Jenny Ruth O'Hara-Jakeway
Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2015
Social Justice Fellow (Paul Hamlyn Foundation)
Jenny is CEO at Powys Carers Service in Wales. Jenny's early teenage years were in the South Wales Valleys, where local economic decline was having profound social consequences, which taught her that she wanted to work towards social justice. Her motivation for choosing to study Philosophy for her first degree was to find the key to solving world poverty. She came to think of social justice as having to be achieved in a way that values and respects diversity, and accommodates different ideas. Jenny discovered the concept of community development and, from then on, she wanted to find ways of supporting communities to be inclusive, to accommodate a multitude of voices and to shape their own destinies. She threw herself into learning about and working on community development projects in the South Wales Valleys and in Asia, focusing on developing confidence in community members.
After this, Jenny worked with others to find an approach that would support communities to develop long-term, sustainable approaches to social transformation. Working with a range of people and organisations (including The People and Work Unit and Community Development Cymru) in Glyncoch, she facilitated the development of co-productive approaches that achieved increasingly positive educational and employment outcomes, dramatically lowering crime rates, and an improved physical environment. Jenny's current challenge is to find ways of supporting social change on a larger scale with a particular focus on carers.
Current principal role: CEO
Current principal organisation: Powys Carer's Service
Other leadership role 1: Director
Other organisation 1: Co-production Wales
Research: The use of co-production methods to reduce educational inequalities for young carers
Research topics: Community development;