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Durham University Sutton Trust Summer School

Meet the Team

The Summer School is planned and led by the Durham University Sutton Trust Team. Read on to find out more!

Rik Coldwell, Access Officer (Progression)

What is your role in the Sutton Trust Team?

I am the Summer School Director and project manager, which means you don't often see very much of me! I tend to be in the background, supporting Jordan, Rich and Laura to ensure that your experience is the best it possibly can be. My role requires me to ultimately ensure the delivery of a safe, successful summer school experience for you, the mentors and the staff. However, I don't do this alone! I am surrounded by a team of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to provide a top-quality week for you.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The people. We have a superb team and every year we get to meet hundreds of talented students from all over the UK. The enthusiasm of students on the summer schools and the success they achieve as a result definitely makes the job worth doing!

Jordan Donohue, Deputy Access Officer

What is your role in the Sutton Trust Team?

I am the Summer School Deputy Director and Deputy Project Manager. This means that before the Summer School I will be doing a lot of planning, organising and prep work to make sure that everything is ready for your week at Durham! I also work on the Summer School itself with Rik and the rest of the team. My main role is to make sure that things go smoothly so that your time at Durham is the best that it can be.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Summer Schools are such a friendly, busy and crazy experience! There is always something going on and I love the atmosphere of the week. I also enjoy getting to work with the college and academic teams here at Durham during the planning phase of Summer Schools as I have the chance to meet so many people who work together to bring you the Summer School.

Rich Root, Assistant Access Officer

What is your role in the Sutton Trust Team?

As the Assistant Access Officer I work closely with the rest of the team to make sure your time at Durham is a fun filled week that you won’t forget! On the run up to the Summer School I will be prepping all of the social activities that you’ll get to be a part of as well as assisting Jordan and Rik wherever necessary. You’ll probably hear from me too if you have any questions before the Summer School begins. I can’t wait to meet you this summer!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love to see the students from schools have the opportunity to interact with current Durham students. Nobody can explain better than them what it’s like to come to University, talking not just about courses but all aspects of student life, plus it gives the students the chance to find out the answers to any questions they may have.

Laura Jackson, Project Administrator

What is your role in the Sutton Trust Team?

My part in the Sutton Trust team here at Durham is to provide the administrative support to Rik, Jordan and to you. My role sees me focusing on communications, arranging transport and detailing your requirements across a wide range of areas and aspects of your involvement with us. During the summer schools you won’t see as much of me as the rest of the team as my role is to be based in the office to provide a point of contact and to respond to any needs that arise as the week unfolds.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Being part of an enthusiastic and dedicated team delivering successful Summer Schools, and seeing what an enjoyable time you have whilst with us.

Your Mentors

Each Summer School is supported by a dedicated group of Durham Student Ambassadors who will be your mentors during the week. Each mentor supports a group of between 6 - 8 students to make sure that all is well and you have everything that you need to make your Summer School experience the best it can be. Mentors are current Durham students so are in an excellent position to share their experiences of life at Durham.

We asked some of our mentors who have worked on previous summer schools what they liked most about the Summer Schools and this is what they told us:


“The Summer Schools are such a breath of fresh air for everyone involved! They allow every individual to be themselves without worrying about whether they fit in ... you discover a lot about yourself.”

Summer School Mentor

“It's great to be able to go from engaging in a heated debate one minute, to playing 'Just Dance' on the Wii the next, and then listening to an impromptu musical performance!”

Summer School Mentor

“There is a constant sense of excitement about what is going on, and I love how everyone at summer school shares this sense of excitement.”

Summer School Mentor

Contact us

The Sutton Trust Team, Durham University

Access and Engagement

The Palatine Centre,

Stockton Road



0191 334 9119