Our team

We're a small but dedicated team of practitioners, volunteers and consultants who work together to help communities thrive

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Magdalen Bartlett

Founder and CEO

Magdalen founded Afrocats in 2003 to channel her experience and skills into empowering others.  


Working in the creative arts industry for over 17 years, Magdalen is an experienced theatre director, creative producer, project manager and engagement specialist. Over the years, Magdalen has worked in various roles for numerous organisations, schools, councils such as Community Arts North West, Manchester International Festival, Louise Da-Cocodia Education Trust, Women Asylum Seekers Together, Royal Exchange Theatre and Z-arts.

Magdalen works collaboratively with different communities to develop their stories, ideas and experiences. Through her work, she creates a platform so people at risk of social exclusion can have their voices heard. 

Reina Yaidoo 


Reina has worked in fields intertwining technology and culture for the last decade. She runs a social enterprise specialising in science, tech and health for underrepresented communities. She brings a diverse range of skills to Afrocat including business and project management, broadcast and social media, initiating and running collaborative partnerships with a range of stakeholders, application and report writing.

As a trained radio presenter and producer, Reina runs Sanguine, the science, tech and health show on a local radio station and has presented on BBC Radio. Reina is a governor at her local primary school and has received training in performance management, safeguarding as well as previous work around mentoring and working with children and adults with special needs.

Linzi Stirrup


Linzi has worked in university administration for the past 10 years and currently provides research funding support to academics in chemistry and physics. Previously she worked in Canada at a large global financial company in a variety of administrative positions. She also has experience of voluntary work in theatre, museums and art galleries both in the UK and Canada.


Linzi is the project manager of the DARA Big Data project based at the University of Manchester, which aims to provide students from 8 African countries with skills in data science. 

Ruth Bellhouse


Ruth worked as a primary school teacher for many years in London, Jamaica and Manchester where she worked with the ethnic minority achievement service. She worked primarily with minority groups raising self-esteem and achievement. Much of it focused on learning and celebrating the richness and beliefs of their own cultures. 


Part of her work also involved working with and supporting parents. This included English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, fitness classes, cooking, participation in school activities and learning about the curriculum, trips out and supporting parents plus networking with other agencies as required.

Later, for 5 years Ruth worked at a young persons community resource centre. Here she established a toy library and ‘stay and play’ sessions for families and carers. This expanded to 3 other community and children centres.

Ruth has also worked in adult education in family learning across various centres in Manchester.
She is a qualified aromatherapist and reflexologist. She has taught aromatherapy massage at various adult centres in Manchester and Bury.

Now retired she volunteers on various projects and enjoys doing textile design.