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 Development and Alumni Engagement 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.

Helen Crevald

Office Co-ordinator

+44 (0)1904 324467

About Helen…

Helen is PA to the Director and Office Co-ordinator. She came for ‘about a month’ in February 2014 and is still here! She has a background in training and events management and before joining the team was Training Manager at the Food and Environment Research Agency, responsible for co-ordinating practical laboratory training courses and organising conferences and workshops.

Giving to York

Susie Braithwaite

Deputy Director of Development and Alumni Relations

+44 (0)1904 324794

About Susie…

A graduate of York, Susie joined the development 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. As Deputy Director in the Department at York, she is responsible for the University’s Regular Giving and Legacy programmes in the UK and internationally.

Sarah Harrison

Planned Giving Officer

+44 (0)1904 322097

About Sarah…

After graduation from Bristol University, Sarah started her career in the Financial Services sector with Bristol & West. After joining Aviva in 2000, Sarah held several managerial and account management roles there, most recently as Head of the Regulated Sales Channel and as a Director on the At Retirement Board. In December 2014, Sarah joined the OPPA Team as our Legacy Officer. You can contact Sarah if you would like to know more about opportunities for making a legacy gift to the University, as part of your will planning.

Emily Jones

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

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.

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.

Vicky Patteson

Gift Administrator and Fundraising Assistant

+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.

Kym Kitching

Participation Fundraising Assistant

+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.


Paul Tyack

Senior Development Manager - Sciences

+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. Contact Paul if you would like to know more about opportunities for making donations towards larger projects, giving through a company or charitable trust or tax benefits for larger charitable donations.

Sarah Sylvester

Development Manager - Social Sciences

+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 has been Development Officer since October 2009 and 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 and communicating with donors on the impact of their gifts.

Sharon Oakley

Development Manager - Arts and Humanities

+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 Development Manager in November 2014 with a remit to help generate philanthropic income from major individual donors, and supporting trust, foundations and corporate philanthropy opportunities for the faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Edward Joyner

Trusts and Foundations Officer

+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

Trusts and Foundations Officer

+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.

Alumni Relations

Kyla Holt

Alumni and Friends Engagement Manager

+44 (0)1904 322033

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, for alumni, donors and friends and also manages our social media platforms.

Chris Barnes

Web Designer

+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 on designing this website and creating the online version of yu magazine. He now works with Sarah on marketing and design projects and continues to develop and look after OPPA’s websites.

Data and Information

Mary Stephenson

Data and Information Manager

+44 (0)1904 322099

About Mary…

Mary joined the OPPA team in 2007. She has a strong background in database management and is responsible for managing the University's rapidly growing database for alumni, donors and friends. She is also our Data Protection expert and ensures the whole office complies with data protection rules.

Hannah Droop

Data and Information 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.

Cary MacMahon

Research and Data 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.

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.