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Who are the SSA?

The volunteer steering group works on behalf of its members to provide a local voice to regional and national RIBA. You can contact any of us by using the email address

The committee members below are supported by a great many more people, to whom we are hugely grateful.

Leanora Simmonite - President 

Leanora is a Chartered Architect and Associate at Bond Bryan, Sheffield, where she currently works across sectors including performing arts, cultural, hospitality and mixed use sectors, with a background including residential, retail and office architecture. She is also a trustee and Chair of the Sheffield Design Awards and tutors occasionally at the School of Architecture at Sheffield University. Born in Lancashire, Leanora moved to Sheffield in 2000 to study at Sheffield University. She now lives with her husband, daughter and Giant Schnauzer, and can often be found sampling the latest brew at the family's microbrewery. Leanora enjoys walking in the Peak District and is an avid parkrunner.   

Michael Brown - Senior Vice President 

Neil Orpwood - Treasurer

Neil qualified as an architect in 1995, having started his degree at North East London Polytechnic in 1985. He is a Chartered Member of the RIBA and has worked at HLM Architects in Sheffield since leaving full-time education (albeit initially spending a one year spell as a shop assistant in London waiting for the economy to improve, in 1992). Heading up HLM's Healthcare Team both nationally and internationally, he has a detailed knowledge of this specialist sector, working on small refurbishment projects through to multi-million pound facilities. Married with two grown up children, Neil lives in Sheffield and has been an active member of the SSA since 2008.

Sarah Foxwell - Vice President for Media

Sarah is a Chartered Architect primariily at Robin Ashley Architects in Sheffield.  She is involved in all manner of projects, from small house extensions to motor dealerships and extensive housing developments.  Her favourite part of design is the 'light bulb moment' when all the design parameters start to work together. She is interested in all aspects of design and loves bringing her architectural skills into her extra-curricular activities as well  This includes renovating a 1930s house in Sheffield, mentoring students, researching and leading the Flockton projects, as well as running a well established jewellery design business.

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