One year on from being awarded the Chairman’s Award

In 2018 Ormiston Rivers Academy and Ormiston Victory Academy were recipients of the Chairman’s Social Action Award at the Ormiston Academies Trust annual awards ceremony. The grant aims to fund projects which benefit students and/or members of the community. Let’s see how they’re doing a year on…

Winner – Ormiston Rivers Academy

Miss Marable’s aim was to create a ‘Mental Wellbeing’ space within the Academy. This has been firmly achieved with an old detention room being transformed into a peaceful and calm safe space for students to come and find support.

The project has been so successful that Miss Marable’s new responsibility is now ‘Director of Wellbeing’. She spoke of how the work has developed over the past year:

A key thing we have implemented in the space is the ‘Wellbeing Warriors’ where a group of sixth formers have volunteered to be mentors to the younger years. They manage the space every break and lunch with supervision from myself and other staff. It is a safe space for every student to use when in need of support for issues such as bullying, stress & bereavement.’

 ‘The space has become a vital part of our work to help students to build resilience which leads to more focus in the classroom and better life chances.’

The room is used every day by the students in various capacities including a Young Carers support session and it is also used by the school counsellor.

For more information about this project and to see a fantastic video please visit:

Runner up – Ormiston Victory Academy

Ormiston Victory’s project outlined plans to restore a shed and transform it into a bike shop, where students can repair and sell on bicycles under supportive supervision. The aim was to engage students who may not always respond well to academic subjects and encourage them to learn practical and business skills.

One student spoke of how the project had impacted him ‘I can see it now but I was a complete pain and I would not listen to any teachers and I am sorry to say that I also swore a lot.’

‘When the bike shed started Mr Robinson had a few ground rules for instance safety always comes first and always be on time and polite to each other. Mr Robinson was so happy with my hard work that he made me supervisor in the bike shed.’

‘I am now going for an interview with a motor car tyre company and I will get a two-year apprenticeship. I don’t think I would have been able to get this if it was not for the bike shed’.

‘It has certainly improved my behaviour and attendance. It’s a great opportunity and I think it would help all schools if they had this.’

Paul Robinson, who supervises this project, reported how 90% of the students involved have improved their attendance and behaviour. The project has now led to a brand new BTEC in engineering which the students are getting involved in.

Thanks to the initial funding of this project which went towards the purchasing of vital equipment, there are now thirty bikes that the students can work on. The plan is for these to then be sold into the community and the money raised will continue to sustain the project for years to come.

James is the Chief Executive officer of Ormiston Trust. He has worked as an organisation advisor in the private, public and voluntary sectors, helping organisations to grow sustainably over the medium to long term. He has helped charities for over 20 years in the fields of strategic development, partnership setup, programme and project delivery.

Poppy is the Youth Engagement and Partnership Officer at Ormiston Trust, responsible for coordinating our team of Young Advisors and developing effective working relationships with external organisations. She is currently studying ‘Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development’ at Warwick University and previously worked as Board Advisor for a non-profit youth-focused organisation in Croydon. She has experience in activism work – attending COP26 with environmental education company Force of Nature and had been a member of the UK Youth Parliament for many years, speaking on environmental issues in the House of Commons for its ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign.

Tom heads up Comms and Youth Engagement here at Ormiston Trust. His role focuses mainly on helping run the Youth Advisory Council, as well as heading up our social media accounts and planning events. His creative roots lie in journalism, music and theatre as well as horticulture and creative producing, having been involved in a variety of workshops and projects. Tom is passionate about the environment and politics and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Birmingham in International Relations.

Fiona is the Grants Assistant at Ormiston Trust and in her role she supports the Grants team. Previously, she worked in the City for 10 years, firstly as a dealer on the floor of the London Stock Exchange and then as an equity salestrader.  

Samia is a business and ICT Teacher with over 20 years of leadership experience in Education, working with leaders from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 5. Her experience has ranged from working as an Acting Head Teacher to a Deputy for an Education Trust. Some of the key highlights from her education career have included building schools and setting up education provisions, including a teaching school, and winning several National awards. Samia is passionate about ensuring the young people in her care have the best possible experience and has always led by example by sending her own children to the schools she has been a part of.

Ray leads the youth engagement, partnerships and fundraising work streams at Ormiston Trust, in particular having strategic oversight of how we as an organisation can embed the voices of our young people in everything we do, and how we can work with partner organisations to maximise shared outcomes and opportunities.

His background is in community project development and funding, having worked with charities, schools, and local authorities in East Anglia to develop a plethora of projects including primary-secondary school transition, award-winning youth amateur theatre, social prescribing in rural GP practices, and youth commissioning boards, for which he was recognised as a Prime Minister’s Point of Light.

Ray is a global health and medicine graduate, alongside his work at Ormiston, he is a hospital doctor and public health academic. He is also an #iWill Ambassador and national #iWill Partnership Board member.

Anne is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has worked for Ormiston Trust for over 30 years, overseeing the property portfolio and asset management. She combines her work at the Trust with voluntary community work and has raised thousands of pounds to enhance leisure and education opportunities for young people in disadvantaged communities. 

Karlene is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has been handling the Financial Management of Ormiston Trust since 2014. Her background is in Financial Services with 20 years working in the industry and she has a passion for systems, processes and spreadsheets to enable good finance management. 

Aneela is the Head of Education at Ormiston Trust. Prior to joining Ormiston Trust, she was Head of Professional Development and School Improvement at Beaconhouse Group, overseeing the professional development of over 8000 teachers and implementing systems for school improvement across 200 international schools, in the Southeast region. Prior to this, she worked at Universities in the UAE, where she taught on the Bachelor of Education and Diploma programmes, and previous to this she was a Lead Advisor for Nord Anglia Education services, working with head teachers and principals to raise educational standards across schools in Abu Dhabi.

Melissa is a Programme Management Officer at Ormiston Trust. In her role she supports the #WeWill programme management, and works closely with the monitoring & evaluation, social action toolkit & skills, and youth engagement teams. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Development at the University of Sussex, and her postgraduate degree in Global Health and Development at UCL. Over the last eight years, she has dedicated much of her time to working with non-profit organisations in the UK, Nigeria, China, and Tanzania.