations, Global Security and Development and I volunteer my time on the boards of World Bicycle Relief UK and Migration Matters Festival. I spend my free time engaging in world politics and writing poetry.
As a board member and general associate of Opus for much of the last decade, I have recently stepped up my involvement with the organisation, working across digital media content and the diverse event and festival programme. The platforms Opus has pioneered alongside the breadth of organisations and movements we work with are inspiring and it’s great to be able to shine a spotlight on so many positive stories in the city.
When I’m not at Opus my main passion is music. I work as a composer but also make tunes and play the piano. I also work with Regather Co-op producing the Folk Forest music festival and Sheffield-based Veg Box Scheme.