Hilary Hopwood

Non-Executive Director

Lancaster, United Kingdom

I graduated from Lancaster University with a BA (Hons) in French Studies in 1974. After a year as an unqualified social worker I then studied for a M.A (Econ) in Social Administration and Social Work at Manchester University and returned to work for Lambeth Social Services until June 1980. The next decade was primarily taken up with raising my two children, but in 1990 I studied for a PGCE in Modern Languages at St Martin’s College, Lancaster and worked for 21 years teaching French at Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School. During this time I was Head of International Links and started up exchanges with France and India. I chaired a number of international projects including a three year cross curricular Comenius project with two school s in Finland and one in Portugal, a Comenius Language Project with a school in Lyon, France, a Global Curriculum Project with a school in Hisar, Haryana, India, and a further project involving 10 schools, 4 in the Lancaster area and 6 in North India. Our school was one of the first nationally to gain the International Schools Award, and I was invited by the British Council to help pioneer this award in India, and to serve on their adjudication panels for both the international School Award and the Global Curriculum Award. I also took a cross curricular team to Madagascar in 2003 as part of Teachers International Project Developments.

After retiring as Head of Modern Languages in 2012 I accepted an invitation to chair East Meets West, a women’s community group started up in 2006. The group’s aim is to facilitate contact and encourage friendship between women living in the Lancaster area from different cultural religious and ethnic backgrounds. As part of a lottery funded Healthy Living Project in 2014/5 we approached Curel who arranged and led six movement classes for us, which were mostly well attended and much appreciated. My own interest in dance goes back to my days as a social worker in Lambeth when I attended a weekly evening dance class at Morley College. Since moving to Lancaster I have also attended various classes at Ludus. Currently my husband and I have a fortnightly movement session with Alice Grayson which we find very beneficial and which encourages us to repeat the exercises on a daily basis. My husband had some private sessions with Alice following bowel cancer surgery, and found these highly beneficial as much psychologically as physically. We are both hugely supportive of the work done by Sam and Alice and in my new role as director of the CIC I hope to be able to use my skills, experience and local network to extend the impact they can have in the locality.