National Children's University Trust
Children's University is a network of centres that manage their
activities locally. These local centres are run by existing
structures and partners such as colleges and universities, Local
Authorities and groups of schools. CU Trust is the charity that
sits at the heart of this network, providing support, strategic
guidance, and organising fundraising and communications
Meet the CU Trust team
Helen O'Donnell - Chief Executive and Director of
Helen joined Children's University in November 2015, having
previously served as Chief Executive for the Cheshire Community
Foundation (CCF). It was at CCF that Helen first encountered
Children's University by funding one of our local centres.
Helen has extensive experience in the third sector with a
particular focus on education and helping young people from more
disadvantaged backgrounds access educational opportunities. Most
recently this involved acting as Head of Development at the
University of Liverpool where she was responsible for securing
Contact Helen for enquiries about national partnerships
and strategic issues.
Liam Nolan - Head of Communications and Stakeholder
Liam joined Children's University in 2016 with a focus on
working with the Children's University network and shouting about
its many successes. As a former teacher of English as a foreign
language, he is passionate about education and the possibilities
Children's University opens up for young learners.
Liam has over ten years' experience in the charity sector in a
mixture of fundraising and communications roles. Most recently he
has been self-employed fundraiser and worked on high-profile
digital projects for charity and government organisations.
Contact Liam for enquiries relating to communications, PR
Cristina Muñoz - Marketing and Digital Communications
Cristina joined the team in March 2016 after finishing her
master's degree in Marketing Communications. She has worked in the
marketing and administration departments of various organisations
and is enthusiastic about social media and its potential to
Before moving to Manchester two years ago, Cristina studied
Advertising and PR in Spain, and she also lived in Romania for six
Contact Cristina for enquiries about social media and all
Meet the CU Trust Trustees
Richard studied Law at Manchester University. He trained as a
solicitor in Manchester and initially worked with individuals
caught up in stressful situations needing legal advice. He spent
most of his legal career advising the NHS about governance,
regulation, ethics and dispute resolution and, during that time,
developed a wide range of business skills.
He featured as a top-ranked lawyer in Chambers, an
independent legal directory, which awarded him the special status
of Senior Statesman in the category "Best of the UK Health and
Social Care: Health advice".
Richard is the Chair of Trustees of CU Trust as well as being a
member of the charity's Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. He is
also on the Management Group of the West of England Children's
University, one of the regional network members of CU Trust.
Outside CU Trust he is Chair of an annual national Patient
Safety Conference; a committee member of the William Kadleigh
Foundation, which supports doctors developing their knowledge of
integrative medicine; and also a lead member of a grass-roots group
advocating for legal and humanitarian rights for refugees,
especially refugee children.
Anita trained as a teacher and worked as a Community Relations
Officer in Leicester, a Community Worker with the Asian Resource
Centre in Birmingham and a lecturer teaching language and
employment skills to Industrial workers.
In broadcasting Anita presented a local radio programme for the
Asian Community in Birmingham and Channel 4's Eastern Eye. Anita
developed the Radio Asian Network in the West Midlands for the BBC
and became the bi-media Community Affairs Correspondent for
Midlands, then Head of Political and Community Affairs for the BBC
Anita's awards include the CRE's Race in the Media Award, the
national Television News Award and Impact Magazine's Windrush Award
as the Broadcaster of the Year. Currently she is Chair of mac, a
Trustee Director of Performances Birmingham, Chair of the
Birmingham Creative Partnership Board and a Governor of the
University of Central England. Anita was awarded an OBE in the New
Year's Honours 2009; Anita, currently Editor Public Space
Broadcasting for the BBC, has been recognised for her services to
Jock Brown graduated from Cambridge University in English Law
but returned to qualify as a Solicitor in Scotland more than 30
He has a wide breadth of experience in many areas of the law,
from litigation to property, commercial and employment work, before
moving latterly into the corporate field, where he has been
involved in many acquisitions and disposals. He is viewed by
colleagues and clients as a man of business capable of finding
solutions in complex situations.
During a spell as General Manager, at Celtic Football Club in
the late nineties, one of his principal tasks was to avoid
contractual difficulties which had troubled the club in the past.
This added further to his general business experience.
He is also widely known for his work as a sports broadcaster,
having commentated on major football and golf events over the past
three decades, and has regularly been called upon to give seminars
on sports law topics.
Jock is also the Chair of the CU Trust Scotland.
Until his retirement in March 2013 Alec was the Head of BBC
Outreach, Corporate Responsibility & Partnerships.
Alec organised the BBC's Beyond Broadcast Outreach activities
across the BBC's six public purposes - citizenship, education,
international, creativity, UK communities, and emerging
communications. Outreach concentrates on face-to-face interaction
with audiences, usually those harder to reach, and producing
user-led content for broadcast. He was responsible for
reporting on and communicating the BBC's Corporate Responsibility
(CR) performance via the annual CR report and a range of other
publications and events.
He is a trustee of the BBC Performing Arts Fund and the
Previously he was Events Director to the City of London and
Chief Executive of the Shakespeare Globe Trust as well as being in
charge of media relations at Euro 96. Alec has also had experience
of working with many of Britain's leading charities. Before taking
on BBC Outreach, Alec had a lead role in the Charter Renewal
Jim graduated as a Bachelor of Accountancy in the Faculty of Law
at The University of Glasgow. He trained as a Chartered Accountant
in Glasgow with Peat Marwick (now KPMG) and initially worked in
audits and acquisitions. He left KPMG to become the Finance
Director of a construction group and served as a director in an
architectural practice and a football agency as well as serving as
acting finance director in a premier league football club. He has
subsequently spent most of his career in Financial Services,
firstly with Barclays Stockbrokers and then a national IFA and
wealth manager before resuming a career in consulting with, among
others, KPMG and RSM.
Jim is Chair of CU Trust's Finance, Audit and Risk Committee as
well as being a Director of CU Trading, a subsidiary company of the
charity. He is also a Trustee of Children's University Scotland,
one of the network members of CU Trust.
Outside of CU Trust, Jim sits on the board of The Dudley
Building Society and holds several non-executive roles. In
addition, Jim is a governor of the Warrington Primary Academy
Lynne first joined Children's University as Director of
Learning in 2011 to manage the development of the Children's
University's curriculum for learning. After retiring in 2016 she
became a Trustee of CU Trust.
Prior to working for Children's University, Lynne was
employed as a Senior Curriculum Advisor with the Qualifications and
Curriculum Development Authority (QCDA). She started her
career as a Modern Foreign Languages teacher, and has worked with
children, undergraduates and adults in a range of institutions in
Leicestershire and Nottingham.