Monday, 9 November 2015

Welcome our new CEO, Helen!

Hi everyone,

On 5th November 2015, Helen O'Donnell joined the Children's University family as our new CEO and Director of Partnerships. Helen's arrival allows Lynne and Mary to return to their original roles as 'Head of CU Learning Support and Development' and 'Chief Executive of CU Scotland' respectively, having worked together to act as CEO for the past few months.

Below, you can read a little bit about Helen and her past roles and achievements. Exciting times lie ahead!

Prior to joining the Children’s University Helen was Chief Executive of Cheshire Community Foundation, an independent charity whose main mission is to improve the quality of life for local people by inspiring local philanthropy and investing in local community activity. In her time with the Foundation she oversaw the investment of £7.5m of donations from individual and corporate philanthropists. She also oversaw the awarding of close to £2m in grants to more than 400 organisations. The Foundation achieved Quality Accreditation by UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission within 2 years of being established. 

Previously, Helen was Head of Development at the University of Liverpool, where she was responsible for leading the University’s advancement programme ensuring that significant philanthropic investment was secured to support the University’s vision, strategic priorities and academic focus. Before moving to the University she was Development Director at Withington Girls' School in Manchester (her alma mater) where she raised close to £2m for the 100 Plus Bursary Appeal. She began her major donor fundraising career as Development Manager at Wolverhampton Grammar School following an early career in social housing with the Housing Corporation (now the HCA). 

Helen is a member of the Institute of Fundraising and a graduate of Common Purpose and The Leadership Team. In 2015 she was shortlisted in the categories of Not-for-Profit/Social Enterprise Leader of the Year and Inspiring Leader of the Year at the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards (North West and Isle of Man). She has a degree in Modern Languages and lives in Cheshire with her husband and 3 daughters.

Catch you next time!