Child protection expert and charity founder among recipients of honorary degrees

6 November 2023

A leading Derby child protection expert and the founder of a charity supporting vulnerable women are among those receiving honorary degrees from the University of Derby later this month.

The University’s winter awards ceremonies take place at Derby Arena on 15 and 16 November. In addition to the hundreds of students being awarded their degrees, the University is honouring four people who have made a significant contribution to the University, city or county. They are:

Janet Foulds (Honorary Master of the University) – a specialist in child protection and therapeutic work, Janet has been involved in social work in the region for almost 50 years and was instrumental in setting up Derby City Council’s Child Sexual Abuse Unit. A former UK Chair of the British Association of Social Workers, she has presented expert evidence to national reviews, select committees and many high-profile court cases. Janet is still engaged in supporting social work colleagues and continues to contribute to social work teaching at the University.

Dionne Reid (Honorary Master of the University) – the founder and CEO of award-winning Derbyshire charity, Women’s Work. Established in 2003 to help women from the most deprived and challenging backgrounds, the charity works with key organisations across the city and helps up to 1,000 women each year. Dionne is passionate about helping women and families gain the confidence and skills to make positive and lasting life changes, and the charity’s support programmes are now being used internationally.

Martin Baxter FIEMA CEnv (Honorary Doctor of the University) – the Deputy CEO of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, the global membership body for sustainability professionals. A former Derby graduate, Martin is a renowned expert on environmental management and a spokesperson on corporate sustainability. He works in the UK and internationally to support the transition to a low carbon economy.

Professor Chris Jackson (Honorary Doctor of the University) – a Derby-born geologist, Chris is Director of Sustainable Geoscience at Jacobs Engineering Group, and Visiting Professor of Basin Analysis at Imperial College London. His research focuses on understanding the development and structure of some of the Earth’s most economically important geological environments. A keen science communicator, he has appeared in several television programmes, including BBC2’s Expedition Volcano, and is active in improving equality, diversity and inclusivity in science and society.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:

“Celebrating the successes of our graduates is one of the highlights of the year for us at the University. It is also a great privilege to honour individuals who have contributed so much to our University, city and region, whether that is supporting vulnerable women and children, contributing to the transition to low carbon, or promoting and communicating the vital importance of science.”

Find out more about the University of Derby Awards Ceremonies.

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