Inspiring children to read

A huge thank you to our trustees.

Anne Ross

Anne is a retired Consultant Physician living near Witney. She has two children and four grandchildren. Having been a volunteer with ARCh since its beginning, she enjoys the challenges of helping children of varying ages and abilities to enjoy books. She uses her medical training to support children with medical and learning difficulties.
Anne has an interest in many sporting activities, the theatre, music, travel,gardening and is also a volunteer with Age UK.

Mark Hofman

Mark was born in Oxford, studied in Oxford, and has lived much of his life in Oxfordshire. He became a trustee in 2014 and later that year became chairman on the retirement of Sam Peates. He has had a diverse career as financial journalist, solicitor and investment banker. He also ran a small publishing company at a time when he was pursuing a parallel career as a singer in classical music. For ten years he was a trustee and financial officer of the Exuberant Trust, a small Oxford-based arts charity. In recent years he has been mainly working and writing on a range of philosophical topics as well as pursuing his interest in child development. Reading, music and the countryside are his main passions, and he is also expanding his collection of grandchildren.

Lynn Knapp

I have been working in Oxfordshire as a teacher for 34 years, a job that I love. For the last 20 years I have been a headteacher and am currently very fortunate to be the head of Windmill Primary School in Oxford. As a keen reader myself, I strongly believe that we should give every child the chance to become not jut a fluent reader but also a passion for books and literature. I currently live in Chalgrove with my husband Jon, our 2 children are now both adult and live and work in London. In my spare time I love to dance and I still teach a dancercise class each week as well as leading a weekly dance club in school.

Noel Hetherington

Born a Geordie, was brought up in Oxford and awarded a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University. A career in Finance then followed, predominantly in the motor industry with Rover, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. Has taken on consultant roles for the last 5 years in diverse industries such as Nanoscience and Packaging.
Began with ARCh as a volunteer in early 2013 to help with the finances, and became a Trustee in November 2013. Has previous volunteering experience with Age UK Buckinghamshire, making improvements in their financial control and accounting processes, as a Trustee with OCDA in Oxford, and as a Business Advisor with Young Enterprise. Noel lives in Bicester with his wife, Carole, and has 2 children, a stepson and 2 grandchildren. Other interests include dancing, golf, wine, reading, gardening and supporting both Newcastle and Oxford United.

David Jones

I joined ARCh as a volunteer reader in Wallingford in 2015 after calling time on a career in PR, journalism, marketing and media relations spanning over 30 years. I am a passionate advocate of literacy improvement projects and, in addition to my commitments with ARCh, I mentor disadvantaged men and women through a local adult literacy group. My favourite authors include Charles Dickens, George Orwell, Sebastian Faulks and Robert Harris but since becoming a school reader I have discovered the joy of reading exciting ‘new’ novelists such as Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman and, my personal favourite, Matt Haig. When I’m not reading, I enjoy spending time with my family, keeping fit, visiting the cinema and watching sport, especially football* and cricket. * I follow the same team as children’s writer Allan Ahlberg.

Neil Morrick

His voluntary activities over thirty years include education, health and development together with strategic and marketing mentoring for many local, regional and national charities, supporting a wide range of sectors. He has also chaired school, youth and family organisations. He co-wrote the Charity Chairs Checklist, available on line and jointly launched chairs’ forums, presentations and networks. His most rewarding involvement was supporting children’s reading for ten years in a primary school. Neil’s business career focused on acquisitions, disposals, mergers, start-ups and turnarounds in the automotive industry. He has lived in Oxfordshire for over twenty-seven years, now at Idbury.

David Bettle

I live in Witney and for over 33 years I worked for the Oxford based international aid agency OXFAM in a variety of managerial positions covering, fundraising, campaigning, communications and educational work. During that time I gained a wide experience of the voluntary sector and the way Charities need to be professional in their operation and approach. Now retired I can offer ARCh not only my wide work experience but that of considerable voluntary work especially in the area of Governance. I have been a governor and Chair of Henry Box School in Witney, Trustee and Chair of Advance Housing & Support which provided independent living for those with Learning Difficulties. I am currently a Trustee of Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire, having been their Chair for 5 years up until 2012. I have specific responsibilities with regard to HR, equality and diversity. I joined ARCh as a volunteer in July 2012 and have found encouraging and enthusing children in their reading and understanding amongst the most rewarding work I have done. It will be a pleasure as a Trustee to help ARCh and its important work develop further. Alison & I have had the privilege of bringing up 5 lovely children and now enjoying the wonders of having 8 grandchildren. We both love travelling together with 5 trips to India in the past 8 years as well as to several countries in North & West Africa and Europe. I belong to the Witney U3A where I lead the Walking Group and take part in a Book Group and Human Studies Group. Also an Oxford United season ticket holder.

Kathleen Gilbert

I have worked in education for over 40 years as a teacher, inspector and adviser. Most recently I have has been working in central London as a schools’ adviser. Recently I have returned to live in Oxfordshire. I am married with 3 children and I grandchild. Now semi-retired, I am keen to use my experience in education to work with ARCh as a Trustee. I want to support the fantastic work of this charity which enables Oxfordshire children to become confident readers with a love of books.