The Awards Panel

Clive Newton, Chair

Clive Newton started out as a social worker and community worker in the early 1970s before moving on to a role in planning.  Subsequently, he was involved in university-based research and in training, with a particular focus on mental health and on partnership practice in social work.  This included brief pieces of work with Averil Osborn, both in Scotland and at the Nuffield Institute.  During the latter part of his working life, he was employed in the voluntary sector, including 16 years with Age Concern England/Age UK. He is currently Chair of Age UK Derby and Derbyshire.

Sue Venn, Secretary to the Panel, University of Surrey

Susan Venn has a background in IT and administration within Higher Education, but branched out into research when she joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey, undertaking a Masters and PhD in social research.  She is currently a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity at the University of Surrey and her research interests focus on lifecourse transitions, particularly the transition to retirement, and how such times of change may offer opportunities for people to consider how to shift to more sustainable ways of living.  She has been a member of the British Society of Gerontology for 15 years, and was on the Executive Committee of the BSG for several of those years.

Robert Peacock, Edinburgh

Bob Peacock was a life partner with Averil Osborn for 26 years until her untimely death in 1994.  During the 1960s Bob participated as statistical research assistant in a major study of Urban Growth in England and the development of New Towns in Britain; in the 70s and 80s he contributed to and chaired courses at the Open University in Statistics and Research Methods in the Social Sciences; in the nineties, and before early retirement in 2001, he worked as a statistician involved in the design and analysis of clinical trials in drug development with the Swedish pharmaceutical company Astra, which merged with the English company Zeneca in 2000.

Susan Tester, University of Stirling

Susan Tester had a long career as researcher in social policy in London, then as lecturer/ senior lecturer at the University of Stirling since 1991. Her main interest is in social gerontology, focusing on quality of life and care of frail older people. After retirement in 2005 she continued as Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Stirling. She has been a member of the British Society of Gerontology for over 30 years, was Honorary Secretary for several years, then Co-ordinator of BSG Scotland. She knew Averil Osborn as a valued colleague and is keen to promote Averil’s values through the Averil Osborn Award

Kate Davidson, University of Surrey

Kate Davidson came to academia as a mature student, undertaking a degree in Social Policy and then on to gerontology, after a quarter of a century as a nurse and Health Visitor in Belfast and London.  She was Secretary and later President of the BSG as well as Vice Chair of Age Concern Surrey.  She was a founder member of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender at the University of Surrey and since her retirement has maintained her connections there as an Honorary Fellow.  Her continued interest in the ‘nuts and bolts’ of policy and social research means she is a strong supporter of the spirit of the Averil Osborn Fund.