Step Change grants panel
Sandy Arbuthnot
Sandy Arbuthnot
Step Change Chair

Biography

Sandy graduated in Geology and spent his early career as a site engineer on civil engineering projects around the world. Following an MBA, he worked briefly in investment banking before taking a number of roles in corporate strategy and general management. In 1997 he was appointed Managing Director of a small subsidiary of Burmah Castrol. Having led the buyout of this business he subsequently sold it to an Australian multinational. Between 2010 and 2018 he was on the board of Oxfam’s Enterprise Development Programme. He is an angel investor and has been a director of two successful Oxford University spinout companies. In 2019 Sandy completed a full-time MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute.

Brian Buchan
Brian Buchan DL
Step Change panellist

Biography

Brian studied at Jesus College, Oxford before embarking on an international career in consumer good companies such as Procter & Gamble, SSL International, RHM, Burtons Foods and R&R Ice Cream. He was Treasurer or Chair of Trustees for OXSRAD, a disability centre for 18 years and is now their President. He also chairs the Finance Committee of the Story Museum in Oxford, and is a former member of the Jesus College Development Committee. He is a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Brian was appointed Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire in January 2019.

Laura Chapman
Laura Chapman
Step Change panellist

Biography

Laura was Chief Executive of the Freemasons’ Grand Charity for 16 years. During that time, she oversaw a grant-making programme with an annual expenditure of approximately £5m. In her earlier career, she headed up BT’s award-winning Community Affairs Programme, responsible for the evaluation and selection of economic development, social welfare and cultural projects. Laura has worked as a freelance consultant for Business in the Community and CSR activities, and in the evaluation of public policy initiatives primarily in urban regeneration and community development.

Anne Davies
Anne Davies
Step Change panellist

Biography

Anne is a trustee of OCF and Chair of the community foundation’s Grants Panel. She is a senior IT professional with international experience at large multi-national corporations. She thrives on sorting out difficult situations and delivering business transformation and value through technological innovation across all areas of an organisation, including content and intellectual management, business analysis, supply chain management, financials, sales and distribution. After a 26-year career delivering IT systems for a series of high-profile publishing houses, she now works as an independent consultant, and is a regular speaker at seminars and conferences.

Elizabeth Paris
Elizabeth Paris DL
Step Change panellist

Biography

Elizabeth spent 20 years in corporate finance at Chase Manhattan and JP Morgan, becoming a Managing Director in 1991. She has since been an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School; the University lead for several Goldman Sachs Foundation initiatives; and a consultant for the World Bank. She is Chair of The Oxford Playhouse, a Charity Mentor, and a trustee of SOFEA and Be Free Young Carers. Other Oxfordshire roles have included Chair of the Select Committee on Affordable Housing in Oxford, and Director, Common Purpose Oxfordshire. She is a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, with a focus on Didcot and on families and children.

Olga Senior
Olga Senior
Step Change panellist

Biography

Olga originally qualified as a nurse and then spent 34 years working in the NHS in clinical and managerial roles locally and nationally until she retired at the end of 2013. She has previously held roles as a Governor at Abingdon School; a Director at Vale House Care Home in Oxford; and a member of the Thames Valley Police Professional and Ethical Standards Panel. Currently she is Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board of HMP Huntercombe; a panel member reviewing detentions under the Mental Health Act; a member of the Charity Committee of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust; a member of the Strategic Independent Advisory Group at Thames Valley Police; and chairs a steering group working towards making Abingdon a Dementia Friendly Community.

Rosalind Warren
Rosalind Warren
Step Change panellist

Biography

Roz ran Charity Mentors Oxfordshire from its inception in 2013 until 2021. This experience gave valuable insights into the strategic challenges and governance structure of many of Oxfordshire’s charities. Prior to this she was involved with OBX, a local charity that encouraged entrepreneurship in school-aged children who were less inclined to engage with traditional educational approaches. Her background is in agricultural economics and she worked as a consultant with LMC International as Director of their Sugar and Sweeteners’ group, as well as a lecturing in the School of Agriculture and Policy Development at Reading University. She is also Chair of FarmAbility Oxfordshire.

Martin Wilkinson
Martin Wilkinson
Step Change panellist

Biography

Martin is a qualified accountant (CIMA) who spent his career in a number of business organisations in the UK and Canada. He held senior financial positions in three multinational businesses, particularly an Oxford-based academic publisher where he was Financial Director for 15 years. He has held a number of non-business positions in educational institutions (primary, secondary and Oxford Brookes University governorships) and local charities. The latter category includes Chair of Oxfordshire Family Mediation, and Treasurer of Earth Trust and St Luke’s Hospital, amongst others. He joined the Step Change panel in early 2016.

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STEP CHANGE CASE STUDIES

Bridewell Organic Gardens

Bridewell is a mental health recovery service providing social and therapeutic horticulture in a working garden to adults living in Oxfordshire. Their goal is to help people into jobs or voluntary roles out in the wider community.

The Gatehouse

The Gatehouse is a community drop-in centre offering free support services for adults who are homeless, vulnerably housed, on low income and looking for company and community. They offer a free cafe six times a week, therapeutic workshops and a one-to-one casework team.

Archway Foundation

The Archway Foundation helps people in Oxford and Abingdon who feel unwanted, excluded and forgotten, matching them with volunteer befrienders and social networks that give them back a sense of belonging.