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The Programme Team

Meet the staff members of the ourcambridge programme team::

Kate Maxwell

Programme lead

Rachel Machon

Supporting our staff (lead)

Natalie Robson

Portfolio manager

Amanda Hepton-Patchett

Engagement and communications (lead)

Cordelia North

Engagement and communications

Barney Brown

Digital communications support

Linda Spinks

Process improvement manager

Elena Carpenter

Process improvement analyst

Michelle Fordham

Process improvement analyst

Erin Beagin

Programme admin support

Rebecca Shipley

Programme coordinator

Katherine Lawrence

Programme coordinator

Claire Brind

Senior programme coordinator

Jenny Rampling

Senior programme coordinator

Fatima Baldo

Professional services graduate trainee

Freya Villis

Senior programme coordinator


Senior Leadership Team

Name: Rachel Machon

Job title: Head of HR - ourcambridge. SOS Lead and Deputy Programme Lead
Phone number: 01223 332 344

Biography: A seasoned Head of HR and Organisational Development with over 18 years’ experience delivering innovative people related change in both local government and the private sector. Rachel has led large multi-disciplinary teams to deliver creative solutions across complex organisations to create lasting cultural change, operational excellence and programme delivery. New to the Higher Educational Sector Rachel is passionate about the ourcambridge programme and its vision.  

With a degree in Business Studies Rachel is CIPD qualified with a Masters in Strategic Human Resource Management and is Level A and B Psychometric Testing trained. 

When not at the University she is kept very busy by her 2 young children Etty (7) and Isobel (4) and her husband Jim.  Rachel  also loves music, cooking, camping (well glamping), travel and being a good friend.  


Name: Amanda Hepton-Patchett

Job title: Communications Lead
Phone number: 01223 765 764

Biography: A senior communications professional with over 25 years' experience, including corporate communications, PR, marketing and advertising, Amanda is responsible for leading on all communication relating to ourcambridge. This includes the website and ourcambridge She specialises in internal communications and employee engagement with a particular interest in diversity and inclusion. She worked at Cambridge Assessment for 13 years where she was Group Head of Internal Communications and Engagement before embarking on an interim career, including Internal Communications Director for AstraZeneca. She is a qualified ILM Level 7 Executive Coach and Mentor and has a Masters in Applied Linguistics. 

When not at the University she writes flash fiction and lots of letters to friends around the world. She also loves reading, films, travel and art.


Name: Linda Spinks

Job title: Process Improvement Manager
Phone number: 01223 766 706

Biography: Linda has worked at the University for 16 years both as a Business Analyst and more recently as Process Improvement Manager for ourcambridge. She is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has been delivering training in process improvement to staff across the collegiate University for the past three years. In addition to this, since joining ourcambridge she has been working across the professional services community to help them to improve their processes.

When not at work, she enjoys walking, reading and trying to get fit!


Name: Natalie Robson

Job title: Portfolio Manager
Phone number: 01223 765 810 / 07879 116 976

Biography: A newcomer to the University of Cambridge, Natalie spent 12.5 years working at Cambridge Assessment (CA). At CA she worked on the development of syllabus’ and innovative teaching and learning resources including a GCSE Computing MOOC in partnership with Raspberry Pi and Cambridge University Press. She also spent some time as an Operations Manager rolling out online-marking software. Leaving CA in 2016 she gained additional experience working as a Senior Project Manager in a design agency and most recently for Pearson in EFL education publishing.

When not at the University, Natalie can be found riding horses or studying towards her law degree.


Simplifying our Processes


Name: Elena Carpenter

Job title: Process Improvement Analyst
Phone number: 07513 483 123

Biography: Elena's career spans learning and development in banking and the charity sector, finance and internal ops for an impact consultancy and business analysis for the University’s Finance Division. The common thread across these is change. Elena lives and breathes change management and believes successful change happens when you plan for the impact on people, process and organisational culture collectively.  Elena is focusing on:

  • Process improvement journeys for departments
  • Delivering training
  • Supporting the whole team across wider projects.

Outside of the University Elena delivers training and coaching to charities and social impact orgs, is a Trustee of the Commemoration Hall in Huntingdon and is helping her dad write a memoir of his life in music.


Name: Michelle Fordham

Job title: Process Improvement Analyst
Phone number: 07513 483 125

Biography: With a background in Academic publishing, Michelle joined the Simplifying our Processes team in January 2020. Lean Six Sigma qualified and trained in change management, Michelle works with colleagues across professional services, providing process improvement support, guidance and training. Alongside her colleagues in the Simplifying our Processes team, her focus is on enabling and empowering others to take control of their own continuous improvement.


Supporting our Staff


Name: Claire Brind

Job title: Senior Programme Coordinator
Phone number: 07729 602 637

Biography: A former History teacher turned project manager, Claire recently joined the ourcambridge team and is leading on various 'Supporting our Staff' projects including:

  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Communities of Practice
  • Improving Secondments

She has experienced a range of roles across the University, in part thanks to completing a rotational graduate scheme in university professional services. Outside of work, she is completing a CIPD qualification in Learning and Development.


Name: Freya Villis

Job title: Senior Programme Coordinator

Biography: An experienced manager of both people and projects, Freya has worked for the University since 2003. Her background is in supporting postgraduate students and programmes but she also has a keen interest in professional development (both for herself and others). She has benefited from a number of the University’s staff development programmes, and was recently a role model for the Aurora programme for women in higher education leadership. Projects she is currently working on include:

  • Mentoring
  • Staff Review and Development
  • Recognition

Freya has two children in the early stages of secondary school. She is an enthusiastic wild swimmer (but strictly in the summer months!).


Name: Jenny Rampling

Job title: Senior Programme Coordinator

Biography: Jenny has worked in the higher education sector for over fifteen years leading teams in student recruitment, student advice and student services. Before joining the ourcambridge team, she was based at the Institute of Continuing Education as a Business Improvements Manager.  Jenny is responsible for the delivery of multiple projects within the Supporting Our Staff stream and is driven to ensure professional services staff thrive and develop in their careers at Cambridge.

When not working or looking after her four-year-old daughter Mia, Jenny loves travelling, photography, dance and ‘pick n mix’ sweets!  


Programme Support


Name: Barney Brown

Job title: Head of Digital Communications 

Biography: Barney’s career in Digital Communications has been split between web development and communications teams spanning the education sector, the Forestry Commission and the music industry. As Head of Digital Communications at the University of Cambridge, Barney is co-leading a 5 year programme to deliver the University’s Digital Presence Strategy. This programme will oversee the transformation of the way we design and deliver content and websites internally and externally.


Name: Cordelia North

Job title: Internal Communications Coordinator
Phone number: 01223 339 236

Biography: Before joining the Office of External Affairs and Communications (OEAC) in the Internal Communications team, Cordelia worked in student administration for the University. Starting her career at the Faculty of History, she then moved to Student Operations on secondment as a ‘roamer’, moving between the Student Registry and Graduate Admissions teams at peak periods.

As both University alumni and employee, Cordelia is keen to keep the University pushing forward and particularly in its support of its staff. Ourcambridge offers Cordelia the perfect opportunity to assist on communications matters, alongside the Communications Lead, and be part of a project that matters.


Name: Erin Beagin

Job title: Programme Admin Support
Phone number: 01223 765 772

Biography: New to the working world, Erin has recently completed a year at Manchester Metropolitan University, studying Business and Events Management, and spent summer 2019 working in America. Alongside her role in the ourcambridge team, Erin is also undertaking an Apprenticeship in Project Management and one day hopes to manage her own team. Erin’s current position enables the smooth running of the department with tasks including:

  • Arranging meetings and events
  • HR, Administration and iProcurement

In her free time you will find Erin at gigs, festivals and planning to travel the world. 


Name: Katherine Lawrence

Job title: Programme Coordinator

Biography: Katherine has worked for the University for over 6 years, and is currently on a two year secondment from Personal and Professional Development. Katherine completed her degree in Psychology and is passionate about staff welfare and development. Katherine applies her organisation skills and attention to detail to support the ourcambridge team with projects including: 

  • LinkedIn Learning 
  • Effective meetings 

In her spare time Katherine can be found running around after her energetic toddler, reading, and watching a Netflix documentary.  


Name: Rebecca Shipley

Job title: Programme Coordinator
Phone number: 01223 331 040

Biography: A newcomer to the University of Cambridge, Rebecca spent the past seven years in the world of event management, working with a busy team of creative designers. With a passion for all things organised she works with the ourcambridge team to ensure that projects are running smoothly.

Projects that she is currently working on include:

  • Flexible working
  • Mentorship
  • Wellbeing

 When not at the University, Rebecca can be found forcing herself out for a run or hanging out with her guinea pig, Nigel.