Ashley Shelbrooke, Procurement Specialist

Ashley joined BUFDG/HEPA in June 2019 with a wealth of procurement experience from the HE sector, having worked at the University of Kent; Government, where he worked for Crown Commercial Services; and the private sector. He is our guru for all things procurement and counter-fraud, as well as working on various other projects as and when they arise, so, if you have any questions, do drop him an email.

Email Ashley



Rachel Ward, Learning and Development Manager

Rachel is our Learning and Development evangelist. She has a wealth of experience in communications, marketing and joined BUFDG from a well known supermarket chain where she led the learning and development for their clothing business. Rachel is always keen to talk to members about their L&D needs, so if you have any questions or ideas, please get in touch.

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Amanda Darley, Head of Operations and Engagement

Amanda joined the BUFDG team in 2014, and loves it so much that she is now undertaking her third role! She joined as our Tax Specialist, moving on to become our Digital Content Manager in 2020 and became our Head of Operations and Engagement in September 2021. Prior to her HE experience, Amanda held various tax roles with HM Customs & Excise, the tax tribunal service and as a tax adviser, before joining the University of Oxford finance team in 2006. Amanda deals with internal BUFDG management, and also our engagement with members, so if you have any feedback or suggestions on what BUFDG delivers to members or how we deliver it, email Amanda.

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Gill Birch, Events Manager

Gill has worked in the admin side of the HE sector for over 20 years, firstly at the University of Wolverhampton and then as PA to the Director of Finance at the University of Wales, Lampeter (now part of UWTSD). She has been working for BUFDG since 2001 helping to arrange training and events across the sector. On leaving school Gill trained and qualified as a Registered General Nurse.  She also holds a Certificate in Accounting from The Open University. If you need any information about schedules or venues, or have any suggestions for suitable training, then please let her know.

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BUFDG is a special interest organisation of Professional HE Services Ltd. PHES is an umbrella company for membership organisations in higher education and being part of PHES means that we can call on the skills and expertise of the following members of the central services team: 


Dominic Fryer, Managing Director

Dominic joined PHES in 2014 and since then has worked closely with the HESPA, AUDE, UHR and CHEIA executive committees and staff to welcome them to the Company. As Managing Director his priorities are to develop PHES to support the SIOs in the best way possible, to motivate and develop our people and ensure we operate first-class company governance.

Email Dominic



Karen Newcombe, Financial Operations Manager

Karen joined the PHES team towards the end of 2017 and is doing a great job of keeping our finances in order. Karen worked in the finance team at Loughborough University for 13 years, so has a great understanding of how the sector works. She manages the finances for AUDE alongside the other associations in PHES and as well as processing the day to day transactions, she also works with the respective treasurers to plan for the future.

Email Karen



Alexander David, ICT Manager

Alex joined the PHES team in August 2019 as our first dedicated IT post. His role of ICT Manager is partly to deliver the IT strategy within PHES, to provide day to day support for staff, but also to help each association with their digital plans – such as new website developments, making the most out of the database and data analytics. He is based in the main office in Loughborough and will be a valuable asset to the team.

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Ruth Turner, Membership Officer

Ruth joined Professional HE Services (PHES) as Membership Officer in November 2018. She previously worked for four years as Finance Assistant at Imago Venues, part of Loughborough University. She has also worked in customer service and finance roles. Her role as Membership Officer for PHES includes events support, database management, approving new members, web content updates, advertising sector jobs and a host of other things, all for each of the PHES Special Interest Organisations.

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Jemma Ladkin, Membership Officer

Jemma joined Professional HE Services (PHES) as Membership Officer in February 2018. She previously worked for ten years as Events Organiser for Loughborough University. In this role she planned and organised events of various kinds, from industry exhibitions and academic conferences to business seminars. Her role as Membership Officer for PHES includes events support, database management, approving new members, web content updates, advertising sector jobs and a host of other things, all for each of the PHES Special Interest Organisations (SIOs).

Email Jemma



Scott Murdoch, ICT Support Officer

Scott joined PHES in 2023 to support all our associations with the delivery of online conferences and events. His primary focus will be virtual events, but he will also provide website and technical support to our staff when the conferences and events are not happening.

Email Scott


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