Our Ambassadors are former members, volunteers and friends of Jacari who we want to recognise for making a significant contribution to our development.
I was the first Chairperson of Jacari which Anthony Smith, Bill Brogden and I were involved in founding in 1956. Previously I'd been President of OU Liberal Club, one of the few women at that time active in university politics. Our aim at first with Jacari was to enable a black South African to study at Oxford. Tony was a brilliant fundraiser and I was good at winning publicity. On leaving Oxford I became a journalist, the third woman to join the reporting staff of The Times. After the birth of my children I was a freelance reviewer and editor, writing books about youth crime and comics for teenagers about social issues, from birth control to racial prejudice. I still review books and am as passionate as ever about prejudice and ill-justice.
I joined Jacari as a volunteer in my first year at university around 20 years ago. Jacari's slogan was "an hour a week makes all the difference", and I loved the fact that a small amount of time could make a big impact on the lives of many local children who didn't speak English as their first language. I went on to lead the committee, helped to register Jacari as a charity and became Chair. After stepping down I've been involved with various fundraising ventures, including co-founding the Charity Football League which raises funds for Jacari.
I started volunteering for Jacari as soon as I got to Oxford in October 2005. I was in the teaching committee during my second year and became Jacari’s first ever Coordinator the year after graduating. I went on to a career in teaching, first in secondary school and now as a Senior Lecturer in Education at Middlesex University in London. Jacari is about the struggle for a more unified and equitable world, where we all feel part of the same community.
I volunteered for Jacari from 1990 to 1997, was on the committee in 1992–4 and Chair 1993–4. I stay in touch with the family I taught, and reconnected with the charity recently, by raising money in the "65 Challenge" (walking 65 km with friends from Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham). I am now CEO of Oxford PharmaGenesis, a company which works on behalf of pharmaceutical companies to communicate the evidence between new treatments for patients with anything from rare diseases to cancer. I am pleased that our company has been able to donate laptops to support remote learning during the pandemic.
Having had lots of friends volunteer for Jacari, I attempted to make up for not volunteering at the time by serving as a Trustee from 2015 to 2017. After stepping down as Chair I’ve tried to continue to help support the amazing work of the Jacari community by broadening Jacari’s relationships on the fundraising side.