Chief Executive Officer
Fiona obtained a degree in BA Theology and Ministry at Durham University. As Chaplain to the High Sheriff of Northumberland and then as High Sheriff, Fiona had the opportunity to visit prisons in the North East and talk to staff and prisoners. When asked what would stop reoffending, the reply was always ‘a job’ and so the idea of The Oswin Project was born to create second chances and put a wedge in the revolving door of re offending.
Caroline previously worked as a Tutor and in the Careers Centre at HMP Northumberland, supporting prisoners prepare for employment and training on release, she was employed by NOVUS. Prior to this Caroline was a farmer on a 600 acre mixed family farm in Northumberland and a Teacher. She has an MA in Geography from Edinburgh University and PGCE from St Mary’s College (London)
Trish has a background in recruitment and office management. She brings experience from a variety of roles from start-ups to business support. With a friendly manner, great administration and IT skills she is exactly the right person to keep the office running smoothly.
Manager of Café 16
Matin is hugely experienced and highly qualified. At the start of his career he worked in Italy and France for 7 years. Since returning to England he has run several well-known bakeries. Martin joined the Oswin Project to change lives and pass on his skills. He describes it as a ‘new chapter’ in his career.
Martin considers that if you make a mistake you shouldn’t be made to pay for it for the rest of your
When not working for the Oswin Project, Angus is studying for a PhD at Newcastle University. His thesis explores educational decision making and socio-economic disadvantage. Starting work as an Apprentice Teaching Assistant at his local primary school, Angus joined Newcastle University through the PARTNERS Widening Access Programme. He gained a 1st Class Honours Degree in Sociology and received funding for a MA and PhD from the UK Economics and Social Research Council. Angus takes the lead on fundraising and monitoring the impact & outcomes of our work.
Oswin welcomes Nathan Coundon who has joined The Oswin Project as a volunteer. Nathan studies Philosophy at the University of Leeds. He is helping with the formatting of policies and is enjoying visiting Oswinners and taking part in some of the interviews. His passions and interests are centered around studying philosophy and religion. He is a keen traveller and enjoys learning about other cultures. He is a huge Newcastle United fan. Nathan is delighted to be part of team Oswin and hopes he can help Oswin to help Oswinners!
Val Windle has been involved with Oswin for over 4 years. She mainly helps in the office at Bothal, with general 'housekeeping' and filing. She has also assisted with interviewing prisoners and ex-offenders for potential employment opportunities. This has involved visiting HMP Northumberland on several occasions and HP Kirklevington at Yarm. Val believes it is fascinating to have an insight in to how the prison system works and how Oswin is able to help after ex-offenders are released. She feels the Oswin 'impact' will grow and grow and she is excited to be a part of it and to make a difference to prisoners and ex-offenders. Oswin is hugely grateful to Val for all she does.
Jamie Steane is an Associate Professor in the School of Design, Northumbria University. Jamie currently leads a successful Master’s programme in Communication Design that specialises in digital and social innovation. He has worked with many charities, public and third sector organisations as well as digital start-ups during his research and teaching activities.
Before joining academia, Jamie worked internationally as a designer and creative director for numerous design and media businesses including Philips, Time-Warner, Windmill Lane Pictures and WPP in Europe, the USA and South East Asia.
Volunteering for the Oswin Project has made me aware of the lack of support which offenders and ex-offenders receive within and outside prison walls. I primarily volunteered for Cafe 16 which allowed me to meet residents and staff inside HMP Northumberland. Working alongside Oswinners in Cafe 16, it became clear that the Cafe is appreciated by not only those who work in the Cafe on a daily basis, but also by the staff. Since I began volunteering, three Oswinners have left HMP Northumberland and are now all employed, making Cafe 16 an example of the support that Oswinners receive inside and outside prison. Seeing individuals develop skills and confidence through Oswin has inspired me to continue to search for work in a similar context. I am currently completing my MA in Art and Material Histories, my ambition is to find a way of incorporating my knowledge and experience of art with my volunteering at Oswin. The opportunity to volunteer for the Oswin Project has definitely made me reconsider my career path for the better, something which this charity continues to do for so many others.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer with the Oswin Project in October 2019. I had finished my undergraduate degree, and I wanted to learn more about the prison systems in the North East and the effect it has on local communities. Amongst other things I undertook lots of research for the Oswin team, in the lead up to the opening of the Cafe 16. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of a local charity and about the processes involved and challenges faced when working within the prison system. I gained a huge amount from this experience, especially to do with the complexities of these long standing systems that require a great deal of hard work to reform.
The main thing I took away from the Oswin Project was a greater awareness of the relentless hard work that goes into getting projects like Cafe 16 off the ground and to see positive results, but that the work is less of a challenge because you see such positive outcomes. The team at Oswin have inspired me to go on and further my studies in order to have a career that strives for greater environmental and social justice.