Board of Directors
The following directors were elected to the Board at the Annual General Meeting on 21 January 2021:
Chair: Cllr Sue Waddington
Sue Waddington, BA Hons, M Ed, is a City Councillor and Chair of the Economic Development Scrutiny Commission. She is a former President of the European Association for Adult Education and a member of the Hall of Fame for International Adult Educators. She has worked in adult education as a community organiser, tutor, lecturer and policy maker.
Secretary: Dr Thomas Swann
Thomas is a Lecturer at Loughborough University. He works on anarchist theories of organisation and organisational cybernetics. Thomas’ research touches on how co-operatives can be run in ways that are both effective and democratic. He has written on research as a co-operative practice and embeds co-operative models of education into his teaching. You can read more about Thomas here.
Treasurer: Blase Lambert
Blase has been a leading player in the UK co-operative and community led
housing sector for the last twenty-four years. He is the Chief Executive
Officer of the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, is a founder member
of Community Led Homes and is the Treasurer of Co-operative Housing
His areas of expertise are corporate governance, risk management and
financial control and he has numerous publications to his name.
Student Representative Directors
Sally Birch studied with the Vaughan Centre of Lifelong Learning, completing both her Certificate of Higher of Education and her BA Hons in Humanities and Arts. She is currently training to be an English Teacher in a SEMH (Social, Emotional, Mental Health) Secondary school.
Sally organised and led a campaign to try to save the Vaughan Centre of Lifelong Learning in Leicester. She is passionate about transforming lives through education.
Following a career in the post-16 education sector, managing and working in teaching, advice and guidance, student support and safeguarding, Shirley re-trained as a counsellor at Vaughan College (University of Leicester).
She currently works as a volunteer counsellor with a local charity and supports the work of the organisation by assisting with project work and providing staff support.
Jane has worked in the field of co-operative development since 1985. She is a co-owner of CASE (a workers’ co-operative), a director of Central England Co-operative Society and currently the President of the Board and she is Chair of Leicester Rape Crisis. Jane left school after A levels, but returned to study part time for a Degree at the Open University and Oxford Brookes University, whilst working full time.
Kerry Gray BA(Hons) M.Ed is Head of Adult Skills and Learning for Leicester City Council and manages the Adult Education College. Kerry has worked in Adult and Community Education in the city for more than 20 years in a variety of roles including as a tutor, community engagement officer, Learner Support Officer and for the last 7 years as Head of Adult Skills and Learning. Kerry represents the Adult and Community Education sector on the national HOLEX Policy board.
Cilla Ross is Principal of the Co-operative College, UK. Cilla has taught, researched, examined and supervised across the UK and internationally in higher, adult and labour education as a radical educator and work historian and sociologist. Cilla is an SFHEA, was a Commissioner on the Centenary Commission on Adult Education in 2019, https://www.
Tina has been teaching at University level since 2011, within Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning and the former Vaughan College. Alongside teaching trainee counsellors, she also provides CPD training to professional practitioners and organisations. She gained a BA Hons in Professional Counselling in 2009, underpinned with a HE Diploma (2007) and Certificate (2005) in Counselling. She has been practising as a counsellor for 13 years, working with adults and young people in both private and organisational settings. She also provides clinical supervision and therapeutic consultation to practitioners and staff teams. You can read more about Tina here.
Dr Scott Jennings
Scott has been a long-time student at the University of Nottingham studying both Biology and then Graduate Entry Medicine. Scott was a prominent student activist within his university and externally in the co-operative movement.
Scott founded the Nottingham Student Housing Co-operative (NSHC) and acted as project manager in the establishment of Student Co-operative Homes (SCH) to firmly establish and grow the Student Housing Co-operative Movement across the UK. Scott is also a director of the Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH).
During this time Scott has had a firm interest in establishing co-operative higher education as a prominent democratic alternative where students have a real stake and control in their university, He has engaged with the Co-operative College’s objective to establish a Co-operative University.
Robin graduated with a Geography degree from the University of Wales, Lampeter, many years ago. He has pursued a variety of self-employed tasks over the years including publishing Leicestershire local history books under the Kairos Press imprint. For 20 years he worked part time as the centre co-ordinator at Bishop Street Methodist Church, Town Hall Square.
Lucy is a founder member of Leicester Vaughan College and has been teaching mature students at university level since 2002. She taught at the former Vaughan College and in the Vaughan Centre of Lifelong Learning. She is also an Associate Lecturer for the Open University. Between 2015 and 2020, she was an external examiner for the University of York’s Centre for Lifelong Learning. You can read more about Lucy here.