Brilliant Club

Three new Trustees join The Brilliant Club

04 Sep 2023

We are delighted to be welcoming three distinguished new members to our Board of Trustees. Sir Ivor Crewe, Cara Cinnamon and Jon Ferguson will join the Board, led by Chair Dr Josephine Valentine OBE, and attend their first meeting in September.

Sir Ivor Crewe brings a wealth of experience from across the Higher Education sector, having previously held roles as Vice Chancellor of the University of Essex, Chair of the 1994 Group, President of Universities UK, and Master of University College, Oxford. He was the founder of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, served for many years as the Editor of the British Journal of Political Science and has published several books on politics.

Sir Ivor was also a panel member on the Augur review and a Trustee of the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Sir Ivor said, “I am delighted to be joining The Brilliant Club as a trustee. During my years as a college head at Oxford I quickly came to recognise the vital work The Brilliant Club does to encourage and prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds for success in Britain’s leading universities. The Brilliant Club has made a real difference to the futures of thousands of young people and I look forward to supporting it as it goes from strength to strength.”

Cara Cinnamon is a Director at Mission 44, a charitable foundation which was founded by Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2021 to build a fairer, more inclusive future in which every young person can thrive. As Director of Impact, she leads on the foundation’s grantmaking, research and advocacy. Before joining Mission 44, Cara served as the CEO of Khulisa, a charity working to support thousands of young people in prisons and children at risk of school exclusion.

Cara began her career as an English teacher in Nottingham, before setting up a new Business Development team at Teach First and has held various voluntary roles within the youth justice sector and as a Chair of Governors for a primary school in Lambeth. Cara was the first in her family to go to university.

Cara said, “We know that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have unequal access to opportunities throughout their journey in school, and this inequality is most significant by the time they make the transition from school to university. I want to ensure that all young people can make informed and ambitious choices about where and what they study at University, and I want to ensure that the systems that support those young people are working for them, not against them.”

Jon Ferguson is a founder and partner of AshGrove Capital, which provides credit solutions to small and medium sized businesses across Europe with a focus in the software and services sectors. His career has included roles as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, Vice-President at Ares Management and Associate Director at Barclays. He has extensive experience in private equity, business structuring, finance and board dynamics.

In addition to joining the Board of Trustees, Jon will also sit on the charity’s Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.

Jon said, “The Brilliant Club’s focus is critical in supporting students from less advantaged backgrounds through their education journey, and ultimately securing places at university. This is an important cause that resonates personally and I’m delighted to join the Board of Trustees to support the evolution of The Brilliant Club’s programmes and continued growth.”

Chair of The Brilliant Club’s Board of Trustees, Dr Josephine Valentine, welcomed the new appointments. “We are delighted to be joined by Sir Ivor, Cara and Jon. They bring with them a wide range of experience – both lived and professional – of the worlds of finance, business, charities and education. Their experience and their contributions will no doubt strengthen our work to create a society where no child’s academic future is limited by their background.”