Ormiston Trust patron Laura Trott visits an Ormiston academy and Ormiston project work in Norwich

A former Number 10 Downing Street adviser who is a new patron of the Ormiston Trust experienced two of our successful projects on a visit to Norwich.

Ormiston Trust patron Laura Trott first went to Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey and then spent time at the Visitors Centre at HMP Norwich to see the work of the Ormiston Families project based there.

Ormiston Trust is a national charity based in East Anglia that works to improve the life chances of children and young people so they can fulfil their potential and lead happy and productive adult lives. They oversee Ormiston Academies Trust, one of the country’s leading school sponsors, and Ormiston Families, which provides services to support children and young people from disadvantaged communities and at risk of social exclusion.

At Ormiston Victory Academy, she visited science, English and art lessons, and then gave advice to a group of sixth-form students aiming to win places at Russell Group universities, including Oxbridge. She also met the Principal, Naomi Palmer, and the Chief Executive of the school’s sponsor, Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), Toby Salt. OAT oversees 30 academies in England, several in East Anglia.

At HMP Norwich, she spoke with practitioners of Ormiston Families who provide support, information and a personal induction for first-time visitors to help them access the services available to them. The team also facilitates special visits for children in a dedicated playroom; baby-bonding visits for prisoner, partner and new baby soon after birth; parenting courses for fathers and step-fathers who are prisoners; and “Story Book Dads”, a project through which fathers, step-fathers or grandfathers can record stories on to discs for his child/children to listen to.

Laura Trott, who studied history and economics at Oxford University, said: “I have always argued that where you are born shouldn’t determine where you end up and so I was honoured to become a patron of an inspirational charity that shares exactly the same belief. To see first-hand what they are achieving for children, young people and families was an enormous privilege.

“I was struck by the aspirations of the ambitious students I met at Ormiston Victory Academy, and how they are encouraged by their teachers to aim high to fulfil their potential. The commitment and skill of staff at Ormiston Families was clear in how they bring families together in difficult times, for the benefit of parents and children, and the wider community.”

Toby Salt, Chief Executive of OAT, said: “OAT has always been a trust committed to helping all students, whatever their background, achieve their very best, which is absolutely in tune with the ethos of Ormiston Trust. Victory Academy is a great example of what makes our schools successful and it was a pleasure to introduce Laura to the high-quality education we provide.”

Debbie Campbell, Service Manager at Ormiston Families HMP Norwich, said: “We were delighted to welcome Laura and to show her the work we do to support families in need of our services. Maintaining the bond between fathers and their children is hugely important for their futures, and we are proud to deliver work that matters.”

Peter Murray, Chair of Ormiston Trust, said: “Extraordinary work is done every day across our charity, thanks to the incredible work of teachers, practitioners and volunteers all dedicated to improving lives. We are delighted that Laura has joined the team and was able to visit just two of our projects making such a positive difference.”

Naomi Palmer, Principal of Ormiston Victory Academy, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome Laura to Ormiston Victory – her roundtable discussion with our sixth form students was very powerful in embedding our academy ethos of high aspirations for all.”

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.

Genéa is the Communications and Events Coordinator at Ormiston Trust. She plays an integral role in overseeing the communications and media strategy – along with leading the content development for internal and external comms and PR across the Trust and the #WeWill programme. As well as supporting all event planning across campaigns, including the delivery of comms workshops with the Youth Advisory Council. 

She has worked predominantly in broadcasting PR, comms and editorial and now works as a narrative designer alongside her work since completing her MA in Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins. 

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.