Meet the team

Mary Haworth

Director of Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni

+44 (0)1904 322090

+44 (0)7919 293185

About Mary…

Mary came to York to take up the role of Director of Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni in 2011. Prior to York, Mary was Deputy Director of Development at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and before that Development Manager for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Newcastle. Mary’s role is to lead the team and direct the development and implementation of York’s philanthropic fundraising strategy and engagement programmes in order to encourage and facilitate philanthropic support from charities, individual donors, alumni and businesses. Mary has an MSc in Charity Marketing and Fundraising from Cass Business School, and is a fully certified member of the Institute of Fundraising Management.

Charlotte Lilley 

Department Administrator

+44 (0)1904 324467

About Charlotte…

Charlotte started in March 2017 and joined the OPPA team to manage the office and is the first point of contact for any queries.

Participation Giving

Susie Braithwaite

Head of Participation Giving Programmes (Deputy Director)

+44 (0)1904 324794

About Susie…

A graduate of York, Susie joined the OPPA team in 2006 after 19 years in fundraising in the not-for-profit sector in the UK. Working as a Community Fundraiser and Regional Manager for Scope, and then for Marie Curie Cancer Care where latterly she managed the national Great Daffodil Appeal. She is responsible for the University’s participation giving programmes in the UK and internationally and is also deputy dirtector of OPPA.

Sarah Beamish

Participation Giving Officer

+44 (0)1904 324463

About Sarah…

Sarah graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in International Relations where she started her development career as a student caller. At Edinburgh, she held a number of roles within community fundraising, regular giving and digital communications. Sarah is responsible for inspiring people to give to York in a number of ways and for leading a group of fabulous student fundraisers.

Kym Kitching

Student and Young Alumni Officer

+44 (0)1904 324394

About Kym…

Graduating from University with a BA in Theatre, Kym has spent most of her life working in charitable organisations and outreach programmes, thereby experiencing a variety of roles. Coming to the OPPA team from the National Railway Museum, Kym is no stranger to fundraising. She is responsible for assisting the Giving to York team, particularly with regards to YuFund, YuStart and YuCall and inspiring our students and new graduates to get involved with York Alumni Association.

Individual Philanthropy

Sarah Sylvester

Head of Individual Philanthropy

+44 (0)1904 324555

About Sarah…

After graduating with a degree in Chemistry, Sarah worked as a Brand Manager at Unilever marketing Persil washing powder. Sarah spent several years living in Madagascar working for a charity before joining the University in 2006. Sarah started as a Development Officer in 2009 and became Head of Individual Giving in March 2017. She works with Departments to raise funds for key projects, developing relationships with alumni, charitable trusts and companies. She is also responsible for developing the University’s philanthropically funded scholarships.

Sarah Harrison

Philanthropy Manager (Individual Giving) 

+44 (0)1904 322097

About Sarah…

After graduating from Bristol University Sarah pursued a successful career in the Finance sector spanning 17 years. Sarah joined OPPA in December 2014 and in her role as Development Manager builds and manages relationships with alumni and friends, generating philanthropic income enabling great opportunities to be shaped here at York.

Sharon Oakley

Philanthropy Manager (Individual Giving)

+44 (0)1904 324465

About Sharon…

Sharon emigrated from Canada in 2005 to pursue a Masters in Migration Studies at the University of Sussex. She has lived in York since 2006 and has ten years’ experience in the charity sector, with more than seven working for top charity brands in campaigns and fundraising. Sharon joined OPPA as a Philanthropy Manager in November 2014 with a remit to help generate philanthropic income from major individual donors.

Institutional Philanthropy

Paul Tyack

Head of Institutional Philanthropy 

+44 (0)1904 324486

About Paul…

Paul graduated from York in 1997 following three fantastic years studying and performing at the Department of Music. Building on a successful career in charity fundraising, most recently as Head of Development at the Anne Frank Trust, he returned to York to lead the University’s major gift fundraising activities. Paul started as a Development Manager in OPPA and took up his current position in January 2017, focusing on institutional philanthropy. 

Edward Joyner

Philanthropy Officer (Institutional Giving) 

+44 (0)1904 324389

About Edward…

Edward graduated from the University of Adelaide (Australia) with a degree in English and Linguistics. He moved to the UK in 2011 to take up a singing position at Lincoln Cathedral and has subsequently worked at the University of Lincoln and the Diocese of Lincoln. In addition to working at the University of York, Edward works at Southwell Minster as a singer. In Australia he worked in arts management, as South Australian Manager of Musica Viva Australia and managing Adelaide Chamber Singers.

Sharon Godwin (Maternity cover)

Philanthropy Officer (Institutional Giving) 

+44 (0)1904 323275

About Sharon…

Sharon moved to York in 2009 to study a Masters in English Literature. After graduating she worked in publishing before moving into the charity sector. She has four years’ experience working for national charities in institutional fundraising, campaigning and event management, most recently at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Hilary Blake (On maternity)

Philanthropy Officer (Institutional Giving)

+44 (0)1904 323275

About Hilary…

Hilary graduated from the University of York in 2003 with a degree in History, then worked for Christian Aid in Oxford and for the Iona Community on Iona before returning to York in March 2011 to take up the role of Annual Giving Officer. She now works to increase gifts to the University from major trusts and foundations.

Alumni Relations

Kyla Holt

Alumni Engagement Manager

+44 (0)1904 322033

About Kyla…

Kyla joined OPPA in October 2016 to manage the alumni engagement programme for the University; leading on alumni events and promoting volunteer activity among the graduate community. You can contact Kyla if you have a query about alumni events, volunteering or have a general query about alumni relations.

Position vacant

Engagement Officer

Marketing and Communications

Sarah Phillips

Marketing and Communications Manager

+44 (0)1904 324001

About Sarah…

Originally from Northern Ireland, Sarah graduated from the University of Northumbria with a degree in Marketing, and has worked across marketing, PR and events roles at Northumberland College and Best Western Hotels GB. Sarah has been OPPA Communications Manager since December 2009 and is responsible for all Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni marketing. Sarah manages publication production and design, event marketing and is the editor of yu magazine, Changing Lives magazine and our e-newsletters. She is also responsible for managing our brands and website, YorkSpace.net for alumni, donors and friends and also manages our social media platforms.

Position vacant

Communications Officer

Information and Philanthropy Operations

Chris Barnes

Information and Philanthropy Operations Manager

+44 (0)1904 322326

About Chris…

Chris read Politics at the University of York and graduated in 2014. Before that, he worked as a website manager for education and careers services in Norfolk. Chris started working at OPPA in 2014 as part of the marketing team, he was appointed as Information and Philanthropy Operations Manager in March 2017, managing the database team and bringing a wealth of experience to the role. 

Hannah Droop

Data Officer 

+44 (0)1904 322623

About Hannah…

Hannah graduated from the University of York in 2005 with a degree in Environment, Ecology and Economics and joined the OPPA team in 2007. Hannah helps with the administration and maintenance of the alumni and friends database, and provides support and training for other database users throughout the University.

Vicky Patteson

Gift Administrator 

+44 (0)1904 324391

About Vicky…

After studying Accountancy and Finance at university, Vicky spent eight years working at Norwich Union and a local software company before joining the database team in 2009. Since November 2012 Vicky has been our Gift Administrator and Fundraising Assistant. She is responsible for processing all our donations, setting up Direct Debits, claiming Gift Aid and helps Sarah Beamish with YuCall.

Cary MacMahon

Prospect Research Officer

+44 (0)1904 324390

About Cary…

Cary graduated from Cambridge with an MA in History and Classics, and has spent her career in higher education in the UK and Hungary as an historical and educational researcher and coordinator. Her present role involves researching opportunities for philanthropic giving to York, and ensuring that members of the fundraising team are provided with necessary and timely information. Outside work, she is continuing her historical research into fifth century Egyptian heresies, and is an experienced rower and rowing coach who greatly enjoys her voluntary role at York City Rowing Club coaching the Junior Squad.

Emily Jones (Currently on maternity)

Stewardship Officer 

+44 (0)1904 324392

About Emily…

After graduating from Bristol University with a degree in English Literature, Emily worked in publishing in London for a short while before joining the University of Oxford where she spent six years working in development, marketing and alumni relations. Emily is responsible for thanking and looking after all those who make a gift to the University of York.

Reiss Holmes (Maternity cover)

Stewardship Officer

+44 (0)1904 322083

About Reiss…

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in Journalism, Reiss worked in the logistics sector as a Business Development Manager. Reiss is responsible for thanking and looking after all those who make a gift to the University of York.

Hannah Bungard

Database Assistant 

+44 (0)1904 324388

About Hannah…

Hannah joined the database team in March, 2015 and works part time, having previously worked as a note-taker for students at the university. She studied Theatre, Film and Television at York St. John and enjoys filmmaking, working in The Golden Ball pub, and studying British Sign Language in her time away from the office. Hannah works with our alumni database and sends our e-communications.

Jen Massey

Database Assistant 

+44 (0)1904 324388

About Jen…

After graduating from Wye College (University of London) with a degree in Rural Environment Studies, Jen worked for the Nature Conservancy Council/English Nature (now Natural England) until moving to York where she worked as departmental assistant for the science department of a local secondary school. Jen joined OPPA in 2015 as Database Assistant (part-time) and is responsible for keeping the alumni database up-to-date, for sending our e-communications and assisting with mailings and other alumni communications.