The Ark T Centre is an arts project in East Oxford, and is situated in a high-risk area for Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Ark T is an open and inclusive community, where people, art, and powerful ideas come together, using the transformative powers of creativity to change lives.
Adrian has a background in crisis response around the world, and strong connections with the local community and voluntary sector in Oxfordshire. His experience includes working on hurricane response, refugee and post-conflict programmes in Rwanda, Liberia, Kosovo, Dominican Republic and Algeria. Locally he has worked for Oxfordshire County Council and spent 10 years in the voluntary sector with East Oxford Action, Director of Services for Age UK Oxfordshire and Executive Director of OXPIP. More recently he was CEO of international mental health charity BasicNeeds.
Adrian says: “I am humbled and excited to be taking on the CEO role at OCF at this critical time. The organisation has been at the forefront of supporting and driving the community response to COVID-19 across Oxfordshire, and I hope to continue the good work and help make sure that the sector and communities of Oxfordshire can recover stronger from the crisis.”
Annette worked in London in PR, and then as a PA to the Chairman of a Scotch whisky distiller. While bringing up her children she worked in a voluntary capacity as Chair of their pre-school. More recently she became a school governor for a local primary school and was chair for 10 years. For five years she was a member of the Education Appeals panels, responsible for Admissions and Exclusions appeals. At OCF she uses all the skills gained throughout her career for our benefit.
Annette lives in Oxford and has two grown-up children. She enjoys gardening, cooking, crafts, reading, theatre and cinema.
Annette says: “Being part of OCF is perfect for my ethos of giving and volunteering, which has been part of my life for so long.”
After studying English Literature at Queen Mary College, London University, Simon began a career in business development within recruitment and then consultancy in the City of London. He later worked developing entertainment for corporate events at some of London’s most prestigious venues. He moved to Oxford in 2007, and worked in marketing for an environmental website and large retailer before joining OCF.
He enjoys cooking, eating, reading and watching sport, but spends most of his free time playing with his two young boys and helping to run the local youth football team.
Simon says: “Working for OCF gives me the opportunity to help make Oxfordshire a better place for my children to live in.”
Before joining OCF Suzy was CEO of a community organisation in Hammersmith and Fulham, involved in delivering projects such as Social Prescribing, Community Champions and forming a Neighbourhood Forum. Prior to that she worked in prisons, courts and in the community to support people with complex needs, and on a project supporting drug and alcohol users. She has degrees in Management and Psychology, and Forensic Psychology.
Suzy has been a trustee at a children’s centre helping families facing homelessness. She now lives in Oxford with her family and is enjoying the benefits of the wonderful Oxfordshire greenery, getting out and about in the parks!
Suzy says: “My role at OCF is the perfect opportunity to bring my experience from the charitable sector to the community in which I now live.”
Sarah has worked in the charity sector for over 20 years and her various jobs – paid and voluntary – have taken her to Russia, Birmingham and since 2010, Oxford. Most recently she was the director of a local Oxfordshire charity running outdoor programmes on farms for people with learning disabilities and autism; past roles have included community organising, programme management working with Palestinian and Israeli civil society organisations, community development with refugee and asylum-seeking groups, as well as governance support, research, impact evaluation and fundraising roles with a diverse range of charities.
A keen swimmer, Sarah is never happier than when she’s in jumping into the Thames with friends, throughout the seasons.
Her role at OCF is to match the rich potential of individual and family philanthropic resources across our county to the pressing social issues identified by the dedicated charities and community organisations working locally. Sarah says: “By connecting people who care to causes that matter, I hope to strengthen OCF’s capacity to address inequality across Oxfordshire.”
Claire studied History at Oxford Brookes University before embarking on a career in HR at Law Firms in the City of London. Claire stepped back from her career to raise her son and returned to live in Oxford in 2015.
She enjoys reading, visiting museums and galleries, and has recently taken up gardening – with varying degrees of success! Claire finds joy in nature and walking her rather boisterous dog in the Oxfordshire countryside.
Claire says: “Working for OCF is as an opportunity to impact the lives of people in my community positively. I feel very fortunate to have the chance to be part of such an organisation.”
Bee has spent her career providing information and advice and managing services for older people and their carers. Until 2016 she worked with Age UK Oxfordshire, including running activities in Banbury. She has had considerable experience of fundraising in her various work roles, as a trustee of St Mary’s Day Centre in Bloxham, and for other voluntary groups.
Bee finds great satisfaction in working on her allotment, is a keen amateur artist and enjoys learning Spanish, swimming, cycling, yoga and Zumba. She is a regional representative and speaker for the Toybox Charity, which works with Street Children. She is an active member of her local church, runs a fellowship group at a local care home and instigated and runs an annual Community Christmas lunch.
Born and bred in the area, and with family connections to Banbury which stretch back generations, Bee is full of enthusiasm for the prospect of making a difference for local older people by helping to make Banbury an Age Friendly Town.
Bee is married, with 4 grown up children, and is expecting her first grandchild with pleasure. She is a graduate of Oxford University.
Kate joined OCF after nine years at local business psychology firm OPP Ltd, where she was responsible for communications and editorial in the marketing department. There she gained experience writing and project managing printed and online content and press, and developing the company brand. Kate has a Master’s degree in Literary Translation from UEA, and studied English and French at Warwick University.
Kate volunteers as a Guide leader and District Commissioner, and led an expedition to Uganda in 2013. She is now a trustee of WATSAN, a water and sanitation charity providing aid to impoverished rural communities in Uganda.
Kate says: “Working for OCF feels like the perfect fit for me, as it enables me to combine the skills I have developed with my passion for improving people’s lives.”
After studying Business Studies with French at Sheffield Hallam University, Yvonne joined Peugeot Motor Company and embarked on a career spanning sales, marketing and project management. More recently she is focusing on projects that have an impact on people’s lives, and has been a School Governor at a local primary for five years, and volunteered for Helen and Douglas House.
Yvonne lives in Oxford with her husband and two children and enjoys good food and wine, but confesses that her husband is a far better chef than she is. She also spends lots of her time watching her children compete in tennis and football tournaments.
Yvonne says: “I am so excited to be part of the wonderful team at OCF, and am delighted to have found a role that plays to my strengths whilst really giving me the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of people in the city I now call home.”
After a 14 year career working as a fundraiser for various charities, Helen took a step away to re-train in accountancy and finance. Since 2013 Helen has been working in finance roles in a corporate law firm and an independent school whilst completing a chartered management accountancy qualification.
Helen lives in north Oxfordshire with her husband and 2 teenage children, and enjoys catching up with friends and family, baking, walking and cycling and has been known to take part in triathlons.
“It was always my ambition to get back into the voluntary sector to use my finance qualification for good. I feel excited and privileged to have the opportunity to be involved in the wonderful work of OCF.”
After a career in direct and customer marketing, including banking and public sector roles, in 2007 Kate stepped out to raise her family while her husband’s role took them to live across Europe, to The Netherlands, Turkey, Russia, and Switzerland. She volunteered in each school community, culminating in running the Primary School PTA at the International School of Geneva.
Kate moved back to South Oxfordshire in 2018, where her three daughters still keep her very busy. She spends her free time catching up on TV box sets, going to the cinema, at the gym, and occasionally running or dog walking (when her Russian rescue dog is in the right mood!). She is on the Executive Committee of her local Scouts group and volunteers with Oxfordshire All In to produce their email newsletter.
Kate says: “I was excited to return to a new work environment, refresh and update my skills, while also learning about local issues and helping OCF to make a difference across the county.”
SOFEA’s mission is to enable the transformation of people’s lives, and their communities, with a major focus on young people. They enable people to fulfil their potential through work, wellbeing, study and purpose projects, providing the means of reducing the immediate effects of disadvantage by relieving food insecurity in the wider community.
Good Food Oxford supports the existing work of many organisations in and around the city working to make our food system more nourishing, less wasteful and more sustainable.
Thrive offers activity clubs and mentoring for young people in two of Oxford’s most deprived areas – Blackbird Leys and Barton. Their clubs and activities are countering the effects of social exclusion.