I was appointed Director of Communications for the Trust in January 2020, just a few months before the COVID pandemic hit the UK. My first year in post was challenging with the constant opening and closing of our programmes and centres – and adjusting to a brave new world. The challenge now is to ensure our enterprise and education & engagement programmes bounce back and marketing and communications is key! We want to see our innovation centres full of exciting science and tech businesses and ensure our Science Oxford programmes are busy inspiring the next generation of scientists and innovators. What I like about my role is that it’s incredibly varied – one day I can be making a film about the Science Oxford Centre and the next interviewing the founder of one of our science & tech businesses about their innovative ideas.
Way back, I used to write and edit travel guides and ran my own travel guide production company, appropriately called Departure Lounge. But since moving to Oxford, I’ve lead on marketing and communications for several small local charities and social enterprises, including the Low Carbon Hub, Ethex and the Children’s Society. I also use my professional experience in my voluntary work. In 2017, I set up a community benefit society with three others to save our village pub, The Abingdon Arms in Beckley. We raised £500,000 from 300 local investors and now have a thriving community-owned pub! In 2019, I started a new organisation called Refill Oxford to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers (including some TOT staff), there is now a network of over 130 Refill “stations” all over the city in cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, museums, community centres and even hairdressers, where anyone can fill up their water bottle for free, rather than buying a new one. Outlets display a blue-branded Refill sticker on their door or window and are all mapped on the free Refill app so that you can easily find your nearest Refill point.
I‘m a proud mum of twins who are now studying at university. My passions are walking on Otmoor, our local RSPB reserve, travelling and – I never thought I’d say this – gardening.