NewsOCFSuzy Donald

Suzy will be taking forward OCF’s third strategic programme: convening charities, public bodies, businesses and individuals interested in making a difference to educational inequality in the county.

With the support of several key donors, OCF has appointed a Project Manager dedicated to finding effective solutions to some of the educational inequalities identified in Oxfordshire Uncovered. In a county with two leading universities and a thriving knowledge economy, many people of all ages are left behind, with minimal qualifications and lacking the workplace skills to take advantage of the burgeoning job market. This is demonstrated by our recent research report into education and skills in Oxfordshire.

The first stage is a research and information-gathering one: which geographical areas should we focus on, and which charities and community groups are leading the way in terms of best practice? We will rely on the knowledge of the frontline experts in our network to gather this information – staff and volunteers from leading local charities who are dealing with these issues daily. We will explore opportunities to promote a better family learning environment right from the early years of development, as well as options to improve skills, confidence and experience, teaching, mental health and other facets of the education equation.

Suzy joins OCF following two years as CEO of a community organisation in Hammersmith and Fulham, delivering projects such as Social Prescribing, Community Champions and forming a Neighbourhood Forum. She was also a trustee at Shepherd’s Bush Children and Families Centre, which helps families facing homelessness. Prior to that she was a Project Manager for WDP in Brent, supporting drug and alcohol users within the criminal justice system to access interventions and holistic support. This built on an early career working in Turning Point’s Business Development department, and as a practitioner in prisons, courts and in the community, supporting people with complex needs. Suzy holds degrees in Management and Psychology and Forensic Psychology.

As part of this strategic programme, OCF hopes to learn lessons from both our Age Friendly Banbury and City Conversation partnerships about how to build genuine, effective collaboration, move on from conflict or competition, and set a common direction. This will allow us to bring together interested funders to invest in both proven and innovative approaches that we believe will reduce educational inequality and tackle joblessness.

Meet the staff team