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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 Senior Associate at AXIS Architecture, Sheffield, where she currently works across the residential and retail sectors. She is also a trustee 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 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.   

Moinak Basu - Senior Vice President 

Moinak is a Chartered Architect and Project Architect at HLM Architects, Sheffield. Moinak works across a range of sectors including education, healthcare and residential. Interested in the future of construction, Moinak has written articles and published papers on the use of Building Information Modelling in the industry. Born in Mumbai, Moinak moved to Sheffield to do a Masters in Environmental Design at the University of Sheffield in 2006 and fell in love with the city. 

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.

Anya Sutton - Honorary Secretary

Anya is a Chartered Architect and Director at Thread Architects, Sheffield. She has worked as a design tutor at De Montefort, Nottingham and Sheffield Universities. In 2016, Anya's project to convert an old joiners workshop into her home won both the Conservation and Residential awards at the Sheffield Design Awards. Anya is a lifelong resident of Sheffield who is passionate about the city and public engagement in architecture. Her interests include modernist architecture, environmental design, design in the context of historic / listed buildings, model making, printing, hiking and cycling.

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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