Home | News & Insights | 2020 | Cambridge Ahead puts Quality of Life at the top of its agenda with latest senior level appointments

Cambridge Ahead puts Quality of Life at the top of its agenda with latest senior level appointments


Business and academic member organisation, Cambridge Ahead is delighted to announce Professor Roderick Watkins as Director of Cambridge Ahead and Jeremy Newsum as Chair of the newly formed Quality of Life project group.

Professor Watkins, who will join Cambridge Ahead’s Operational Board, was appointed Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in February 2019. He first joined ARU in 2014, as Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, before being appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in 2015.  Prior to joining ARU, he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he was appointed Professor of Composition and Contemporary Music in 2005. He is a composer with a particular interest in digital sound synthesis and his compositions have been performed and broadcast across Europe and the UK. 

Professor Watkins commented of his appointment: “I am delighted to join Cambridge Ahead and to support them in their important work. Ours is a wonderful city and region to live in, but there is a huge amount to do to ensure it is sustainable, resilient and inclusive.”

In addition to Professor Watkins’ appointment to the Board, Jeremy Newsum, Honorary Vice Chair and a founder of Cambridge Ahead, has agreed to Chair the newly convened Quality of Life project group.

Having first explored the issue of quality of life six years ago, the topic re-surfaced in 2019 with the creation of two new Cambridge Ahead groups; Policy and the Young Advisory Committee.  Much has moved on since the organisation’s first exploration of the topic and quality of life has now been formally adopted as a core principle for Cambridge Ahead and will be a consideration for everything the organisation does going forward.

The objective of the new group is to consider what quality of life means for everyone in Cambridge – not just employees of Cambridge Ahead member organisations. Commissioned research will enable the group to understand what constitutes a good quality of life for individuals across our region with the objective of positively influencing policy and decision making in the Cambridge region. 

Jeremy Newsum, Chair, Quality of Life Group, Cambridge Ahead commented: “The experience of living and working in Cambridge is a different one for each one of us. And it’s often easier to say what we hate more than what we love so we land up with an unbalanced perspective. I know it’s possible to make aspects of living in Cambridge better quickly but what I am even more concerned about is the verdict of our grandchildren on what we did to make Cambridge one of the very best places to be living and working. We have a lot to do and I am sure this new Cambridge Ahead project group can help point the way.”

Harriet Fear, Chair, Cambridge Ahead commented: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Roderick Watkins as a Director of Cambridge Ahead.  With Quality of Life as our guiding principle in all we do, we felt it important that our new Board member should have significant breadth and depth of experience of working with and for a range of cultures, individuals, societies and groups. While we are an organisation that garners critical data and evidence to inform all our work, we also celebrate the fact that with that knowledge, we then put that strong foundation of intelligence into action. Professor Watkins has an enviable track record and with his strong personal interest in wanting to make practical change, we are very much looking forward to working with him for the good of our region."

Jane Paterson-Todd, CEO, Cambridge Ahead added: “It is a great pleasure to have Jeremy Newsum at the helm of our new Quality of Life project group. As a founder of Cambridge Ahead, he has been heavily involved with the organisation from its very inception. His genuine passion for the Quality of Life agenda, coupled with his experience across a number of commercial and charitable sectors gives him a unique and valuable insight, which we are looking forward to drawing on as we move the Quality of Life initiative forward.”


07548 832 833


Sarah Brereton, Director, Limewash
07796 583 223

; ;