Changemaker People

Inspiring, developing and supporting Changemakers is what we do here at the University of Northampton. Here are some examples of what they do.

Stephanie Nixon, a third year Criminology student, became the first ever recipient of the University of Northampton’s Changemaker GOLD Certificate in 2015. Stephanie’s Changemaker project was created to help students with autism, by offering a mentoring scheme to provide support and advice. 

Stephanie explained: “The inspiration behind my project came from a meeting with a member of the community, who was extremely worried about her son starting university. She had found me on social media via our Students’ Union autism society, Auto-Circle Spectrum. I met with her in person and we discussed her concerns, such as the transitions and available support.” ​

At the Award ceremony, Stephanie said: “I believe that the Changemaker Certificate programme is making a real difference to students. It has given me many networking opportunities, and alternative avenues to help students with autism adjust to the transition of starting university.” Following her graduation in 2015, Stephanie will be undertaking the LLM in Legal Practice course part-time at the University, while supporting other students through her project.

The Changemaker leaders are designated by AshokaU, and lead the University in developing and embedding Changemaker principles across the institution. They are experts in social innovation, social entrepreneurship and organisational change. 

Tim Curtis, Senior Lecturer, BA Social & Community Development

My unique blend of environmental law and community activism over the last 20 years has culminated in a passion for tackling the right problems in the right way. So many social problems are only partially solved by poorly thought through projects and initiatives, mostly only tackling a bit of the problem. Social issues are not simple, and don’t have simple answers. I would love that all our graduating students have the skills and confidence to tackle social problems by asking the smart questions, understanding the problems from the point of view of those most in need and being stubborn enough not to be fobbed off by easy answers. 


Wray Irwin, Deputy Director University Changemaker Hub

I have been involved with social enterprise and social entrepreneurship for over 20 years and am always inspired by the passion and ideas of the people that I have worked with. Having supported the creation and growth of over 250 enterprises I am interested in the process of venture creation and the scaling of ideas into enterprises that change people’s lives. My current role sees me developing new approaches to growing social ventures alongside developing a student experience that introduces all our students to social innovation; improving their creativity, problem solving skills, and ultimately their employability as the changemakers of tomorrow.

Abi Wicks has been working within the Enterprise Support and Community Development sector for 8 years and has experience of working with small start-up businesses as a business coach. More recently Abi works within the Changemaker Hub at the University of Northampton and has been working with students to help them to explore their ideas and develop projects that aim to tackle a social problem.

The Changemaker Hub are finding new ways to connect with the local community to ensure that students can volunteer on a range of community projects and support local organisations to develop and grow

The Changemaker Core Group are a network of staff and students across the whole of the University who are particularly involved in developing and implementing the vision of the university as a Changemaker Campus.  They are experts in the fields and are open to be approached for any question about Changemaker. The membership of this group varies according to the needs of the University.

Here are the people involved in the Changemaker Network: they are your first port of call to find out about Changemaker in your School or Professional Service (alphabetical order)

Arte Artemiou, postgraduate student and Students Union trustee
Chris Powis, Head of Library & Learning Services
Clair Culverhouse, Human Resources – Business Partnering
David Lewis, University of Northampton Vice President Union Development 2016 – 17
Deborah Mattock, Director of Human Resources
Emma Leering, Student, BA International Development
Gill Gourlay, Senior Lecturer, Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Business and Law
Hugh Davenport, Leadership and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Business and Law
Jo Williams, Human Resources
June Charlton-Hughes, Human Resources – Corporate Team & Admin
Justin Lance, Subject Leader for Leisure & Languages, Faculty of Business & Law
Kate Robinson, Volunteers Support Officer, University Centre for Employability and Engagement
Kate Williams, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Technology
Kelsey Clarke, Student, BA International Development
Krish Ghandi, Student, BA Education Studies
Liam Bligh, University of Northampton Students Union President 2016 – 17
Mairi Watson, Dean, Faculty of Business and Law
Nick Allen, Executive Officer, Office of the Vice Chancellor
Nick Woodward, Project Officer, Office of the Vice Chancellor
Pole Simon, PlanetToo co-ordinator Students’ Union
Rachel Maxwell, Head of Learning and Teaching Development: Policy and Practice, Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
Rebecca Fakoussa, Senior Lecturer in Business Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Business and Law
Stuart Allen, Leader in Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, School of Health
Tim Curtis, Senior Lecturer, Community Development, Changemaker Lead, School of Health
Tina Ferris, School of Science & Technology
Vicki Dean, Principal Lecturer in International Development, & Foundation Framework lead, Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Technology
Wendy Turner, Senior Lecturer; Education, Children and Young People, Faculty of Education and Humanities
Wray Irwin, Director of University Changemaker Hub



Our illustrious alumni

Victor Agboola, Students Union President 2015/6

Sue Allen, Executive Dean, School of Health

Chris Durkin, Associate Professor, Head of Northampton Inst. of Urban Affairs, MA Social Innovation, School of Social Sciences

Doug Rae, Deputy Dean, School of Social Sciences

Peter Wells, Deputy Dean, School of Education

Chris Moore, Executive Dean, School of Social Sciences

Bethany Alden-Rivers, Institute of Learning and Teaching


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