One of the most influential training and education practitioners in the UK has become an Honorary Fellow at Newcastle University.
Jacqui Henderson, 78, received the prestigious award for her dedicated service – including her outstanding support to two Chairs of Council, three Vice Chancellors and other members of the Executive Team at the university.
Born in Ashington, she has served as chief executive of the Training and Enterprise Councils’ National Council, was chief executive of UK Skills and was the first regional director for the Learning and Skills Council in Greater London.
Jacqui, who was awarded a CBE for services to education and training in January 2001, is chairman of the Northumberland College Board of Governors and Northumberland County Council’s Leadership Forum and she is the previous chairman of the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group.
Daughter of one of the famed Ashington Pitman Painters, Jack Harrison, she began her career working in schools and colleges.
Jacqui still lives in Ashington with Arthur, her husband of more than 50 years. They have two children and six grandchildren.
On receiving her honour, she said: “Newcastle University is in a really good place. The staff are fantastic and ready to adapt and the key things are right.
“It’s an ambitious university that wants the best for its students.”
Jacqui – who has stepped down as Vice Chair of the university’s council – personally funded Find your Future, a network that seeks to support young women in Northumberland to fulfil their potential.
One of her pivotal roles for Newcastle University was heading the University and Students’ Union Partnership Committee from 2006 to 2015.
She steered the committee and the union from difficult times when it was facing potential bankruptcy to its current position where it has been voted in the top 10 unions in the country in the National Student Satisfaction Survey.
The university recently completed an £8million refurbishment of the union’s facilities, a project she championed.
Newcastle University’s Registrar, Dr John Hogan, said: “The university owes Jacqui a great debt for the amount of unpaid time, effort and skill she has brought to the governing body.
“I always felt I could trust her completely to be discreet and offer wise advice.
“She is a strong person who is never afraid to say what is right, but does so in a way that is constructive – firm but fair.”