Meet The Team

Our core team deliver a menu of HE outreach activities in schools and colleges across the Liverpool City Region. Delivery typically takes place in schools and colleges but we can also arrange visits to any of our partner HE institution campuses.

In addition to our core staff, we are supported in many activities by widening participation and outreach staff from our partner universities and colleges, who help to deliver various aspects of Shaping Futures projects, alongside work on their own existing projects and programmes to support young people in accessing Higher Education.

Please see below for further information about our core team, or contact admin@shaping-futures.info for assistance.

Meet The Team

Our core team deliver a menu of HE outreach activities in schools and colleges across the Liverpool City Region. Delivery typically takes place in schools and colleges but we can also arrange visits to any of our partner HE institution campuses.

In addition to our core staff, we are supported in many activities by widening participation and outreach staff from our partner universities and colleges, who help to deliver various aspects of Shaping Futures projects, alongside work on their own existing projects and programmes to support young people in accessing Higher Education.

Please see below for further information about our core team, or contact admin@shaping-futures.info for assistance.

Meet The Team

Our core team deliver a menu of HE outreach activities in schools and colleges across the Liverpool City Region. Delivery typically takes place in schools and colleges but we can also arrange visits to any of our partner HE institution campuses.

In addition to our core staff, we are supported in many activities by widening participation and outreach staff from our partner universities and colleges, who help to deliver various aspects of Shaping Futures projects, alongside work on their own existing projects and programmes to support young people in accessing Higher Education.

Please see below for further information about our core team, or contact admin@shaping-futures.info for assistance.

Michaela O'Connell

Head of Programme

Head of Programme

Yvonne
McCreath

Contracts Manager

Contracts Manager

Kevin Hornblower

Schools & Education
Manager

Schools & Education Manager

Deborah Fish

Evaluation & Partnerships Officer

Evaluation & Partnerships Officer

Christine Canavan

Contracts & Communications Officer

Contracts & Communications Officer

Esha Ubido

Project Support Officer

Project Support Officer

Sarah Hanson

HEPA - Strategic Outreach

HEPA - Strategic Outreach

Stuart Nicholls

HEPA - Schools

HEPA - Schools

Shannen Dabson

HEPA - Schools

HEPA - Schools

David Maitland

HEPA - Schools

HEPA - Schools

Rupert French

HEPA - FE Partnerships

HEPA - FE Partnerships

Abbie-Lee Rendell

Project Support - Strategic Outreach

Project Support - Strategic Outreach

Niamh Thompson

Project Support - Targeted Outreach

Project Support - Strategic Outreach

Talk to us!

You can use the live chat function on our website to speak to the Shaping Futures team, or a range of current students from our partner institutions.

Whether you need advice on your next steps, personal statement, student finance or Results Day, or you just want to find out more about student life and experiences, our live chat is here for you!

Talk to us!

You can use the live chat function on our website to speak to the Shaping Futures team, or a range of current students from our partner institutions.

Whether you need advice on your next steps, personal statement, student finance or Results Day, or you just want to find out more about student life and experiences, our live chat is here for you!

Talk to us!

You can use the live chat function on our website to speak to the Shaping Futures team, or a range of current students from our partner institutions.

Whether you need advice on your next steps, personal statement, student finance or Results Day, or you just want to find out more about student life and experiences, our live chat is here for you!

I joined Shaping Futures team as Head of Programme, in October 2019. My role is to maintain strategic oversight of the programme as a whole. This includes engaging with our partners through our Governance Boards, working with our funders The Office for Students and leading the central team to ensure that we are delivering high quality, impactful and value for money programmes.

I have worked in Widening Participation since graduating from the University of Liverpool in, where I studied Anatomy and Human Biology. Previous to this role, I was the Partnerships Manager for the Widening Participation department at King’s College London. Here I was responsible for building and managing the department’s strategic partnerships with key external groups, such as IntoUniversity, Realising Opportunities and The Brilliant Club. Outside of work, to better understand the structural inequalities within our education system, I undertook a part-time MA in Education, Policy and Society at King’s College London.

I joined the Shaping Futures team in November 2017 and my role, as Contracts Manager, involves supporting the effective governance of the programme, ensuring value for money and contract management of partner and grant funded activity, and overseeing the monitoring, evaluation and communication aspects of the work that the partnership undertakes across the Liverpool City Region.

Prior to this role, I had an extensive career within custodial and detention services including operational roles such as Head of Safer Custody at a prison in Liverpool and Head of Custody which entailed responsibility for the contract management of a number of police custody services across the UK. I have also provided operational input into a number of large scale bidding competitions on behalf of the organisation I worked for.

I am proud to be part of the Shaping Futures team and part of a fantastic programme which encourages learners across the Liverpool City Region to raise their aspirations in terms of Higher Education opportunities.

Kevin Hornblower

After studying history at university I spent a year teaching English in China. My positive experiences at university and teaching English inspired me to pursue a career within education. When I returned I was lucky enough to secure a job at the University of Liverpool’s Widening Participation team.  After a couple of enjoyable years at the University of Liverpool I took up the opportunity to further my experience by taking a job at the University of Chester.

In my current role within the Shaping Futures team, as Outreach Manager, I am responsible for building and maintaining relationships with all of the schools across the Liverpool City Region.   More importantly, working closely with the Higher Education Progression Advisers to develop fun & engaging curriculum of activity that will inspire and inform all of the young people that we work with.

I joined the Shaping Futures team as Evaluation and Partnerships Officer in January 2020. My role is to work with the team and our partners to ensure that our activities are impactful, and we are meeting the aims of the programme, and accurately report our activities to the Office for Students, the wider partnership and our schools and colleges. This involves designing evaluations with delivery staff, and helping plan for different data collection methods depending on the activity. I then write reports our engagement with learners and schools/colleges and create impact reports based on our evaluation data. I have also analysed national datasets to help us to better understand the Liverpool City Region and the needs of our learners, which helps us design our activities.

After completing a degree in Geology with Palaeobiology, I worked as an analyst in Student Life at the University of Leicester, evaluating the effectiveness of careers and student retention activities; with a particular focus on the differences between underrepresented groups. Working on activities which aimed to improve students’ outcomes whilst at university made me more interested in what happened prior to arrival, so I really enjoy working in outreach with Shaping Futures and getting a real understanding of how activities help learners progress from year 9 through to graduation.

I am really keen to ensure our activities are helpful to our learners, and that our work can contribute to the wider knowledge base about what works in Higher Education outreach programmes.

I joined Shaping Futures in April 2018 as a Project Support Officer.  I supported the collection, inputting and reporting data from the events carried out by my delivery colleagues to ensure that the Office for Students have monitoring data.  I am currently the Contracts and Communications Officer and this involves liaising with the HE partners and delivery partners to support Yvonne as Contracts Manager.  In addition to this I manage and co-ordinate the Shaping Futures communications, including social media posts and updating the website.

My work background is secondary school based where I developed my skills within education for 13 years.  I began my school working life as a lunchtime assistant, worked towards becoming a classroom support assistant and finally a Pastoral Head of Year for Sixth Form, in the meantime completing a BA in Learning, Development and Support with LJMU.  I have always actively encouraged all pupils within my cohort to be the best version of themselves.  I have enjoyed seeing pupils develop grow, both academically and emotionally and take great pride, in any role I have taken, to ensure future success for those pupils.  Being involved with the Shaping Futures teams, ensures that I continue to be part of the successful future of the young people of the Liverpool City Region.

I joined the Shaping Futures team in December 2019 as a Project Support Officer. My key duties involve assisting with administrative tasks for all aspects of the programme, including collation, input and reporting of data retrieved from delivery staff and partners to ensure that there is a clear indication of what has been achieved by the programme.

I graduated from Birmingham City University with a Social Work BSc (hons), which led to various health and social care roles. I later made the decision to enrol into further educational development, completing a Business Administration NVQ and Text Processing Diploma – which led to my first administrative role at the Public Health Institute, LJMU.

With a background in social work and the health care industry, I feel I have an insight into the benefits of seeking and securing education opportunities in order to change personal circumstances. In my third-year university placement I worked at a school for adolescents with statemented needs for social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) and witnessed first-hand the positive impact of achieving educational milestones in helping to lift young people out of sometimes difficult home lives. I am extremely proud to be a part of a team that provides guidance and advice to young people which can help to change their lives.

I lead on Strategic Engagement work for Shaping Futures, working with local stakeholders and strategic partners in the Liverpool City Region to understand needs of our young people and region, and work collaboratively to develop innovative, locally tailored outreach to meet these needs. These partners include Health Education England, the Liverpool City Region Careers Hub and National Citizens Service.

I have worked in widening participation since graduating in 2014 with a BA Hons in English, Media and Cultural Studies from Liverpool John Moores University. I joined the University of Liverpool Widening Participation and Outreach team as a Pre-16 Graduate Advocate, progressing to Assistant Project Officer with responsibility for campus visits, Dangerous Science Summer School and print, digital and social media communications for the team. I then joined Shaping Futures In March 2017 as a Higher Education Progression Adviser, where I worked on the Targeted Outreach element of Shaping Futures, managing a caseload of Liverpool schools and running Through The Eyes of Boys, our sustained programme focused on white, working class boys, before moving into my current role.

I have recently completed the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development, to ensure I am providing young people in our region with high quality support, and am also a postgraduate Data Science student at Birkbeck, University of London.

I joined the Shaping Futures team in October 2018 as a Higher Education Progression Adviser, which involves working with priority schools across Wirral and Liverpool, forging effective partnerships with teachers, students and parents alike to engage in a programme of activities and ‘one to one’ guidance interventions aimed at raising aspirations through Higher Education opportunities.

As a professional Careers Adviser with over twenty years’ experience of delivering quality guidance services to young people within numerous educational institutions across the wider Liverpool City region, I pride myself on my drive and commitment to raise awareness of opportunities for all and I continue to strive to promote a supportive environment that individuals seek to access time and again.

I am a Higher Education Progression Adviser based in several schools within the Liverpool City Region. I studied a degree in Educational Psychology at Edge Hill University. Since graduating I have worked in a number of roles which have involved providing support to students, beginning as a Mentor for students with disabilities and mental health conditions.  I then worked within the Student Recruitment Team at Edge Hill University as an Education Liaison Assistant for Merseyside and the Isle of Man. Following on from this I worked within the University library providing students with academic support.

I am passionate about raising attainment to higher education by sharing my own experiences on the positive impact it can have. I have a long term illness and so I am aware of the barriers that some people may face on their educational journey. That said, I am also an ambassador for breaking down these barriers and striving for success, regardless of a person’s ability or background.

As a part of the Shaping Futures team I hope to engage with and inspire the next generation whilst providing them with the information they need to make an informed choice about their future.

I work as a Higher Education Progression Adviser within the Shaping Futures Team. My role involves working closely with priority schools across the Liverpool City Region.

After graduating with a degree in history, I worked with students studying English as a foreign language at the University of Glasgow. This was a great introduction to the Higher Education sector and inspired me to study for a TEFL qualification and teach abroad. After returning to the UK, I was able to put my teaching experience to use in a different setting, working for two years with an employability service supporting young people into employment, further education or training. Following this role, I moved to Liverpool, returning to Higher Education to study history at postgraduate level.

Now at Shaping Futures, I have the opportunity to combine a passion for Higher Education and the benefits it can bring, with experiences working in education and supporting young people in making decisions about their future. As a Higher Education Progression Adviser I work to build relationships with schools, delivering programmes of activity that meet school needs.

Hello there, my name is Rupert French and I’m the Higher Education Progression Adviser for FE Colleges and Adult Learners. I moved to Liverpool in 2014 and adore living and working here. I’m particularly interested in helping young people who might be more interested in technical qualifications beyond Level 3, as well as Adult Learners looking to return to education and work towards a new vocation.

I joined the Shaping Futures team as a Project Assistant in September 2019 after graduating from the University of Liverpool with a degree in Sociology and Criminology that July. I spent much of my degree working as a Student Advocate where I became involved in Higher Education outreach and aware of how necessary this work is in ensuring equity within education. Previously my role within targeted outreach has focused on delivering directly to young people within our region, supporting research and resource development within the team from design to execution.

More recently I have moved to the Strategic Outreach side of the Shaping Futures programme, supporting our lead in collaborating with partners throughout the region in developing impactful and innovative activities across the Merseyside region for all learners. Outside of Shaping Futures I am part of the Careers and Enterprise Company’s Youth Advisory Group, ensuring the voice of young people is heard as we all move towards effective careers and pathways education for all.

I am the Targeted Outreach Project Assistant for Shaping Futures and joined the team in 2019. I attended The University of Liverpool, graduating with a degree in Psychology in 2018. During my studies, I worked for The University of Liverpool as a Student Advocate from 2016-2018. I loved the programmes Shaping Futures provided, the collaborations with its partners and the young people who are supported.  As a Project Assistant, I assist HEPA’s in the development and delivery of programmes. The projects we offer aim to raise aspirations and increase underrepresented young people within higher education. I have experience working in schools, colleges, universities and with the wider community and am passionate about contributing to positive social change through encouraging awareness of higher education.